Numb tongue packing it up

17 June 2014



Spent the evening driving around in the heavy rain to run errands for my flight out tomorrow.  Bought some face paint for the African kiddies.  And picked up a John Grisham novel because my international travel trips always require such.  Wouldn't be a rightful orphanage sleepover without closing the day with some law drama. 

My buddy kept me company by playing a game I titled "4,000 Questions."  I promised him it would be fun, and that I would give him a star afterwards - A REAL star in the night sky.  So he agreed.  Hours later, he had to coax me to get off my bed and finish packing, promising to hum my favorite country song.  So I did.   

Bribery is serious around here.

Then I finally checked my voicemail from my best friend, Steff.  Called during one of my 78 meetings today.

"Hey Chantel! just calling to chat---oh gall, I just saw my reflection and I look INSANE!  Anyway, give me a call"

Going to Africa in the morning.  Call in 3 weeks.

"What the H---?  Ok, good luck!"

Sometimes I forget to mention things to people.  On that note, just accidentally bit down on my sleeping pill and it's numbing my entire tongue.  Trying to accumulate enough spit to dry swallow always backfires.  Passing out so I can fly across the entire globe.  Must. Steal. Giraffe.


Friends, I'll miss you.  Love you all.

Upward and onward,




Numb little tongue


Image Source

Hairy sharing is caring

16 June 2014




[earlier story inspired this one.]


My natural locks are okay when I come out of a pool, scrunch a bit, and air-dry in the sun.  Which is different than air-drying after a shower, because somehow bugs and grime make natural, pretty waves and cleanliness makes horrifying ones.

And, add even one flick of humidity, and suddenly a lion's mane erupts and I am now in a genetic, self-made witness protection program.  And all I can do is scream I DON'T KNOW WHAT'S HAPPENING, while my hair takes over the whole Earth.

I'm not kidding.

When I was at the passport gate in India, trying to head back to the States, the Indian woman refused to let me enter because she firmly believed I was offering her a stolen passport.  No lady, that is me.  

"Ma'am, this is not you.  Cannot let you enter.  Must have your correct passport."

That's all I got.  That IS me.

And we went back and forth.  She shook her head.  And I begged and pleaded, which because of my severe exhaustion, was really just fatigued puffs of air.  Life is too tiring so you really have to pick your battles, ya know?  Needing to get into my homecountry....  Not that important.

Finally, I smiled.  Because it was funny.

"OOOoooh ma'am.  This is you.  I see it now."

Then she slid my passport back through the window and pushed some magic button that let me pass.  Kelli had been waiting on the other side of the gate for the last 25 minutes, laughing.

"Really?  Do I really look THAT unrecognizable that my smile is all I got?"

Then we proceeded to walk through the terminals, and as we passed a reflective glass wall, I jumped.  Literally.

here.

I guess after spending a week working in an orphanage in a humid 3rd world country, what was I really expecting to look like?  A runway model?

My hair had expanded into a voluminous frizzy mess, after being braided and brushed and re-braided by hundreds of little girl hands.  Not to mention my hair was flashing and dripping with gallons of body glitter.  Because Kelli bought some from a beggar on the ghat in Varanasi and gave it to the girls at the orphanage.  And somehow that was dumped all over me.  And also toenail polish, that I also gave them control over, which is still all over my flip-flops to this day, and probably still streaked through some part of my hair.  And we're not even going to talk about my face or my clothes or what I smelled like, because after three weeks in India, I'm not sure people would want to know.

The same thing happened after three weeks in the Philippines, which is comparably humid.  I wasn't clobbered by an entire orphanage with every rainbow streaming thing, but I DID live on a completely destroyed island for half a week, sleeping in dirt puddles and puking off the side of a storm-raging boat.  So, needless to say, when mine and Mace's flight landed back in Seattle, I went to the bathroom to run some water through my hair.  First hugging the God-blessed pipes that so freely bring water to us at whatever temperature we desire.  Then I came out of the bathroom, and I saw Mace's face freeze in shock for a moment.  Yes, I can look like NOT a wild animal.  You had forgotten, hadn't you?

