Friday, August 30, 2002

ouch

my stomach is not happy this evening. in fact, it's been unrelentingly yucky all day long. this madness is getting old....

i will say, however, that i'm finding my strength in quietness and rest. i feel my emotional reserves being slowly replenished as a result of time alone and enough sleep. i have made a small list of some things i want to accomplish over the next week or so:

1. finish the two books i am currently reading.
2. input my financial stuff into quicken.
3. go through some papers and recipes that i need to organize.

seems like a manageable list, right? we'll see how well i do....i'm off to bed. here's hoping i make it through the night without much in the way of pain, discomfort, or other intervening 'issues'.....

Thursday, August 29, 2002

all i did yesterday afternoon was cry. but it was my fault, you see.....i forgot life rule #462 (or whatever rule it is...it HAS to be a rule!), which is to never watch an oprah show about miracle babies and an emergency vet show about dogs getting shot all on the same day. i think i needed it, though. it felt good to just weep for a couple of hours off and on....i was assaulted by every sad face, every glimmer of hope, every staunch belief that, in the end, things would be all right. i was thankful for the father who prayed that Jesus would help his babies make it through what turned out to be a 31-hour surgery (they did!)....i was blessed to see a 7-year old boy thriving, when he had been born at 24 weeks, weighing only 1 1/2 pounds.

i am such a sucker for the tugging-the-heart-strings-kind of stories. yes, world, it's true. i am 100% sap. i love all the gushy romance stuff. i love looking into the faces of babies. sometimes commercials make me cry. i internally gush at weddings. i say internally because there's this one glitch in my mushiness.....i rarely let it out in front of other people. it's strange, because i used to be much more willing to show this side of me. but time, and lots of hurt from putting myself out there and getting shot down have taught me to harden my exterior and not let my true feelings show so much of the time. and, to be honest, part of the reason i feel so uncomfortable doing so is because of what i believe to be a place in which the contemporary Christian culture is lacking. women are encouraged to show their feminine side by being domestic - but not too forward or open with their feelings. in the interest of being 'appropriate', there is a fear of flirting (heaven forbid!) or having impure motives. thus, every interaction between the sexes feels cold and forced and (who are we kidding?) awkward as heck.

it occurs to me, though, that behind everything, a lot of people are really uncomfortable showing affection and emotion in appropriate ways, so it's much easier to mask those insecurities behind this 'spiritual' attempt to be self-controlled. let me ask you this: did Jesus greet people with a shy wave hello or a weak, reserved handshake? i doubt it. when He healed people (loved them, interacted with them), He often TOUCHED them. laid His hands on them. cared for them in a palpable way. He allowed Himself to be affected by sadness, moved by people's passionate outpourings of faith and desperation.

don't get me wrong here. i'm not the poster child for flagrant disregard of all things couth. i'm not saying we should all run around putting our hands over each other and crying at the drop of a hat, but i AM saying that it's okay to be what you feel, with the underlying understanding that you'll exercise some wisdom along the way. i would rather try to have a heart more like Christ's and let people know that i really care....would rather wrap my arms around them and tell them i love them....look at them right in the eye and let them know that they're important to God....see through their exterior toughness to their deeper needs and remain with them through the expression of such. that's what i want for myself. the freedom to be, simply, me, faults and fears and all....and yet still worthy of a hug and a hand to hold.

so i'm trying to let myself get back to what is authentic for me....to allow myself be moved by the things that move me, without regard for who might be watching or judging or mocking.....so YES, i cried ALL through oprah....and i'm not ashamed to admit it....

even if i did break life rule #462:)

Wednesday, August 28, 2002

milestones

my counter has revealed that more than 1,000 people have now come to 'my brain hurts'.....i know it's probably my few close friends hitting the refresh button over and over, but either way, thanks for reading:)
outside my window, the city receives a baptismal washing. inside, though, the progressive vocal poundings of watermark hurtle from the stereo speakers and into the air.....

