Saturday, July 9, 2016

Lines from May, Part 1

This is the earliest I've gone to bed in... a very long time. Probably sometime in January.

Pilgrim Church was beautiful. Seeing people really care for each other. It is so good to see all kinds of people welcome at a church. And provided for. BAGS of leftover Panera bread, a full lunch of barbecue chicken, potato salad, fresh vegetables, banana pudding. The kids involved in the music (drumming) and collection of offerings. Little C's proud, crinkly smile at being chosen to pass the basket was priceless.
Ashamed to find myself protective and self-justifying in a church like that, though. Reminded with such grace and beauty that we are all abject sinners in need of the same Savior. Glory. And they made me very welcome.

G drove me to Amherst.

The hours with GB & GK so far have been lovely. A tour, wine and cheese and crackers, a long luscious meal. We watched birds. We talked aging, politics, food, art, family and friends.

Lord, thank You.
God, this is real.
I am Yours, Jesus.

Lord, there are such flavors. The flavor of belonging is one of them. There is such sweetness, that makes the eyes little pools.

I had breakfast late again this morning. Heard GB sing, "Good morning to you" to the tune of "Happy Birthday" when GK came out, but I drifted in and out of sleep a while longer. Later A came to work on the sun porch.
GK took me to the Peabody Essex Museum, which was really enjoyable, and dropped me off at Hendrickson, where I got to tour and meet a lot of people.
It was a joyous experience, and flatteringly embarrassing as well (many of them had heard of me). Fun talks with C's coworkers.
We walked by "Turtle" and "Oblong" Ponds, and came back to the apartment for a bit, before going out for Portuguese & talking lots. S was HOME and FINISHED with her exam when we returned. She made amazing cookies, we all had peppermint tea and talked and laughed and listened to S read "The Art of Eating" by MFK Fisher.
Mm, famerly.
We prayed and nestled down. I'm so glad I'm here, even though it's hard to miss things back home. Please knit me closer.
Thank You for what You're teaching me.

"Assyria cannot save us;
we will not mount warhorses.
We will never again say, 'Our gods'
to what our own hands have made,
for in you the fatherless find

"I am like a flourishing juniper;
your fruitfulness comes from me."

- Hosea 14:3, 8c

Hello Ageless One.
How is it I care more than ever about my roots, my context, my family? I don't feel so much like a floater now. All this richness. People who somehow love me and make places for me.

THANK YOU for all the gifts embedded in this day. Sibling love. Good things to eat/drink. Fresh air. Laughter. MM standing and waiting at the door as UT drove off. R conking out. MM singing to him. The story of the woman with 99 kids. The offer to do laundry. And the natural way MM included me in meal prep and cleanup.

Make my heart true. I'm overflowing, but maybe cracking too.
Heal me with Your potter's hands.
My Lover.

5. (C's BD, Cinco de Mayo, Ascension Day)
I love being cared for, but not molly-coddled. And I don't just mean by people. You're so good to me, pushing and comforting, challenging and consoling. Giving me flavors I've never tasted, or had forgotten about. The smells of my kin. Damp woods. Dog tongue on the soles of my feet. Exquisite paintings, wherein you begin to sense the soul of the artist. Did I forget that could happen? Did I forget that You delight in me, actually singing? That You remember more than I ever could in my careful keepsake brain, and weave back motifs?
Jesus. Please place me in the thick of this trip. Take and make the most of each day, centering me in You, channeling Your love through me. You know all I want this to be. But I know You want more. Do it. Give us YOU.

Thank You for GE's gracious, patient nature. He drove us to the Isabella Stewart Gardner and back. That was rich & consonant. Satisfying. It hurt.
We had dinner ~10:15, but impressively, GOODNIGHT.

Do You know how sweet & dear You are to me?

"Did you get enough love my little dove? Why do you cry?" (Sufjan)
Because you meet me and fill me like a floodplain, like a sail in the wind.
How did this happen, again? All over again, traveling the best way:
from arms to arms.