So, basically, I'm not really sure if I should tell a serious suitor this problem before or after some precious metal exchanges.  I think I should probably just suggest we go to some exotic island for our honeymoon.  And then I'll hover quietly over him the first morning with a Polaroid camera.

On that note, I'm leaving for Africa in two mornings to work in another orphanage, teach a class of kindergarten girls at a local school, and build water lines to village homesteads.  (#currentpackinghatred)

If I even slightly open my can of excitement right now, everyone in the entire world will die of overstimulation.  And who knows WHAT that will do to my hair.  But I can't wait to tell all of you my adventures when I return.  And hide a kidnapped giraffe under my bed.  I LOVE GIRAFFES!!

Also, if you have a food storage room that needs organized, save it for me!  (Amy, that's you.  One of my best memories). 

On that note, Sala kahle!  :D  :D  :D  :D   

Off to go buy some more hair detangler.  Because...  yeah.

Upward and onward,








My natural locks on a really good day.  (Obviously no pictures of my true humid hair, because a zombie apocalypse is coming so I need to keep some friends for protection...)



First Image Source
Second Image Source

Say it loud and proud

To my mama:

Sorry haven't called lately.  Buuuuut....

I'M ENGAGED!


"WWWHHHAATTTT??"


Given my toenail polish is more permanent than a man, I got a really good reaction out of her.

Then I texted this picture:




Engaged to the government.


I just needed some flared and over-reactive excitement.  That's all.


Upward and onward,




Ride with the wind, bullseye.



First text of the day:  "Cancelled all my meetings this morning.  Because of my hair."

Nevermind that I currently need piggyback rides to walk anywhere.   'merthon.   It's the hair, not the legs, that matter. 

So here's the story - I spent extra time yesterday taming my hair, which happens... mostly never.  My daily primping is not about how can I impress the most people.   It's - how can I scare the least.  And with all the training I've been doing, constant ponytails and sweat removal made me feel not very feminine after awhile.

So Sunday morning after my marathon, I gave my best shot at what salons call "a blow-out."  I call it, "How-to-not-get-hot-blowing-air-curling-devices-snarly-fried-in-my-hair."  And that process... actually turned out very dazzling.  If I had an extra 12 hours every day, sure, why not do it more? 

Anyway, after church, Julie, Jordan, and I decided it was cruising time.  Julie jumped on her motorcycle, and I saddled onto the back of Jordan's bike, letting my wonderfully smooth hair twirl in the wind.  Obviously I wanted the whole world to see it before it never happened again.

And the ride was spectacular!  Jordan and I spotted a whole zooful of animals along the route.  We approached the lake at sunset.  Got hit in the face with many bugs, some even tangling up in my eyelashes.  I asked if he pulled apart the Lake Corndogs as a child.  "The Cattails?"  No, Lake Corndogs.  (These)  He seemed to accept that I never moved passed 3 year-old naming conventions.  We basked in all the passing smells.  Talked about how they reminded us of the smells in our hometowns.  His were the orchards.  Mine were the cows.  He shared how he broke into the golf course at 2 am to go fishing and couldn't get back out because of security.  And I made up a haunted tale about three people who ride into a hidden little town on the other side of the lake on motorcycles, and everyone dies in horrid ways except for the most vulnerable, which is me, because my legs are currently handicapped.  He seemed to accept that I can choose myself as the only survivor if I want to.  Then we planned a trip to Disneyland on a train.  

It was a wonderful evening!

Then we came home.  I painfully slid off his bike.  And then saw my reflection in a car window.

What in HOLY TOWN!

this.  But ugly and with more voltage.  And bugs.

After trying to untie 3,000 tennis-ball-sized knots for 40 minutes at The Man House, I just gave up and went to bed.