'deep is the stain inside of me
but deeper the river that washes me clean
i've been the one who cries in the night
but You've been the friend of my life'


water is, by far, one of God's most symbolically-rich creations....there is nothing that can wash you clean like the rushing waters of God's Spirit.....the true soul cleansing. it cannot be achieved through simple good works or meditating upon "higher things", but instead by bowing one's head and humbly confessing Christ's Lordship. i have to do this every day. every single day. not because the first time wasn't enough. it was. but my dumb, human mind needs to be reminded. my tendencies need curbing. i need renewal....to be cleansed once again, showered with the truth of His amazing love....

'living water swallow me
deepest river wash me clean
Jesus, savior, more of Thee
Jesus, more of Thee
come and ruin me with your love
so no other is enough
come and leave Your mark on me
Jesus, more of Thee
Jesus, more of Thee'
'long ago and oh so far away, i fell in love with you before the second show.
your guitar, it sounds so sweet and clear, but you're not really here. it's just the radio....'


i've got carpenters on the brain....karen's voice was so deep and rich, so sad and yearning....all the things i love. i remember one particular trip my family made to my grandparents' house for thanksgiving. we waited for my mother to return from work and then the four of us packed up and headed out into the cold november evening. and i remember the lights of the oncoming cars as we curved up those steep and winding pennsylvania mountain roads with a carpenters' album in the tape deck, singing along to their classics....

'we've only just begun to live....white lace and promises....a kiss for luck and we're on our way.....'

man, those were the moments. my parents and sister and i bundled up and warm in our little capsule of a car, my breath clouding frost onto the windows in the back seat where i traced my name with mittened fingers (this drove my parents crazy!)....i couldn't help myself. it was the thrill of vacation spilling out of me....the chance to leave school thoughts behind for a few days. i couldn't wait to get to the farm, play in the snow, hear grandpa's booming voice and feel his scratchy beard against my cheek when he kissed me hello....

after we had stuffed ourselves on thanksgiving fare, we would have christmas carol sing-alongs and my cousins and i would run around the house laughing and carrying on until we were finally subdued by some adult who'd had enough of our yelling....it's a wonder none of us ever threw up from all the excitement....

we could all stay up and be as loud as we wanted in that house....there was no one to disturb....nothing around us but the silence of the crisp night and the majestic hills dark against the landscape that echoed back when you called out. all of us were there - together. no schedules, no homework, no meetings or errands to run. those were forgetting days for me....a chance to think on how things could be....a time to escape from how they really were.

'and when the evening comes, we smile....so much of life ahead....we'll find a place where there's room to grow....we've only just begun....'

i wonder what karen carpenter would have said to that hurting little girl who sang to cover up what was really inside.....i wonder how she would have felt to know that her own melancholy was the soundtrack to my young life....

'loneliness is a such a sad affair, and i can hardly wait to be with you again.
what to say to make you come again....
come back to me again and play your sad guitar....'

Tuesday, August 27, 2002

'a little hope goes up in smoke, just how it goes, goes without saying....'

had dinner at cafe hon tonight with sammie joy. comfort food all around - meatloaf, mashies, broccoli, and bread pudding for dessert. there's no food in the house, so the eclectic baltimore hangout had to do....it more than sufficed. good ambiance, quick, friendly service, reasonable prices....i sound like a restaurant reviewer here....

anyway, i'm about to indulge in the mindless pleasure of 'american idol', surely to be followed by something equally as ridiculous. gotta love those evenings to veg out in front of the tube. and hey, for the record, i did make it out of my pjs today - but not until 5 pm:)

in case you were wondering, 'solitaire's the only game in town'.....

Monday, August 26, 2002

we now return you to our regularly scheduled program already in progress....

back in b'more once again. feels nice to sit in front of my cute little computer and type my thoughts out into cyberspace. i missed the city sounds and the sometimes strange quietness of this apartment. but most of all, i'm looking forward to an entire day tomorrow of just me and God alone here together - no plans, no trips to the store, no nothing. maybe i won't even change out of my pjs.

speaking of pjs, i need new ones. while at michael's house, i went to sit down on the floor of my room on saturday night, and the entire seam up the back ripped wide open. so funny. the fabric was dying all over anyway, and i've had a huge gaping hole down one of the legs for about 6 months that i never bothered to fix....but i wasn't really expecting quite that large of a tear to occur at that particular moment. from then on, it was all about walking with my back to the wall whenever i left to get to the bathroom. ah well. must try to gather some money together and buy a few items for the clothes closet (my overalls are also beginning to rip around one of the pockets in the butt. not a good thing, really).