MM & GE this morning (MM waiting at the door, beautiful and blue, R mimicking her stance from the side yard). M buying me lemon tea for our hour+ at Sunnyside, R picking me up to take me back to the seminary, and a beautiful afternoon catching up.  Lentil soup for the soul. Hard, heart-wrenching news. Quiet conversation, laughter, soft music on the record player. Their miraculous flowering plant.
And the Ws. Enjoying their home, their pet rabbit, cooking and eating chili, sharing books, talking and praying and making my bed on the couch.
What treasures, cheapening gold and diamonds.
Bless them, Father. Answer our prayers.

Please fill us with Your peace tonight. Fit all the pieces of tomorrow into place, as faithfully as You did today.
You are our one true delight. My eyes & my mouth & my soul are hungry for You. Purify us, bring us Your truth.

This was a day to remember. Thick and sharp and shifting. I don't have many words for what I feel. I don't really know how to think about this, or You, and I'm troubled but tired, and I trust You, too.
This morning you woke me early, sweetly, after a satisfactory night (despite the rabbit's noises). C took me to breakfast at the diner and to an old Jesuit retreat center to walk and talk till our shoes were soggy.
I had just enough time to rest and write in the library before R picked me up. I made our lunch, we came back for the show. It was amazing. A rush. I actually barely finished looking through it in the 2 hours, because of all the people. And I didn't eat or drink.
S picked me up, we went back to pork loin and scalloped potatoes (Julia Childs style), with fermy veg and a movie, and chocolate. C drove me here, where I had a lovely time L & V, catching up. Now sleep... if You're willing. Help me. Bless my Mama.

Dear High Priest,
Plead for me. Speak on my behalf.
Now is when I value Your jealousy; don't lose me.
But let me lose myself, utterly if necessary. Bring me to the bottom if need be. Just don't let me out of Your sight for a moment.
Let me feel Your hands. Let me not deceive myself. Let me see truly, even if that means it's only a few things, nearby.
This was a grace day. Clinging to grace.
Beautiful sleep, showering & eating scrumptious mushroom&onion&cheese scramble and toast and cappuccino with V & A(!). Bestefar sending C to the door to find me. Meeting neighbor S, going to First Congregational and finding it so life-giving.
I loved being with Bestefar. Organizing, talking. He showed me the new arrangement upstairs, had me look through old photos for the portrait. Shared his stash of honey (including Norwegian honey circa 1991). He wanted to send me back with something, so he gave me a Shaw Publishing mug that had been given to Miss E. We had tea and went to meet G at Captain Dusty's.
G and I enjoyed our drive, despite traffic. Got a tour of Boston, including the financial district, and saw the portion of the Berlin wall. We enjoyed "family dinner" here, it was a Roman meal. Pontius Pilate food. We finished with Haitian liqueur and ice cream with syrupy Italian almond paste.

I hermitted up here for a while, and drew an anime logo for G while we sang and talked. Hair playing and back massaging. Prayer. Bed. Tears first.
Guide me. You are gracious to me, Jehovah Jireh. All I have is Yours, You know. Do whatever You want with me. Destroy me. I know You won't waste me, careful Maker.

9. (On the Megabus)
After the coma brought on my a thick chocolate milkshake and a week of 6 beds, I'm waking up to Lincoln Park.
The phone-talker behind me just finished their 2nd conversation punctuated with squawks of laughter.
The trees outside are fleshing out with leaves, full but still tender. We passed a small cluster of homes, and between them and the highway I saw two brown arms sticking out of the tall grass, holding up a newspaper. I discovered it to be a 50s-ish Indian man in rust-pink shorts, his head propped on a rucksack.