Then I woke up at 6:30 with horrible anxiety thinking TODAY IS THE DAY I WILL HAVE TO CUT OFF ALL MY BLESSED HAIR!  So I cancelled all my meetings to do damage control.  An hour later, the mess had only expanded.  My options were falling back into bed and weeping until the millennium.  Or cooking some eggs.

So I scrambled with one hand and texted Lizzie with the other.   

She agreed to help me, so I drove into work, and I made sure to tell the security guard my dilemma so he wouldn't think I escaped a penitentiary through an underground electrical tunnel this weekend.  He responded with a - "oh you look totally fine.  No one will know."   Everyone is going to know!  MY WHOLE LIFE AND MY UNBORN CHILDREN'S LIVES ARE FOREVER RUINED!!

I stayed in Katie's office until Lizzie arrived.  Then we spent our morning with a full bottle of detangler and her hacking away at my hair.  Luckily I had dark chocolate.

And now that the nightmare is over, I still have four strands of hair left.  Which is enough for a braid, AND remainder of one.  So we're okay!

Aaaaaaand, now I understand the whole helmet thing.  Mark my word - I will never play "Salon" again.



Pay no attention to my repeat outfits.  #Rathairdon'tcare. 

Upward and onward,

All because of two gold hearts

14 June 2014



Well, the Utah Valley Marathon and I met again this morning.

At 6 am in a cow pasture in Wallsburg.  Actually it started on a bus at pitch-black 3 freaking am.  And then the Marathon and I kept company for the next four hours, until I sprinted across the final line.

This experience wasn't like my last one.  Certainly the swollen, aching, proud act of busting across that finish line was, and the sights, sounds, and iconic feeling of that rapture is worth another stillframe.  But the journey in the middle is what makes the real impact on me.  A marathon is certainly an emotional experience.  And I cannot say that my two marathons were at all the same.  

So let's talk about that emotional experience, because what else can I do as I lay here for the rest of the day with immobile throbbing legs.  SO LISTEN TO MY FEELINGS!

Running such distances really depletes all faculties of reason and polarizes what you feel.  My last marathon, I had a lot of bottled happiness, so the race made me euphoric!  I had the most incredible out-of-body runner's high I'd ever experienced.  Miles and miles and miles of supreme delight.  I felt stallionized.  Completely iconic, and ennobled, and powerful.  I was proud of myself beyond belief, overcome with awe at my abilities of enduring and rising (both figurative for the race and also literal for that time of my life).  It was such a luminous experienced that it instantly entered my top three moments of life.  And the other two moments on that list included years of such saturation, and this was only for a few hours, so let that speak for the true poignancy.   

(Last marathon story here - email me for access).

But this time, not near as close.  And I wasn't really holding onto the expectation that it would be the same, as I'm good at entering all situations with a fairly clean slate.  And, I mean, that's quite an experience to beat anyways.

So, we end the feelings talk and begin the story.

The bus, the starting line, running begins through the canyon, blah blah blah.  Skip to the dramatic parts - the physical pain.  Last time, I remember mild pain kicking in around mile 8.   But the whole game of long-distance running is how to divert your mind to anything but the pain, which isn't a problem for me.  Overly imaginary, ya know.  So last race, at mile 15, I popped an aspirin to keep the pain at bay and didn't even feel any sort of physical resistance until mile 23.  23!!  Twenty-three.  All the way to three miles to donzo!  I spent that whole middle time zoned out in happy clouds!

But this time, at mile FIVE, my hip started searing.  And patterns of pain evolve in training, so you can anticipate what is gonna ache and what isn't.  But this pain came with no precedent.  And it was so unnatural and strong that I was concerned.  Only a few miles later, I had to actively work on bridling my limp, knowing that if I limped for the next 18 miles, I would throw far more pieces of my body out of alignment, and I'd be in some long-term trouble.  Luckily the pain disseminated with some IB Profin, and I was able to run balanced and evenly.