on to other subjects....

i have a confession to make and i need to cleanse myself publicly. i have resisted for quite some time to think that i could ever enjoy the taste of soy milk. my resolve was broken this morning. i actually ate a bowl of blueberry morning with some soy dream. delish! and, may i say that i had NONE of my usual post-milk congestion that i very often get? i've been avoiding the fact that i think i have a bit of a milk allergy/lactose intolerance, because frankly, i love moo juice and the thought of giving it up has been too depressing. but there's NOTHING wrong with me trying to incorporate a bit of soy into my life if it will mean me getting to enjoy some cereal without having to go and spend 10 minutes blowing my nose....right?!?! anyway, i'm sure this will come as no surprise to anyone who knows me that i owe this whole positive experience to michael. he's a star....it's important for everyone to know this!

thanks for your patience, reader, with my incredibly random babbling about soy milk and pajama bottoms and my little solitary life. i promise to think good, deep thoughts for the rest of the day and share them later on. for now, however, i'm going to take a nap....:)

Saturday, August 24, 2002

WARNING: the contents herein may cause some feminists to vomit

i'm realizing more than ever how much i need time to myself. for the last several weeks, i have had my life all planned out, with social engagements, road trips, and activities up the wazoo. i thought it would be fine....i was wrong. for the last few days, i've been feeling like a captive of my own existence. i need some emotional fresh air.

opens the window...

ahh....a bit better.....

i'm sitting here in the basement at michael's parents house. i must say - we are making good progress. we should be done by tonight or tomorrow at the latest. i can't believe the time has really come for him to be out of here. all the months and months of praying finally coming to fruition. exciting. a bit scary, even....but mostly exciting (primarily for him, i am sure!). anyway, it will be exceedingly nice to have him living a few blocks away, even if he is going to be out of pocket quite a bit of the time with gigs and lessons down here. no matter - at least his postal address is baltimore....or at least anywhere but here.

a truth i learned early after graduation from college: you really can't go home again. or at least you shouldn't. we aren't meant to re-enter the womb upon exiting, after all....'home' is a nice place to visit, but i wouldn't want to live there...that kind of thing.

i have dust in my nose and i've managed to pull a muscle in my back from stretching around with boxes and such, but other than that, i will emerge from this week unscathed. we've had fun together, knowing when to give each other space to do our own thing for a time....we ALL need that! i feel like a few things have solidified in my mind over the last several days:

1. michael is a genuinely caring person. he is ALL about making sure that the details - things that i am concerned about - are all covered. he is thoughtful and conscientious. i knew this about him already, but living with someone for more than a day really brings out how they actually are, as opposed to the good behavior they put on for short-term visits:)....

2. men and women need each other. this goes without saying and is true in a variety of ways, but i'm talking purely practical matters here. most men are unconcerned with whether or not their sock drawer is organized. they do not pay nearly as much attention to whether or not they need new t-shirts. these are tasks that they LIKE to have done for them - along with laundry and other traditionally domestic things. don't get me wrong - there are plenty of domesticated men out there (michael is one of them), but at the end of the day, these activities are NOT how most men would choose to spend their time (perhaps some women wouldn't either, but i'm speaking in generalities). on the flip side, women tend to not be very strong (in comparison to their male counterparts) and aren't really into things like grills and tools and killing bugs. having a man around who can haul stuff and pump your gas and fix things for you is simply a BEAUTIFUL thing. and at the end of the day, when you get down to it, the ways in which men and women complement each other are simply awesome. it's clear that God designed our minds, and bodies, differently for a reason.

3. i do NOT ever want an animal in my house. i am really quite allergic, at this point in my life, to all things feline and many things canine as well. but beyond that, i hate hair and poop and vomit and having to worry about whether they are being fed and walked and bathed and all of that. children are better, frankly, because at least they can talk back to you once they're old enough, and they're a joy, even in times of trial. animals? i can do without them running around in my domicile.

i am certain that there are more things, but these are what come to mind at first thought. there's probably someone out there who thinks i'm being extremely sexist, etc. oh well. this is the way that i feel. i'm glad to be a woman (most days) and i'm glad that men are who they are. if we didn't all spend so much time trying to be what we're not, life would be simpler and more streamlined overall.

just my 2 cents. it's not PC and it won't ever be....hold your breath no longer.

