Saturday, July 28, 2007

July 28, 1997

I'm going to be busy these next few days, so I'm posting this a little bit early. Happy weekend, everyone ~

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You're my peace of mind
In this crazy world
You're everything

I've tried to find
Your love is a pearl
You're my Mona Lisa
You're my rainbow skies
And my only prayer

Is that you realize
You'll always be beautiful

n my eyes

10 years ago today, this song was playing on a houseboat in a quiet cove. The day before was 105 degrees. This day, it was raining.

Our families weren't there. Only a handful of friends and a local minister. We had a handwritten marriage license from a small nearby town, over which we had to swear we weren't first cousins or closer.

We were barefoot. He wore a red vest, bowtie, and black swim trunks. I had a thin lace dress on over my yellow swimsuit. He hadn't grown the goatee yet that he's now had for many years. I'd quit smoking about 18 months before, and was a little on the chunky side because of it.

We weren't babes in the woods - we'd both been casualties of previous wars of the heart. But we were ready and passionate to try again, together.

The world will turn and the seasons will change
And all the lessons we will learn
will be beautiful and strange
We'll have our fill of tears
Our share of sighs
My only prayer is that you realize
You'll always be beautiful in my eyes

10 years of moments have passed. Some happy, some heartbreaking. And we are still here - The weathering of time and trial polishing and honing us into gems. We're not the same people we were then, but we are under the same union. We grow and change, laugh and cry, process and forgive. For better or for worse.

There are lines upon my face from a lifetime of smiles
And when the time comes to embrace
For one long last while
We can laugh about how time really flies
We won't say goodbye
Because true love never dies
You'll always be beautiful in my eyes

There's a fashionable trend of "renewing" wedding vows on milestone anniversaries. I don't see the point. My vows will never expire.

You will always be beautiful in my eyes
And the passing years will show
That you will always grow
Ever more beautiful in my eyes.

Happy 10th anniversary Hub. I love you.

Wednesday, July 25, 2007

Inventions and Epiphanies

I've been watching a show off and on lately called American Inventor. Contestants present an idea they have for an invention to a panel of judges. Some have rudimentary protoypes while others have only ideas and drawings. But the judges evaluate the ideas and a lucky few move on to the next round. Design teams and marketing firms assist the inventors in further developing their ideas, and the inventors must re-present their product against a much more rigid criteria.

It's an interesting show to me - watching these neat ideas come to fruition. The one thing that bothers me is a lot of great ideas, with potential to drastically change lives, are rejected in the name of mass marketing. Take for example, the hand-held translator which could aid the deaf community in conversing with the hearing without the use of an interpreter. It lost out to an under-the-kitchen-cabinet plasticwrap and tinfoil dispenser. And there was also the lightweight wheelchair design which could be collapsed, assembled and lifted with only one hand (a very appreciated feature to the disabled person I'm sure) that lost out to a computer program that helps you design your own working paper model cars and airplanes.

Don't get me wrong, all these inventions are fantastic and I'm not saying the wrap dispenser or the paper model designer didn't deserve a shot (actually, I really love the model program and will probably buy one for myself if it ever becomes available!). But it's a shame that ideas that could really make a difference in someone's quality of life were pushed aside in interest of sales numbers. But I guess that's the name of the game. And just because one effort doesn't revolutionize the world as much as another might, it doesn't mean it won't be of great benefit in its own way.

I wish I could come up with a cool idea.

I've been thinking about the task of changing my own life lately. I've been recently thinking a lot about the adage of serving the Lord and this leading to a happy heart, but I often struggle with this. I converse with God quite often throughout the day - little impromptu chats in my head. But I am not always dwelling on scriptures. I'm not always humming praise choruses or compiling a list of what to thank Him for during my evening prayers. I'm never on alert for someone to convert. I rarely wake up in the morning with the first thought of, "Okay, how can I glorify Christ today?". And as I've said frequently lately, I'm often of mood most foul, laden with worry about one thing or another. In fact, don't tell anybody, but I think I might even like having my panties in a bunch about something sometimes. You may find this hard to believe but I can be a little dramatic now and then.

But an epiphany so simple came over me today, and it's going to relieve my stress and pressure I tend to place on myself so much. "Serving the Lord" doesn't always have to be explosive evangelism or gushing hymns of praise in the streets. Serving the Lord can be accomplished by simply going about what I need to do on a daily basis - Doing what I am supposed to be doing in my routines, with a joyful heart. Performing my job. Caring for my family. Doing my part in maintaining a harmonious living space for us. Spending time teaching and playing with my son. Loving my husband. Listening to and comforting a burdened friend. Treating strangers with courtesy. Helping someone who needs help.

All of these things serve the Lord. All of these things make Him happy because they reflect His compassion for all of us. It's all so simple. I love it when I finally get something.

You'd think after being a Christian for 30 years, even a half-butted one, I'd know a little more than I do about living right.

Monday, July 23, 2007

I'm Still Here!

People do not live in the present always, at one with it. They live at all kinds of and manners of distance from it, as difficult to measure as the course of the planets. Fears and traumas make their journeys slanted, peripheral, uneven, evasive.
-- Anais Nin

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Do not conform any longer to the pattern of this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind. Then you will be able to know God's will for you.
-- Romans 12:2

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You know, I haven't just been goofing off the whole time I've been away. I've actually been doing some pretty serious self-evaluation. It's been kind of ugly too, and I've spared you thus far. You should thank me, seriously. But your luck's run out.