So I reached the halfway point in good time.  Just like last time, I changed my socks and quickly used the bathroom.  Which is always the most prime place to do so, because this is the half-marathoners starting point, so there are lots more restrooms and you don't wait in a line and eat time.  And also, new puffy cloud feet!  Which apparently I made up this idea of fresh socks, because no other racers have heard of it.  But might I still suggest it to all.  Love it! 

Also, at the halfway mark, I always up my game.  Hold back the first 13 miles to make sure I'm good with body and energy.  And then go hard the last 13.  Which makes things real fun.  People are retching on their shoes, and I'm smoking by them.  Slap em on the butt!  No don't.

However, as soon as I stood up to continue the second half of the race, the searing in my hip came back.  Luckily I had one final painkiller, which I had offered to a man awhile back because he was limping heavily on the side.  He said he was okay, so it turned out for the best that I didn't shove it in his mouth.  Throw on a mighty strong headwind.  Right at the most intense incline.  Both making my hip pain worse.  Oh, and my iPod decided it was a good time to break.

$#@!

So I struggled upward.  Which was disappointing because this was the point last time when the race actually began for me, sailing away in a trance of inspiring song, and rapid fire legs passing everyone.  But now, I was hobbling to even keep my steady pace with a glitchy Pandora station.  And I'm not for certain, but grabbing someone's shirt and getting a freeride probably wouldn't have rolled over so well.

Aaaand, now we're going back to feelings.  Because this is right around the point that faculties of reason and control disappear, and whatever emotion is bottled inside is now felt by 200%.  Well it wasn't eupohria, that's for sure.  Something more like discouragement and pity groveling.   But what can you do in a canyon with a broken body in the middle of a marathon?  Mooooore running of course. 

By mile 19, I felt incredibly alone.  Nevermind the other 2,500 people in the race with me.  Battling any intense experience alone feels so isolating.  I considered tapping someone's shoulder next to me and saying, "Could you please hold my hand?  This is really scary, and I don't want to die, and I just need a friend.   AND WHAT IS WITH ALL THIS BLOODY ROADKILL??

And then a sob escaped.  And then another.  And I knew if I finished the next 7 miles alone, I would not only cross the finish line a blubbery mess, but certainly end up in a trauma ward forever screaming "SOMEONE HOLD MY BODY!"

Luckily, Julie had been keeping tabs on me through text since mile 15, so now was my chance to avoid that.

"Julie, will you jump in with me at the mouth of the canyon?  Mile 22.  Wiiiiind.  And not doing so hot."

Done.  I'll be there. 

I love that woman. 

And the race picked up for me from there.  For one, Julie was coming to the rescue.  And also, knowing a lot more of the race was done than not done.  And also, knowing I would be entering the city soon, which means MORE PEOPLE!  I always love the cheering crowds!  Plus, that stupid wind had softened a bit, and my aspirin had kicked in.

So I picked up my speed to match more of my former flying time, cruising right on passed people.  Smacked no butts.  But I did admire a Fabio looking man, matching his sprinting pace.  And, I began smiling broadly at every human in sight.  I like to play Runner Girl Celebrity.  My smile is big and it wins big cheers.  Fun little game that exists in my head only. 

Around mile 21, I made friends with a guy named Zach.  At the end of long runs, you can finally talk to people, as the battle against your body no longer includes your lungs.  And because parking was horrible, Julie couldn't enter the race until mile 24.  So Zach and I got to know all about each other for a few miles.  Eh, but I've forgotten most of it now.  Short-term memory loss.  #RaceBrain.

Zach and I had run just passed the 24 mile marker, and Julie AND Kersti appeared in the street, all geared up, cheering and smiling at me, and ready to run right at my side.  They encouraged me and really pumped me up, repeatedly saying how bad-A I am.  Turns out that is a compliment that really pushes me.

Except, the last 2 miles of hard sprinting still felt like 87 lightyears.  I was panting as audibly and quickly as a dog. Zach stayed steadily on my other side and also cheered me on.  Aside from loud relieving grumbling noises, I mentioned murder a few times.  #RaceBrain.  Let's just throw out that the final miles of a marathon are not the prime time to meet someone. 