Friday, August 23, 2002

life is an endless cycle of packing and unpacking. you can quote me on that.

Tuesday, August 20, 2002

psalm 139:1-18

last night, i wept over God's word. it's been awhile since i've felt that affected by the truth of scripture. so sad, but true....i began to think about the fact that the Lord KNEW me before He even created me....how He's been with me through every moment and every breath and every thought i've ever had, even before i acknowledged His presence in my life. so many people talk about God's grace in their lives post-conversion. true enough. but the fact is that God's grace has ALWAYS been with me. how do i know this? i survived, didn't i? He always loved me, because even though He knew that i wouldn't even desire to follow Him for the first 18 years of my life, He still took great pains to knit me together in a carefully planned, specific way. He knew that my feelings would be easily hurt, that i would stray from Him a million times, that i would fail to read my bible daily more times than i choose to admit, that i would generally be a disappointment in so many ways.... and even then...even after all of that and so much more, He still drew me to Himself and won over my heart so that i would know His love and kindness.

i can't say more than this. my mind is already blown. i'll let king david do the rest:

For the director of music. Of David. A psalm.

1 O Lord , you have searched me and you know me.
2 You know when I sit and when I rise; you perceive my thoughts from afar.
3 You discern my going out and my lying down; you are familiar with all my ways.
4 Before a word is on my tongue you know it completely, O Lord .

5 You hem me in-behind and before; you have laid your hand upon me.
6 Such knowledge is too wonderful for me, too lofty for me to attain.

7 Where can I go from your Spirit? Where can I flee from your presence?
8 If I go up to the heavens, you are there; if I make my bed in the depths, you are there.
9 If I rise on the wings of the dawn, if I settle on the far side of the sea,
10 even there your hand will guide me, your right hand will hold me fast.

11 If I say, "Surely the darkness will hide me and the light become night around me,"
12 even the darkness will not be dark to you; the night will shine like the day, for darkness is as light to you.

13 For you created my inmost being; you knit me together in my mother's womb.
14 I praise you because I am fearfully and wonderfully made; your works are wonderful, I know that full well.
15 My frame was not hidden from you when I was made in the secret place. When I was woven together in the depths of the earth,
16 your eyes saw my unformed body. All the days ordained for me were written in your book before one of them came to be.

17 How precious to me are your thoughts, O God! How vast is the sum of them!
18 Were I to count them, they would outnumber the grains of sand.

Saturday, August 17, 2002

'life is a highway....'

last night i had an unprecedented bout of sleepiness and went to sleep at midnight. for anyone who knows me, this is rather early. i suppose it could have something to do with the fact that i had slept less than 5 hours the night before and then woke up at 7 a.m. yesterday morning to get to church on time for rehearsal. but even still, i was surprised at just how tired i was. i could have gone to bed at least an hour earlier, but i think i have an internal mechanism that refuses to believe that i could possibly be tired before 1 a.m.....i would love for this to change. i'm not sure it ever will.

i'll be in gaithersburg this week in order to help michael prepare for his move to charm city on the 28th. it'll be nice to spend the time together and also to help him organize his stuff. i'm such a weirdo. that kind of thing genuinely excites me....

before i go to the shower and get ready to leave, i must say that i am having an interesting juxtaposition of feeling right now. i possess this odd sense of contentment intermingled with a gnawing internal unsettlement. i suppose this should come as no surprise to me, considering the fact that my life is still in a state of constant upheaval and yet i know in my heart that God's plan for my life is being accomplished. strange, though, to feel such strong, seemingly contrasting emotions all at once.

some days i feel like i have a split personality.

happy monday, people. we here at 'my brain hurts' thank you for your continued curiosity:)

