Thursday, October 27, 2011

joy in the morning

Last night I was curled up in the corner chair in my bedroom, feasting on the sight of the roses Nate got me, dreaming of adding a rose essential oil to my collection of scents, wanting more roses in my life. I felt so much happiness looking at a picture I just put in that corner of me at 10 curled up in a chair reading The Secret Garden.

Today I walked to the coffee shop with a princess and a dragon. On the way they requested blueberry muffins, and the last two were waiting for us when we walked in.

I paused to savor this quote as we moved along to the park.

We meandered very slowly back up the hill. Ella's princess crown was hurting her head so I stuck it on my own. I was able to not rush and let them stop to exclaim over ivy leaves shaped like hearts, rainbow oil stains on the road shaped like moose, diamonds in a spiderweb. We turned an alley corner and discovered a profusion of white roses climbing like it was April. I moved to pick one for each girl - surely the owner wouldn't mind - but then felt graspy and guilty, like it would be stealing.

We slowed wayyyy down at the sound of a fountain. Normally you can't peek through the fence of this particular house because it's so contained by blooming life - a secret garden. I could see a bit of the fountain today, though. My lucky day! Sometime I'm going to have to get up the guts to ask the owner if we can go through the gate.

The girls and I stopped to smell one more pink rose near the front of the house. A man turned the corner. "That's the last rose of the season. Enjoy it."

"Is this your garden?"

"Yes. Come here."

He opened the gate and I told the girls this was a very special day. We exclaimed over the floating silver balls in the fountain, and moved along the trail imagining what it would look like in summer.

He picked the girls each a small pink rose from high up overhead. They thanked him shyly.

We continued towards home. Ella chattered, "This was the magic day! I wish Dad could see these!" I thought about the stories I tell them at night sometimes where they are princesses wearing silks and jewels, and everyone they love is there, including King Dad, and there are tasty foods like blueberry muffins we all eat together.


It was King Dad's laugh. We turned around and he was crossing the street on a walk. The girls got hugs and he smelled the roses. Miracles about us always.

Wednesday, October 26, 2011

week from satan

I know everybody loves a good "At least my life isn't that bad!" post. (My friend Maretta was having a bad day right when the NYT article came out and I said "Well, I just announced that I had to file bankruptcy in the biggest newspaper in the world" and she said "I know, and it makes me feel better.") So I will indulge y'all again.

Last week Nate's childhood dog Casey died so we cried together most of the night Wednesday. I was carless because mine is in the shop being fixed for some hail damage that occurred in June; I have been saving up to meet my $750 deductible and it's taken me this long to finally get it fixed. 4 minutes straight of 4 inch hail (the size of my palm) created $9011 worth of needed repairs.

Friday morning I am backing Nate's car down his driveway. CRUNCH. Bumper peels off. $1600 worth of damage. Yes, we both have insurance, but now we both have no car and turns out they are going to put this on his record because he is the car's owner. (NOT FAIR - and worst case scenario. I can still pay for it but it will make his premium go up and nothing makes you feel guiltier or like a worse driver than affecting someone else's financial life with your ineptness.)

Yesterday morning, I return the rental car I got over the weekend. "Come out here, m'am." There is a scratch on the lower right front (potentially caused by me but I don't remember hearing it happen and I was watching for it) and another one above the right wheel that looks old and weathered. They are foisting that one on me because I did not notice it when we did the walk-around before I drove off with the car.

Another $500. I started crying. 5 Enterprise rental employees got to see my snot.

The good news is, while walking all over downtown Nashville yesterday I crossed 4 bridges and at no point thought about jumping off of any of them. I love my life. And at the end of the day I came home to a handsome caring man holding these and he let me cry in his arms again.

Love is what life is about and for. Cars and money are just the purgatorial parts. (But you still might want to do what Nate and I have done, which is to add rental car & towing insurance to your policy, and drop your deductibles to $250 for collision. That means $15 less a month we each get to spend on margaritas to help us deal with this shit, but in the long run it will be worth it.)

Thursday, October 13, 2011

signs of love

I know. My brain is just wired to make associations more than the average person's. Or maybe going through a shit time primes your brain to more easily notice and make associations. Whatever it is - I don't mind it and I do feel love in it.

I keep seeing crowns. Usually a pattern of imagery has dropped off my radar by now (I started noticing them over a month ago) but it continues. After visiting my friend Carlen and feeling elated from having given her love and energy, I noticed I was staring at a side road called Crown Point. That's about one in 100 I have seen in the last 3-4 weeks, always at times when I'm thinking about something good.

In the middle of class at Belmont last week, the Professor quoted Frederick Buechner's mentor talking about "Christ always being crowned inside us." I thought, hmmmmmm...

The other things I keep seeing are license plates o' love. Nate and I were driving a couple weeks ago behind a van with the license plate of "B3TH3NY." I laughed as we passed them; they had a Hawaiian rainbow lei draped over their rear view mirror just like me. Then two weeks ago, "BUNCHEZ" while I was heading out to visit Nate; that's one of his primary nicknames for me. (Long form, Bunches of Love.) Then yesterday, while calling my friend Jenny for no reason, "SWEET B." She's the only person in my life who refers to me as B. It is so good to be named. Particularly by random license plates.

(Also in class last week, before this third license plate showed up, I mentioned loving a story of Buechner's in which he described being pulled over on the side of the road in intense anguish about his daughter's anorexia and being passed by a car with the license plate TRUST. The owner of the car eventually read Buechner's writing about the experience and found his house to give him the license plate; years later it is still his favorite icon of love in his study.)

Thursday, October 6, 2011

crying about Steve

"Remembering that 'I'll be dead soon' is the most important tool I've ever encountered to help me make the big choices in life. Remembering that you are going to die is the best way I know to avoid the trap of thinking you have something to lose.

No one wants to die. Even people who want to go to heaven don't want to die to get there. And yet, death is the destination we all share. No one has ever escaped it. And that is as it should be, because death is the single best invention of life.

It's life change agent. It clears out the old to make way for the new. Right now the new is you, but someday not too long from now, you will gradually become the old, and be cleared away. Sorry to be so dramatic, but it's quite true. Your time is limited, so don't waste it living someone else's life. Don't be trapped by dogma, which is living with the results of other people's thinking. Don't let the noise of others' opinions drown out your own inner voice.

If this were the last day of my life, would I want to do what I am about to do today?"