In the final yards, Julie ran ahead to get pictures, and Kersti stayed right with me.  I don't know where Zach went.  He was probably afraid.  Kersti and I entered the final pipeline of hollering crowd and cowbells.  And there was Leslie and Chris spotted amongst them, cheering loudly as I ran by.  And also my cousin, who I think was about to jump over the gate and come tackle me because she was so proud and yelled it as loudly to match.  I hope everyone understood her enthusiasm, because now they're deafened by it. 

I was charging at quite the speed, wheezing harder than I ever had, so Kersti distracted me by telling a story about running and poo.  It was SO funny that I ran through that dense crowd of people laughing and grunting with quite a volume for such tired lungs.  I'm sure everyone thought I had completely lost my mind. 

And the race was over, just like that.

It was such a strange accomplishment.  My body was a hot mess, and my brain immediately emptied everything that happened for the last several hours.  Some sort of innate self-preservation.  Suddenly I forget all the grueling and puffing and hobbling.  Zach came and touched my shoulder goodbye, and I almost yelled, "WHO ARE YOU??" 

A woman put a medal around my neck, and friends surrounded me with hugs and pictures.  Then I stood dumbly at the final drink station, grabbing cup after cup after cup, in a robotic, poorly aimed motion to my mouth.  Thinking absolutely nothing.  Well, except water, waaater, WATER!!!

But, I did feel a little swelling of something deep inside.  And also felt the dribble of water down my face, drenching more of my shirt.

Ultimately, this race was a lot harder and didn't end with quite the same intense pride as last time. That heightened elation and independent glorification.  So glamorous and over-sensationalized and doused in self-confidence.  I was hollering with the rest of them, wobbling around with my jello legs and shrieking about endorphins.  I think I may have actually been on fire. 

But this time, I felt a lot more tenderized.  Still a bit of pride in myself and all that I had just endured.  But mostly, I felt a reverence for the people who had come across the finish line with me.  The way Julie and Kersti so readily jumped beside me to run the final steps when I openly asked for help.  Two miles wasn't a huge sacrifice on their end.  But it really meant everything to me.  More than all my repeated, slurred thank you's could say. 
  
So many people fail us.  So many have failed me.  And charging onward alone, when I also battled fatigue and physical hurt, would have only drawn out more raw memories.  But when I put the care of myself in the right hands, my ability multiplied.  As did my belief in really being "Bad-A."

Maybe some big achievements are to be done alone.  But maybe others aren't.  Maybe sometimes it's good to experience that lofty self-assurance, seeing that we can trust ourselves to carry such heavy weight.  But maybe sometimes it's good to place that trust in people so dear and see their willingness to carry what we can't.

I needed that shared burden in the final, thickest moments of my race.  I needed the support and loyalty of my friends. 

So, last time, I titled my marathon experience, "Worth My Sweat in Gold."  But this time, all that sweat is dedicated to two golden hearts.  (Bet no one ever dedicated their sweat before.  But, why waste 26 miles worth?)

All because of two gold hearts.


Onward and upward,






Post-Script Shout-Outs:

Okay but really, everything hurts and I can't move.  I like tacos.  Let those connect in your mind how they may.

Phil - ah, boating!  Any other day, I'd be there.  

Leslie - thank you so much for coming and being there!!

And Kersti and Julie - not the final time, but one more - THANK YOU!



Game time

13 June 2014



The first race of this season was a half marathon I ran with Julie.  Poor girl woke up with me right in her face 30 minutes early, "HI hihihihi!!!  Are you excited?  I'M EXCITED!  Are you ready?  I'M READY!"

And then I jumped up and down and ran all around the house, while Julie cooly tied her shoes, and Kersti groggily put on a sweater to come take our picture and see us off.

Well, I just finished my final run of this training season last night.  Getting up at 3 am tonight to run a marathon!