Friday, August 16, 2002

'well we all have a face that we hide away forever and we take them out and show ourselves when everyone has gone....some are satin, some are steel, some are silk, and some are leather. they're the faces of the stranger, but we love to try them on....' - billy joel

i try not to come across as the sappy, overly sentimental type. but guess what? i am. and i try, sometimes unsuccessfully, not to come across as someone who is weak inside. but guess what? i totally am. i also make attempts, however ridiculous, to deny that i'm insecure, afraid, and generally feeling stupid about myself. yeah, you guessed it. am. am. am.

i'm 27 now, and i've spent the majority of those years hiding behind facades that have now come, and are now coming, crumbling to the ground. my secret rooms inside myself have been locked down and most of my defenses are stripped away. the downside of this is that i'm scared pretty much all of the time....afraid that someone might see who i really am and torment me for it....but honestly, i'm mostly afraid of my own self-rejection....that i will continue to undermine every thought and feeling that flows out of me....and the upside of such internal maneuverings? eventual freedom, i hope. there is a girl inside me who has never known what it feels like to be okay with who she is, and there's a woman waiting there, too, who yearns to express fully all of the things that God planted inside her heart.

you'll notice that i hardly ever discuss my hopes for the future here. i can assure you that it's not because i don't have any, but instead because i'm afraid to admit that i do. somehow it seems an admission of weakness to hope and dream. but i guess that's because you're acknowledging that not everything in life is brought about by your own strength, but instead by something, or someone, else. and that leaves the door open that you might get let down....that i might get let down....that God might let me down. okay, insertion of truth here: His plans are to prosper me, to give me hope and a future....He desires to bless me beyond what i could ask or imagine.....i want so badly to live that truth out by the way that i feel on the inside....but this is easier said than done. day by day, though, i'm moving in that direction. those closed-off secret rooms have rendered me unable to live solely off of my own strength. i HAVE to trust God. He's all i have....and He's more than enough.

so i don't want to hide anymore. and every day i try to let myself emerge a bit more....and some days i run screaming back inside. but not today.

and maybe not tomorrow either.....

Thursday, August 15, 2002

oh ME of little faith....

"Immediately Jesus made the disciples get into the boat and go on ahead of him to the other side, while he dismissed the crowd. After he had dismissed them, he went up on a mountainside by himself to pray. When evening came, he was there alone, but the boat was already a considerable distance from land, buffeted by the waves because the wind was against it. During the fourth watch of the night Jesus went out to them, walking on the lake. When the disciples saw him walking on the lake, they were terrified. "It's a ghost," they said, and cried out in fear. But Jesus immediately said to them: "Take courage! It is I. Don't be afraid."
"Lord, if it's you," Peter replied, "tell me to come to you on the water."
"Come," he said.
Then Peter got down out of the boat, walked on the water and came toward Jesus. But when he saw the wind, he was afraid and, beginning to sink, cried out, "Lord, save me!"
Immediately Jesus reached out his hand and caught him. "You of little faith," he said, "why did you doubt?"
And when they climbed into the boat, the wind died down. Then those who were in the boat worshiped him, saying, "Truly you are the Son of God." (matthew 14:22-33)
*************************************************

my prayer for today: Lord, help me get out of the boat....

Wednesday, August 14, 2002

what does one say about an existence that is so terribly blah? i would talk about how i feel, but i feel nothing. i would say what it is that i'm doing, but i'm doing nothing. no inspiration. no pithy commentaries. no strange and unusual personal anecdotes.

it's official: until further notice, i am now totally and utterly boring.
tonight i had a horrible headache. i mean treacherous. i'm certain it was muscle tension-related, but honestly, no brain pain that bad has hit me in a long time. very disconcerting, and nothing would help for hours on end. finally, i took some advil migraine and within 30 minutes, the pain was virtually gone. still twinges here and there, but such marked improvement, i cannot complain at this point. what is up with my head these days? must be stress....