Anyone who's visited Clew's Blues even a few times will know that although I do not make it a focal point of my blog (this is mainly my creative writing playground), I am a Christian and seek my refuge in the Lord. Well, theoretically anyway. I say it that way - because additionally, I struggle fairly regularly with depression. Why, I can't really tell you. I've lived through some rough experiences, but collectively no rougher than most other people I wouldn't say. Still, I've somehow allowed these experiences to skew my general attitude way too easily. The slightest arbitrary trigger has the power to send me reeling into the blues. Remembering some long past derailment will often haunt me for days or weeks. Any given comment or event may bounce off me one day and completely infuriate me the next. I sometimes take things way too personally, and have my feelings shredded as if they were made of tissue paper.

This is NOT fertile soil for the Lord's garden.

I'm a poster child for what Anais Nin referred in my first quote tonight. My arms length relationship with my folks, my unhappy adolescence, my trainwreck past relationships, and a lovely crabgrass bouquet of trust betrayals and backstabs have cultivated a dense thicket around my heart. My past skews my present and robs my future. I now tend to keep most all people at a comfortable distance from ever really knowing me (even under the guise of anonymity in blogland), and I retreat into a defense mode shell very quickly. In the course of slamming the shutters on all my windows and bolting my doors, I also do a good job of blocking out any light which would otherwise luminate my path. I sabotage my own joy. Because I am too busy glaring at my feet and cursing my own name under the weight of self-inflicted yokes, I miss so much of the beautiful walk I am on.

I'll be honest with you all. I also haven't written much in the last several months because I have felt nothing worthy of writing about. In this beautiful and blessed life, rich with friends and love and experiences, I have been blind to my own prosperity. My heart has been bound by and has retreated in the shadow of phantoms manifesting from long past heartaches. I've allowed these ghosts of my past to completely reshape my present.

I'm pretty sick of myself, to be honest. I'm disgusted that despite the fact that I am a child of God, I constantly allow the Devil to steal my peace by distracting me with things I should have let go of many years ago. I'm being attacked through my heart's most vulnerable areas. Sooo typical - and sooo effective.

But that's also what lets me know I'm on the right track. The right track sends the Devil into panic mode, and he throws massive poopstorms at me. Sometimes it works, and I careen back to square one, far from God. But other times - despite the static, I am more happy and at peace than at any other time. And when I have the guts to let go of my scars and allow my mind and heart to be transformed, the Lord's voice invariably separates from the din of all else that's rattling in my head.

I really need that clarity right now.

I was discussing Christianity with one of my best friends this weekend. We've known each other for 20 years but have rarely if ever talked about religion (we have both always been live and let live - it's the artists in us) ... She's been struggling with some things and has recently developed an interest in seeking the help of a Higher Power. As I was telling her how I personally believe that all we need to know to live a happy life can be found in the scripture of the Bible and the triune God has the power to heal her heart and lift the weight of her burdens if she allowed herself to be open to His gifts, I was internally convicted that I need to listen to my own words. She unknowingly pointed out many things to me as well, simply by wanting to talk.

We've always been there for each other. Seems this was no exception :) LOL

I've been tested a lot over the years. But trials and tests are a refining tool, not a sign of being foresaken. I have the power to release the anchors which drag me down. Somehow I've forgotten to let go. I'm trying hard to relearn how to allow Him to direct me, and to trust Him even when I can't track Him - because clearly I have NO idea how to navigate these waters on my own.

Many thanks for reading thus far. For now I have reverted to the original intention of this blog, which was self therapy and self exploration. In time I do plan to get back to my fanciful storytelling and cockeyed observances of the world around me. But for now until an undetermined date, I am studying myself. Try not to look so bored ;).

Friday, July 20, 2007

Old Pictures

I'm working on a new post, honest. Till I can get it down, I thought I'd share my latest diversion and the newest member of my blogroll.

Everyone knows I love old pictures. Whispers of lives long past, lingering like ghostly fingerprints. Famous subjects or ordinary people, identities lost to the winds of time - it doesn't matter. They're all fascinating.

I recently stumbled across this absolute gem of a blog,

Blogger Paul McWhorter posts interesting old finds daily - I've gotten so I look forward to each one. Give him a visit!

Be back soon ~

Friday, July 06, 2007

The Latest Batch of Nothing

I was hoping to brew up a deep, meaningful, reflective post that would make up for my absence of late. But it's not coming. Yes though, I'm still around. I'm really testing the loyalty of my blog friends, I know. But we all need a vacation now and then to refresh and regroup, right? I've just needed a long one I guess. I hope you're all well!

I cut my hair last week. I went from waist-length hair to shoulder-length hair, and I'm still getting used to it. It's shorter than I'd normally go ... okay, to be honest my hair hasn't been this short since high school. And it's kind of freaking me out.

But I suffer this strange follicular amputation for reasons other than near-middle-age identity crisis. I donated my hair to a foundation that makes wigs for children battling cancer, who have lost their hair during chemo treatments. I didn't do it to be a hero - I did it to be nice. I prefer my hair to be longer than it is now. But it seemed ridiculous to leave 6 or 7 inches of hair on the floor when only a few more inches can help rebuild a little life. My hair will grow back. And hopefully what was becoming a nuisance to me can now be a blessing to someone else.

I spent the better part of my afternoon at an exhibit today. The exhibit displays the intricate inner structure of the human body through dissected human specimens preserved with acetone and polymer. Individual body parts and systems were on display, but also complete bodies, many posed in actions such as playing basketball, sitting with a drawing pad, and conducting an orchestra.

If you thought about it too much it was a little creepy - but I'm way too fascinated by science and forensics to let it get to me.

The exhibit was fabulous. I went during what is normally a work day for me and most of the population, so the exhibit was not crowded. In fact there were times I was completely alone in the rooms with these displays. I had lots of nice, quiet, unrushed time to spend reading and studying. Learning and wondering.

There are several similar exhibits touring around the country and the world. If you ever have a chance to see an exhibit like this, GO. It was amazing.