Wish I could say last night was THE BEST run and I am SO READY.
No.

It was pouring rain, my phone was in a sandwich bag sliding uncomforably all around my bra,   aaaaand I only went 3 miles before I was completely pooped.  That's a close number to 26, relatively.  It's fine.

So I came home and grabbed some tacos with Julie.  Finished my endless cans of beets - gotta pump that Nitric Oxide.  Then The Man House came over to watch a movie.  I drugged myself with sleeping pills and was out solid by 8:30.  Except at 10 when Cade threw a pillow at me because the movie ended, and he wanted to go get dessert.  No sir.  Fell face first into my bed and stayed out like a rock until dawn.

But I am RESTED today.  About to conduct a 4 hour meeting.  Holy shiza.  Grab my race packet.  Carb load for din din.  And then, GAME TIME!



Upward and onward,







Image Source

Honesty Box - let's get personal

12 June 2014

 


It's been awhile since Honesty Box.

Feeling particularly brave lately. Whenever I spend time with my sister Nora, I feel more courageous and candid and boldly straight-aimed in life.  So, here's some honest thoughts. 

Recently had some ongoing discussions with The Man House about "openness."  On one hand, tight-lipped, locked up about sharing anything personal?  Or, on the other hand, wide open disclosures about really personal hurt?

Polled some friends, considered my own beliefs.  Share my thoughts best in writing, so here it is.

Of course, moderation is a worthy goal, but any sort of healing is such a tricky place to be.  And I hold no judgmental bone in my body for anyone there.  I trust people are learning to live exactly as they need, including their amount of personal disclosure.  It takes someone brave to open up and speak, and other times, it takes someone brave to keep things in the quiet.  And I think people are beautiful if they process out loud or more subdued.  All ends of people's bravery balance the world.

But honestly, vulnerability does allow for more.

When I served as RS Pres last year, my counselors were wildly uncomfortable with "personal" comments in Relief Society.  Saying it "distracts from The Spirit"  "need to teach them."  Teach people how to hold things in?  If someone has gone through something so excruciating that the emotion makes YOU uncomfortable, then imagine what it must have been like for them.  Relief Society is supposed to be a place of relief, and the last type of Relief Society I would ever seek to build is one where my girls needed to shush the very things they needed relief from, simply because other people can't understand.  One cannot move out of darkness without sharing and feeling support.  And often if people have no support, a seemingly out-of-place public comment shows a really deep place of confusion.  Of course we can learn to share with tact and relevancy and emotional-control, and past sin doesn't need to be disclosed, but if a comment is shared that bridges onto "personal," then accept it as is.  Not our place to judge.  Besides, I hear it all anyway - "People aren't vulnerable enough - We need to be more open with each other."  "People share too much - Can't they keep it together."  May we all learn to share exactly as every single human in the world would want us to. 

The Man House and even friends - "but there are places and people for such personal things."  Right.  Church.  where the most compassionate hearts are supposed to be.  Some places are more capable to help, so take it upon yourself to be their personal friend and help them there.  But did Christ turn away an aching person saying, "Excuse me, your comments are too rambling, and I can't relate to what you're saying, and I feel uncomfortable with how personal it is, so you should go find a therapist or online forum."  Heavens no.  I'm sure He understood that people aren't perfect in their disclosure, but pain is pain.  So they can get it out if that's what they need.  Not my place to stipulate the when and the how of what people say. 

"It's dramatic."  Because life is dramatic.  Hello, we need that because we need The Bachelorette to continue forever!  But really, whether we can understand one's hurt or not, it is so real to that person.  Should we just pretend that rape, porn, homosexuality, divorce, and death isn't real?  We've all taken a turn being just as confused as the next about where to go and who to share with.  Let people learn the balance for themselves.