the highlight of my rather pitiful day was interacting with the verizon man who came to install another jack in sammie joy's apartment. he was a truly cordial individual and did an excellent job. i must say that it was the most pleasant of the interactions i've had with service men in quite some time. normally, i wind up feeling uncomfortable being alone with the individual; a year or so ago, i was actually sexually harassed by the cable guy. thankfully, michael came to the rescue when he dropped over and almost immediately the man backed off. i just could NOT believe his audacity; i wondered how many people he did that to and whether they reported him. i know i did. to pay money for someone to come to your house and then treat you that way? no thank you! and the saddest thing was that no one from the cable company even apologized for his behavior, and i certainly never received any information back that they had followed up on my complaint.

if there is one thing that aggravates me these days, it's people in positions of authority who, when confronted with the mistakes of their employees, make excuses and try to make the customer feel guilty somehow. i'm sorry - wrong is wrong, and no person who has a legitimate grievance should be made to feel badly for receiving poor treatment. i am always so impressed when managers take FULL responsibility for things. that, to me, is a sign of maturity and professionalism. i wish it weren't such incredibly rare behavior.....

anyway, enough of my rant.....tomorrow i go to g'burg to chill with michael and then go to small group. it'll be good to hang out with the people from church again. it's been awhile for me....

so that's it. nothing profound tonight. i'm watching 'the naked chef' and then am off to bed. my eyes do not need coaxing to close tonight. sleep will come easy and soft, the air conditioner's rumble singing me into unconsciousness.

sweet dreams....

Tuesday, August 13, 2002

venice sighs

1. the sleep of 40 years
no longer at my window
summers’ mornings burst
new and unfettered
the laughter of children
sweet and echoing

2. once I drank steaming tea from small cups
baked in sunlight
and dreamed of You
the full knowledge of love
and mercy

3. rains of righteous cleansing
drown and flood the streets
we swirl and sputter
stilted
our hopes unmet
and darkness
covering

4. my time here not yet over
i turn the corner
search for other paths
waters rushing
in silent torrents
furious as tears
down my face

© Sarah E. Hedges, 2001

Sunday, August 11, 2002

being the copycat that i am....

sammie joy took a feline purrsonality quiz, so i had to follow suit....



Take the Purrsonality Quiz!

i took some other quiz, which informed me that i am some kind of obscure fox who is nocturnal and heat-avoiding. that part, at least, is me all the way!! i should write a thesis on the kind of person who takes personality quizzes excessively....i'm sure that someone would find this a fascinating endeavor on my part. hey, maybe i can even get an honorary ph.d. at some ivy league school -- stranger things have happened, you know!

anyway, i digress... i'm making up for lost time on the blog thing, people. you can't fault me for being strange....i'm sharing myself with you here!

sneeze

man, even a cat QUIZ gives me allergic issues....new rule: avoid all things feline from this day forward.

my apologies to all the cats i've known and loved....unless you become hypoallergenic, i'm cutting ties....
'is the glass half full or empty? i ask her as i fill it. she said, it doesn't really matter; pretty soon, you're bound to spill it....' (indigo girls)

i am the personification of my blog title right now. i have had an intermittent, but persistent, headache for the last several days. it's wearing me down. thankfully, it managed to relent long enough for me to get up before dawn even cracked and drive amy to the airport 90 minutes away....oy....then i came home, slept for an hour and a half, got up, showered, and drove to monty county for church. tired. so very tired. but at least the headache didn't return until i arrived back in charm city. God is merciful to me....

i was realizing on my drive back home this afternoon just how much i still have this incessant need to control things. i hate that. and along with that need to control comes a lot of anxiety when things don't go the way i think they should. and yet, sometimes i am still able to trust God even despite circumstances. what an odd juxtaposition: faith in Christ and reliance on myself. i am a walking paradox most days....

here's the question i'm throwing around in my head: what does it really mean to be a woman? i know that, technically, i am a female, but i don't think i'm 'in touch' with my womanhood. i find that, within the church especially, femininity is equated with domesticity; that is a mere facet of the woman experience. there HAS to be more. i refuse to agree that God created us to be these simplistic creatures who exist solely to dress prettily, raise children, and cook a mean dinner. not that there is anything wrong with these things, mind you.....but i want to get at the meat of the matter....less of the traditions and more of how this applies to me as an individual....and not just how i will do the things that are set aside for me to do, but how i will regard myself as female. in truth, it's all about the world that exists inside my mind and heart; the external should be simply an expression of what is internal.....

anyway, more on this later....i need to relax for a bit. need to gain some perspective on my existence through prayer and quiet contemplation....

some day i will emerge....

