Tuesday, April 14, 2015

Holy Monday

You don’t always, but on this particular day off you wake up without the alarm (it was turned off, to allow for the richness of sleeping in) at almost exactly the time it would have gone off on a regular school day. The light is lavender, the air saturated with spring. Since you are awake, you sneak downstairs, fill the bread machine with butter, egg, milk, sugar, flour, yeast. You will make Resurrection Rolls a day late. This is becoming a tradition, almost, not managing to get them made in time for Easter. Last year you bought a roll of refrigerated dough, in desperation and even though you hated the compromise, but in the end it did not help. The tube sat in the refrigerator door until two days ago. You are determined to keep your promise this year.

Later Youngest will help wrap dough around marshmallows, and then you will dip each dough ball into melted butter and then roll it in sugar. The sugar and butter will cling to your fingers, salty and sweet. You will lick them once all the rolls are dipped and rolled, no one watching, as if you were still five years old.

Yesterday was good, and you celebrated. But it did not go the way Easter was supposed to go, exactly. In the middle of everything necessary for the day for your family—in the middle of the best clothes, sunrise service, breakfast at church, easter egg hunt, baskets of candy, dinner with family day—there was Youngest’s fall, and a horrid gash in her knee that looked unrepairable, and the E.R., and stitches because it was repairable, after all.

There was a time you were proud of your strength around blood, and your calm in the face of an injury. That, though, was before you had children. Your children’s injuries shake you to the core. It is not so much the blood itself as it is the fact of injury, the fact that you could not stop it, the fact that you could not convince your child after she laid eyes on it that she was not dying. It is not so much the stitches themselves as it is holding—laying on top of—your child while she gets stitches, and, more than that even, the way you absorb the fear and hurt into every cell of your body and try to hold it there, away from your child, even though you know that’s impossible.

Later in the day on this quiet Monday, when she is feeling her woundedness especially deeply, you will show Youngest pictures of Japanese pottery, cracks and breaks filled with gold, stronger and more beautiful for having been broken. Kintsukuroi. Isn’t it beautiful? She cries at the thought, but she also points out her favorite piece. It is exquisite.

Later still in the day you will hide yourself someplace quiet to make paper roses from old scrap paper. It is right to make something beautiful from what is cast-off and unwanted. It makes you dream of making other things. After so many days of looking and seeing and taking in, in the middle of exhaustion and anxiety over things both small and big, making something seems like the proper response. So much inhaling—now is time for the exhale. Without the release you are not actually breathing.

Yesterday was meant to be holy, and it was, in the way that Easter Sunday always is. It was also holy in the way that something broke through all your plans and expectations and made you see it all in a different light. But today too is holy, and maybe even a high holy dayset apart to exhale, set apart to ponder these things while making sweet rolls, while everyone else is asleep.

For now, it is still early and you are alone in the kitchen. In the oven the marshmallows begin to melt, making toffee at the bottom of the pan, leaving the inside of the rolls hollow, empty. You could give a lecture while the kids eat, but that kind of thing doesn’t usually have the effect you’re looking for. You will probably have to rely on faith that the way these things all work together will work itself slowly into their hearts—that this sweetness, and the story of the empty tomb and how light cracked apart solid darkness, and how the intertwining of failings and promises and scars and love leave us marked and beautiful—these are all wrapped into the day after Easter because they are all woven into our Everyday, worn on our hearts and bodies, hanging in the lavender light of another new morning.

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Saturday, April 4, 2015

Found, Day 46

My parents found each other so quickly
7 weeks from meeting to married
and over Winter Break at that—
that there was confusion afterwards.
When my mother wrote her new name on the
chalkboard for the Freshman Comp class
the students wanted to know
what happened to the teacher listed in the catalog.
“She got married,” was the reply,
and when they thought that was too bad
she told them “Not at all—it’s me!”
A friend who hadn’t seen my father
for a while wanted to set him up:
“There’s this girl you have to meet.
You would like her a lot.”
“That’s funny,” Dad replied
after hearing her name,
“I married her last week.”
And sometimes this is proof to me
that there’s no such thing as a wrong turn—
that no matter which direction you choose
you will find yourself
in the right place for your story.

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Thursday, April 2, 2015

Found, Day 44

his morning we had windows open. I enjoyed deep breaths of air heavy with near-rain, and found it had been months since I had breathed exactly this kind. Did the time flash by or crawl? The feeling and scent of it is joyful.

Wednesday, April 1, 2015

Found, Day 43

It seems like more than one branch can handle—too much—ready to burst. But if the weather keeps up like this, it will happen. Think of how easy it is to take it personally, this explosion of buds and flowers and leaves. Think of how ordinary (magical) it is, the fact that at any point you might turn and catch something breaking open, spilling out into the world.

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Found, Day 42

One woman
carried a set of wind chimes
through the big box store
from the far corner
where she found them,
carried them through
aisles of fluorescence
and plastic
and too much of everything
(all cheap,)
and the air around her
turned delicate,
It turns out
the sound of cheap
acrylic and aluminum
is anything but cheap
and the thing she carried
in her hands
was exactly the magic
she’d thought it was
and as she consulted
with the pharmacist
about the medicine
that made her little boy
feel worse not better
the air around her was charged
with light and color unseeable,
with the sound of fragile hopes
scattering, spreading bright all over the place.

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Monday, March 30, 2015

Found, Day 41

1. This picture is several weeks old. Last time I looked at it I saw what I didn’t capture, and it was worthless to me. Tonight I looked again and saw what I captured.

2. I know a girl, who, when she was very young, had trouble with her speech. Actually, her vowels, and the pitch and rhythm of her words, were perfect. The problem was consonants—many of them gave her trouble. She became good at substituting easier for harder: ds for js, for example. But she also learned to substitute whole words in order to avoid the ones she had trouble saying clearly. You could see her working, sometimes, around what she knew she couldn’t pronounce. Her language was richer for it. I miss it, sometimes, even while I’m thankful for how clearly and easily she now speaks.

These are forms of found I have fallen in love with.

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Sunday, March 29, 2015

Found, Day 40

I love the colors in this window so much—not just the colors, though, but the way they work together, the way they gather light and seep into a kind of unity. And bear with me—I couldn’t get a good picture, so I distorted my blurry picture even more to make it match, roughly, what the colors seem to do in real life. And do you see the six pink squares at the bottom? There is no other pink anywhere else in the window, and I wonder about this. The color does something, I just haven’t decided what. For now, it speaks of mystery, and surprise, and something tender. Which fits.

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Saturday, March 28, 2015

Found, Day 39

So it was one of those days spent running from one thing to the next. And so much stuff I intended to take care of that got nowhere near touched. It was both frustrating and full of small graces. Which makes it kind of a normal day, I guess.

There must be thousands of ways, every day, to find your own heart. And lose it, and find it again. Mostly in small ways, and hidden, even while they are the points upon which entire worlds turn. 

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Friday, March 27, 2015

Found, Day 38

This morning the sound of a robin going crazy broke through the dark, through the morning blear, and found me. Oh, new day. Tired, but still—

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