"But I'd rather wait and share the most personal parts of myself with only my closest people.  Sharing your most personal parts with everyone is like sharing kisses with everyone.  Means nothing."  I can relate.  Lately I haven't been open about sharing personal parts of myself either, but other times I have been.  I think we come to sense when it is beneficial to share the most sacred bits of us, and to which ears.  But if someone else hasn't, then that's fine.  I'll trust that they are learning how to reconcile heartache exactly as they need.  I'm not bothered by people's journeys; I think they're fascinating.

Laissez-faire.  People don't need our judgments and our rules on living.  They just need our love.  The real matter of being "personal" lies with our friendship.


Funny, Meg had a similar honest box today too.


Upward and onward,






Image Source

I fell down and my palms split open

11 June 2014


There is truth to an open palm.

Once Mace told me a story about how he approached an outraged group of females on a business trip with his key tranquilizer of "open palms."

In Mace's earnest efforts to understand these women, he opened his palms and entered the room.  He's studied a fair amount of body language, so he has a better way of understanding people.  The only amount of body language I ever studied was from a YouTube video with a Latino woman showing how to sit and stand with the most angles.  Creating many angles with your body is supposed to be sexy.  But when Lisa and I tried it out on the chairs in her living room, I fell off.  So I gave up that dream of being sexy, and we memorized every word of the Bed Intruder song instead.

Anyway, apparently, open palms show an acquiescent approach.  A willingness to listen and really hear the other person.  And as Mace sat before his friends with his palms open on his knees, calm and peace was restored.

I think approaching people with open palms speaks truth about life.  Approaching life with an equal openness and acquiescent mind, allowing calm to be restored no matter what comes our way.

Maya Angelou's mentor once told her that life is far less personal than we all interpret.  Bad things happen to everyone.  People are bad.  Jealous.  Insecure.  That may affect you.  Health is compromisable.  That may affect you.  Money is unequal.  That may affect you.  Bad is just part of life, and when it comes, instead of being so reactionary, allow it with calm, open palms and continue on.

However, though some pain isn't personally aimed, it is personally jarring.  And better to look directly at hurt and then let it go, then just bury it and ignore it.  It has taken me a long time to get to an open-palmed, accepting place with specific bits of my life.  To approach bruising so deep with such a still and deep-rooted perspective is a big undertaking.

So a personal story on my end about this....

My stillness was jolted this week when I was asked to write a sealing clearance letter.  Again.  A request to give my blessing for the grace of an assailant, as his last requested release was denied.  I suppose this shows that accountability knows over who's head it hangs.  But justice doesn't always mean penitence from the offender.  Possibly only a more opaque pretense.

Bad choices always come with a degree of justification, and some perceive so much judgment in tearing down that wall of false reason that they preserve it any way they can.  But I think God and people are far more forgiving when we see offender's own what they need to own.  People love what they sense is real.  Delusion isn't keeping.  And neither is untrue perfection.  It's all about approaching even ourselves with open palms.  There is much more trust there.

But not only do we open our palms to ourselves, and to God, but we must open our palms to people and pains that may never render.  I have to repeatedly accept, open, and lay it down to rest.  I have no control beyond that.  I follow Maya Angelou's mentor in saying, this does not need to be interpreted so personal.  I give my general acceptance to life just containing bad pieces, and one hit pretty close to heart.  I open my palms.  And I lay it down.

And I look at The One - Jesus Christ - who opened His palms so wide towards me that they were pierced with nails.  And His wounded hands pick up and reconcile all the pieces I've laid down in confusion and defeat, so I don't have to continue holding onto them.  His love absolutely balances life's unfairness.

So, I continue to enter every room with open palms.  Even moreso when life jolts and hurts me and re-addressing all of this is definitely full of pain by the plenty for me.


"The question is, will we meet this passing with a closed fist and a hard heart
or with an open palm and consecrated life?"  -Adam S. Miller 

Because with fists closed, nails digging int your grasp.
Slowly your muscles start to relax.
Natural progression means you can't hold on forever.
And as your hand slowly releases, you start to see your world as it was meant to be.

Palms flat you receive-
and palms flat you provide.