G walked me to the Upham's Corner T stop this morning. I found myself wanting to capture scene after scene of the house, before I left. Sunlight on the fustian decadence. Fading, cluttered elegance. Old Puddingstone lurking behind the wall of chairs. G's fresh face. The little bottle of maple syrup someone left on the front porch.
Very glad we sent me on the early train. I was completely discombobulated by the MBTA area, and had to ask directions to the buses. The drive has been mostly pleasant, dozy. I've found I love the upper level, midsection, on the right, and the view it proffers of the trees, or of tombstones encrusting a slope like barnacles. I've been trying to pray. Letting more thoughts come, trying not to fear them. Savoring the voices & embraces of my loves.

I dared the salmon yesterday, unscathed. While he prepared our food, Bestefar remarked how nice it is to have another presence in the house, making noise (mostly paper rustling as I organized piles of mail; we were both humming/whistling intermittently as well). The gnomes still cling to the bathroom mirror and by the front door. Even notes I left the caregivers are still upstairs in the closet. It smells the same. Sea salt, perfume, old furniture.

We are all human. Adam and Eve, glory and shame, and miles upon miles of grace.

And like that, here I am again at home. You were so gracious, so jolly, giving me a 30 minute advantage so I could use the loo and still catch the Great Valley Flyer, getting me home an hour earlier than anticipated!
Home. To people, and mail, and wonderful familiar things. Studio clutter. Old shirts from J. Mixed greens heaped with tuna salad. Corny old "Battlestar Galactica" with Dad. A long big hug from J. Catching up & prayer with Mom.

This empathy is a gift and a curse. Why, God?
You promised. Don't hide from us. Don't give up on us. I am even processing anger at You, and confusion. And fear. Show me the truth. The whole truth, and nothing but the truth.
So help me God.

Your Word is full of familiar secrets. Secret familiars. Lamentations 3 was the most comforting thing You gave me.

Thanks for YAs too. For "Great is Thy Faithfulness" with N and L.
Thanks for the friends You've given me. My Lover. Don't stop.

My eyes are shrinking and my face is sagging. It is time for bed. But not before these fierce and stubborn blessings.
Sinned have I. Father me bless. You are the original Father, and the exceptional One: You understand Your children, always. And I need that. I don't understand myself. My room might be the top of a pyramid, sliding down from any direction. Only You know if this season is succulent or full of mold, but whatever it is, it's Yours. It's Your problem now.
As am I. Help me stop trying so hard.
Please, please comb through this head of tangles. Even if it takes all night. Even if my scalp gets raw, and bleeds, and I scare myself with my own neuroses. I feel You. You give me things I don't know how to name. You make the wisest psychology laughable. There is no other, there is nothing else. Jesus Christ, Son of the living God, have mercy on me, a sinner.

YHWH, Messiah, Paraclete,
You're going to have to help me through all this loss. You wooed me, from a child. Why has my spirit been so sensitive to Yours? Why can't he feel You? Am I, too, deluding myself? Seeing, feeling, thinking only what I want to? Letting in only what confirms, counting it a virtue to be ignorant of any contrary claims?
There are so many branches to this.
You'll also have to teach me to pray again. I feel betrayed. And I can't really pray to You without trusting You.
I don't know how we get grace (or "get" grace), apart from You.

Oh, You are the best friend and kisser a girl could ever ask for. A just called. Just called. We prayed. About the jamboree, about me & You. You do let me know You're there. I love You.

Thanks for the chance to pray with A again tonight, covering her first night in the new house. Please do protect her. Purify my heart and mind, my intentions.
I'm really twisted; I justify myself. But I want to be clear and true as crystal, as water, as air. The things we love clean. Help me keep my word, and trust You to keep Yours. Please, arrest me. Move in and through me.

When you write a poem / I know the words / I know the sounds / before you write it down / And when you wear your clothes / I wear them too / I wear your shoes / and your jacket too.

Thanks, Suf. God bless Vito, wherever he is.
Thanks for renewed blessing today. Simple and unmistakable. Hope.

Continue to fool me, to prove me wrong. Surprise me. Thanks for being my Rescuer and leaving no doubt of Your love. It would be bald stupidity to deny how badly I need both.

No comments:

Post a Comment