Wednesday, August 07, 2002

english standard version

today i went to return a bible i had bought in exchange for a different one. i have been having a harder-than-normal time of late when it comes to making up my mind about even the simplest things. i'm not sure what's up with that, but then again, i wouldn't have bet on having as much memory loss as i currently experience, either. depression, from a chemical point of view, definitely affects a person in ways that one cannot comprehend without experiencing it first-hand. i was thankful to have my friend kristi with me to tell me not to go the wrong way on the highway, help me order a drink at starbucks, and other various activities that i seemed, frankly, too out of it to do. pathetic.

anyway, tomorrow my friend amy comes from michigan to visit me; it has been over a year since i have laid eyes on the girl....about a year too long, i must say. we have always half joked that we are living the same life. circumstantially, this isn't true, of course, but it's all about the essence....the underlying themes of life that have knit us together....the craziness of freshman year at hopkins....the road trips and staying up all night.....the loss and pain of life....she is an amazing and fun girl....so much stronger than she gives herself credit for being.

my car is in this shop this week. i feel guilty for saying what i'm about to say, but i don't miss driving it. i'm actually enjoying driving my rental....it's the automatic transmission - the point and shoot method to car driving. it's so much less taxing in the stop-and-go traffic that IS washington dc and its surrounding 'burbs. please don't get me wrong, i love my vw. he's my buddy....and he's totally cute and fun to boot.... but i'm getting sick of his high-maintenance, only-takes-premium-gas-kind of ways. he's like a picky girlfriend. i'm over him. please.....don't anyone let him in on this information; i am certain that it would break his little car heart, and i've still got two years left on my lease. i need my car to be in a good mood if we're going to make it through the next 20-some months unscathed.

okay, enough of the melodrama....my head is hurting from a too-tight bun in my hair. must seek refuge in sleep and lack of staring at this screen.

final note of the day: goat cheese and balsamic vinegar rock my world:)
'last night i had the strangest dream....'

on superbowl sunday, 1994, i sat with several of my college cronies in the pizzeria uno down at the inner harbor and asked every waiter in the establishment if they knew who wrote that song to which i refer above. not ONE person in there knew the answer. i'm fairly certain that, when i arrived home that evening, i called the local radio station and actually sang part of it to them over the phone, after which the radio announcer, sensing my oh-so-limited knowledge of pop music from the 80s, flatly replied, 'uh, matthew wilder'.....as if i should have known this! who else knows this? anyway, i'm certain i will never forget that small detail for the rest of my natural-born life.

so yeah, i did indeed have strange and haunting dreams last night. in one dream, i met up with 3 of my closest high school friends, one of whom was VERY pregnant, and they proceeded to play out their staged 'intervention' with me, informing me that my life needed a change. the weird thing was that only 2 of my friends actually spoke; the other one, who is normally quite vocal, sat there silently, unable to contribute anything to the moment. after this 'discussion', everyone sort of drifted off into their own separate rooms. i went to where my one friend (a guy) was lying on a bed, and he motioned for me to come over to him and lie down. i wasn't feeling sad, but i knew that i was supposed to be, so i began to cry and he held me and assured me that everything would be okay. within a few minutes, my crazy uncle shows up and announces that he needs me at his house for rehearsals - because i'm singing 'blue moon' in the wedding of some big pop star the next day.

no, i didn't eat anything weird before bed. unless you count the 2 pieces of cinnamon toast i had for dinner last night....

anyway, i'm off to shower. i've actually been cold since yesterday, despite my constant turning-up of the a/c. maybe all that time spent in a 76-degree house last week rubbed off on me....

okay, wishful thinking.....more later:)