Let it soak in my resting on your hand there.
but don't keep it.It's not yours.
It was never intended solely for you.
         (source here)




My morning meditation:
I will open myself to this day.  
And all that I can find, and all that I don't.  
And all that is fair, and all that isn't.  
I will accept all of it, and part with most of it.


Upward and onward,

 




Post-Script Shout-Outs:
Friends.  Gushing.
Leslie, Becky, Julie, Nora, and Mandi:  Now I have a handdrawn flower picture, a Dammit Doll, frozen yogurt, and lots of prayers.  With a family fast that my mom put together.

Facing the darkness is hard.  I struggled to rest and eat for a few days.  But it's done now.

I love knowing your struggles, accomplishments, ideas, ideals, and heart.  Knowing a person like ou, one cannot ever doubt that we are really children of God.  -Lisa
May you always find courage at your feet to pick up and carry on.  -Nora

Also, someone tell me that the white flurries outside my window are cotton.  Not snow.

But, what do I care.  I'm going to Africa.



Image Source

Honest Box: a mountain I'm willing to die on

05 June 2014



Went for a looooong trail run last night, which has left me sneezing 32 times a minute. 

I always think long and hard when I run about the truest bits of what I believe.  Love.  Honest love.  Loyal love.  Open and accepting love.  Which I realize the lack of such love in this world is a far greater problem than I could ever solve.  But so be all humanity if I don't devote my entire life to trying.

We aren't blind to the needs people have in our world.  Sad hearts.  Hungry stomachs.  Scared minds.  But we are completely blind with resolve to do anything.  We tweet, post, give shout-outs to each other.  Hey, here's a 20.  Either there are not real resources being contributed, or they are the wrong ones.  I will gladly give my money, but I will be more glad to come over and help and struggle beside you.

Love is the resource.  Becoming a heart deep enough that you can lean into a dark place and rest with someone, hurt beside them, buoy them with your hope.  I am there.  I will come and stand beside.  No matter the distance, no matter the darkness.  I am there.   

As I do after all my runs, I came home with a burning desire to cause change.  I stayed home from The Man House and wrote in my Thought Block journal - Boss Man calls it my "iWad" because everyone has their iPads, and I pull out my little notebook - I wrote:


"I'm not worried about the misuse of people's money.  I'm worried about the misuse of their time."


Hugs, listening ears, and kind hearts heal.  And those take our devoted time and attention.  And who does that anymore?  Maybe I can't solve the world, but I'll be the first person to jump in the trenches and give my all.
 
The below image encompasses my feelings about social media SO exactly.  If I didn't know better, I would have thought that I made the image myself.  I only know better because obviously my attacker would have really nice hair.

 


The below gif also encompasses me SO exactly.


The white dude.  Not the black one.


Love is my call.  That is a mountain I'm willing to die on.

Upward and onward,





Snapshot: small moments of daily life

02 June 2014

Saturday I ran 20 miles.  And then wore slippers all the next day because of bloody feet.  It's a fine price to pay.  i don't mind. 

By Monday, the extra need of rest caught up to me, and I came home from work, curled up on my bed, and slept for hours.  Supposed to go to The Man House, but Julie couldn't even shake me awake.  Finally I woke up , and we all piled in Jordan's car to go out on the town.  Julie playing DJ up front, and myself squished between J.D. and Cade in the back.  We rolled down the windows and sang Hallelujah in the chilled night air.  I loved that moment.


Tuesday we played in a baseball game with our ward.  At one point, it was just our little family out on all the bases. Turns out Jordan and J.D. are professionals.  And Cade and I held our own fairly well. Came home and curled back up on their bean bags.  Bachelorette marathon.

And tonight, I stayed home from The Man house.  It was family dinner night - tacos and milkshake.

But, I went for a really long trail run instead and came home sneezing 4 times a second.  Now I know that is possible. Now I soak in Apple Cider Vinegar and top knot my hair in Coconut Oil.

Preserve thyself.

Upward and onward,