Thursday, July 14, 2016

Lines from May, Part 2

Thanks. I'm a miserably comfortable doofus. But You are so, so kind. You sock me with wonder just when I'm calcifying. You answer little prayers I didn't mean, or didn't say. You dress me like You love me. You give me perfect timing. You remind me of things I forgot, and make me put my mug down in safe places, unconsciously. You use shallowness to repel me back to You, and sophisticated trash to send me gasping back to simplicity, in Your arms.

Will I ever learn this? Give it time. Not just, "ignore and go elsewhere", but "pay attention much longer than you like, past comfort, past desire."

I want whatever treasures You have hidden out in fields. I want what's under Your tongue. What's running through Your veins. Please be patient as You teach me how to die and live with You.

Jesus answered, "My teaching is not my own. It comes from him who sent me. 
If anyone chooses to do God's will, he will find out whether my teaching comes from God or whether I speak on my own."
- John 7:16-17 NIV

I've read this chapter multiple times in the last couple of days, and 17 is underlined, but it seems to be the part I breeze through. Son of God. Make me slam into You. I feel heavy with the need to confess right now, and uncomfortable in my comfort. Where is this guilt coming from? Is something wrong? I will never learn to be faithful and true unless I look at You. And You can't help me filter this waterfall unless I hold up my end of the sieve.
Gory madness. Butterfly kisses. Breakdowns into sheepish humility. Never enough words, or the right kind. I'm trying to get at what I need to write...
I'd like You to help me not be distracted by what I don't know and can't know, anyway. "Here is the time for the Tellable, here is its home." (Rilke). Tomorrow looms. Weft and womb.
Please renew me and our bond. Help me wake to pray again tonight.

Things that made me happy today:

Reading chapter after chapter of "The Castle of Llyr" (I did finish it).
Putting my hair up. There's such pleasure in that taut, airy feeling.
The sun on my head & arms as I paced the deck and walked, reading.
Thick living green everywhere.
Sunset through rain droplets.
Watching the "Benton's Hallucinations" contra video, until I was giddy with it.
Pulling into the driveway.
Joking with Mom and Dad at lunch.
Sharing blueberry cobbler with Dad.
Psalm 23.

Please and thank You. Make me grow despite myself. Think through my thoughts. Want me, and love me, and make me love You. Make me like You: the gentlest & the bravest, the wisest & kindest. Funniest & most serious. Obedient & free. Help me cut loose every weight that would keep me from obeying You, acting swiftly and willingly when You ask me to sacrifice.
I could have an attitude. But I want humility. I want You as my only fragrance, my sole inheritance.
"Gracious and righteous is the LORD,
therefore will he teach sinners in the way."
-Psalm 25:7

Jesus. I'm asking You to replace me with Yourself tonight. I'm not in this. I don't know where I am... too many places. I want to be present, and self-forgetful, and full of love, and ready to listen. And I'm not ready. I don't know what You can do in 20 minutes, but... please do it. You know how I need You. How I'm nothing but a little cup for You to fill with clear water. Maybe You can even turn me into wine. Just don't let me get in the way of what You're doing.
Protect me. Delight in me. Use me.
(P.S. Thanks for the scones)

Outdoors (the world) was clean today. Fresh, and lissome. Under stars, it was luminescent, even without the moon. The air moved in currents like the sea: swathes of residual heat rising, tides of chilliness tugging from the shadows. The catalpa trunk was still warm and fragrant. Hickle's leaves spread out like the skin on the palm of a hand, taut and smooth. The earth smelled like hope. Down at grass level it moved gently, damp and musky, like the breath of a sleeping dog.


Hold lamb
Eat baklava (again)
Go back to Orvieto
Love & marriage & a baby wrap
Attend a "Challenging Contra" dance
Be present at a death
Be present at a birth (re- works too)
Paint using gold leaf
Memorize John
Weep passionately in public
Finish recording "The Princess and Curdie"
Write a will

"I miss you. Period."
That made me put down my phone awhile. Life charges on, and we spread different directions, and yet sometimes wonder if we've grown at all. My daily sauerkraut routine is reminiscent of senior year, when L laughed at me as I shoveled in a spoonful over the sink. Tonight I grimaced over a bowl, in the dim stove light, pacing in a circle under the circling fan.

It was a warm day today. But the early morning was lovely, and my nighttime nausea never blossomed, so I drove out at 5:15 for prayer. Only C came, so we talked a while and parted. Early-late mornings throw me off a bit. I was so tired most of the day. I want more joy for my tasks. I want to sit for a minute and think about what my current "not yet" looks like, and marvel: 11 commissions? 3 of them currently underway? Who ever knew I'd be so... employed?

Help me to love. To look at myself "the way one looks at distant things" (Milosz). To be content and brave. To believe "there [is] something other than this bog."
Pour all Your sweetness into tomorrow. All Your maple syrup, luscious devastating honey, so carefully collected by sacrifice. Let our dance be true welcome and communion, focused and self-forgetful, a wild worship, a healing contact.
Spin my words out of me and put Your cup to my lips.

What a beautiful and costly thing it is to love, and be loved. To be connected in such a way that tremors are felt across miles, across oceans. Bride of Christ, grow strong.
Lord, You'll have to teach me how to be needed. How to be free in the midst of it. I'm stuck on my own notion of independence. But I have nothing that I did not receive. And I will never be happy serving myself. Be my LORD & Brother & Bridegroom all over again.
Make me a friend You can trust, Jesus.

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