Tuesday, August 06, 2002

driving through the city stirs me. the tall buildings cut off everything but the air right around me, the space between them all that exists as i journey up and down the straight, potholed streets. it is easy for me to see how a person could become myopic living here. there are no trees, no chirping birds or crickets singing. the summer's song is, instead, taxi horns and sirens and people yelling at each other....the ozone-heavy breeze darts in between skyscrapers, tossing the steam pouring from the underground vents and into the street. there is no lazy sitting on of porches, no sipping of lemonade or running through the sprinkler on the lawn. the only people lingering on their front stoops at night are those unfortunate enough not to have artificially cooled air inside their homes, and an occasionally opened fire hydrant subs for their aquatic entertainment. the ground is dirty and littered with bits of trash that tumble out from underneath the passing cars. there are no stars here....the air at night is orange and hazy and the moon rarely shows its face.

i am not a city girl at heart, but something about it still suits me from time to time. it is the urgency, the artistically-driven desperation, the honesty of poverty and lack in the faces of those on the street. my pain is not dormant here; it has no choice but to join forces with the pulsing maelstrom that is the urban life. it is stark and in-your-face. it is just exactly what the suburbs is not. perhaps it is also precisely what i need for this time. this goes without saying....i'm here, aren't i?

i'm not sure where i belong anymore. maybe i am actually a wanderer by nature; there is no place, no type of locale that seems to suit me over another. perhaps it is best that way. this world is not my heart's home. it never will be.

Sunday, August 04, 2002

i am about to sink to an all-time low. yes, america....yes. it is true. i am, most certainly, over the edge.

pray for me.

Saturday, August 03, 2002

'all my bags are packed; i'm ready to go....'

so it's been a good week here. a restful time away. i got a few things accomplished in the last few days, although not all of what i'd hoped. but at this point in my life, i take progress where i can get it. last night, i drove around richmond with my friend francie -- such reminiscence of high school days when things were a lot simpler and it was 'cool' to go tooling around in her big boat of a car and scope out all the places we could be hanging out but weren't because of either lack of funds, illegal habits or chronological age. but last night, it was much less in the realm of scoping and much more an opportunity to hang out and talk without having to sit inside the cramped starbucks with the 18-year olds who are seriously impressed by their new freedom.

every time i've driven around this week, the only song i seem to be able to listen to in the cd player is dar williams - 'after all'. apparently this has become my new anthem for the times....it wasn't even a conscious decision i made - more just something that crept up on me...kind of like the rest of my life, really.

if there's one thing i'm learning, it's the importance of being comfortable in one's own skin. so much of my life has been spent in being detached from myself, but now i'm seeking to reconnect...to get on board with what's actually going on...to feel everything....to drink from the cup regardless of what it holds. i want to dig into the soil beneath the surface....let grace get under my fingernails and work its way into the fibers of my clothes....to be satisfied with what i am given...to live life with hands open and eyes upward.

goodbye, virginia....thanks for being my 'home' for a week...i'm sure that our paths will cross again.

i'm out.

Friday, August 02, 2002

this, too, shall pass....

tonight is my last night here in richmond. it's been a mostly relaxing week. in a couple of hours, i'll be having lunch with a high school friend of mine -- a recently married one at that. i'm sure that i'll pick her brain -- try to get a feel, like i do with all other married friends, of what that first month of wedded bliss is really like. i'll ask her what's been hard for her, what she's learned about herself, whether or not she feels relieved to have made the lifetime commitment (i haven't yet had anyone answer negatively to that last one). i am certain that i will leave the lunch table feeling both sad that i'm not there yet and overwhelmingly relieved at the same time for my singleness. it will be a scenario i've played out many times before....

i've been thinking about the concept of belonging a lot over these last few days. i know i have a place to stay with sammie joy, but i still don't feel like i fully belong there. i mean - it's not MY home, obviously. and i know that even though she has been more than gracious to me about opening up the home she is trying to make for herself, it's not how she would prefer for things to have happened. life would be much easier if there weren't another person to work around. but still, at the end of the day, she's the ONE person (other than my parents, who are too far from anything i need to get to on a regular basis) who opened up her home to even offer a "permanent" place to stay....a place where i can leave some of my belongings even if i go away for a day or two....or seven.

to be honest, it's depressing the heck out of me. because when i leave here tomorrow, i'm going back to someone else's home -- again. no matter where i am, it's never my own place. and it never will be.

salimah, thank you for your kindness. i promise that i will try to not abuse it for too much longer....

God, please help me.