Friday, November 28, 2003

post-holiday musings

okay, so my turkey was a hit. i rubbed him down with orangey-sage butter. he was brown and crispy and beautiful....and stuffed with the delicious stuffing that my grandma always made (fresh bread cubes, sausage, onions, celery, raisins, pine nuts, sage). we also had sweet potatoes that i first roasted and then whipped with butter, cream, brown sugar and cinnamon; caramelized pearl onions; buttered green beans; and homemade whole berry cranberry sauce. for dessert, my mom made a pumpkin souffle-like torte with a pecan crust. my father contributed a beautiful, crisp riesling. salimah, as always, supplied us with her charm and lots of laughter. it was so lovely and pleasant and relaxed.

and then, after dinner, we had a reading of my favorite children's book, my uncle podger. my parents left around 9 to go back to their hotel, and salimah and i watched part of sophie's choice (we finished it this morning). meryl streep is an amazing actress - not that anyone was disputing this.

tomorrow i'll be making turkey stock (which will, no doubt, become soup in the near future) and i hope to get a leg up on my christmas cards....we'll see how well THAT works out! otherwise, i'll be working and just chilling at home; the weather is positively abysmal around here.

here are some things for which i am thankful, in no particular order:

friends (and even some family) who love and support me.
a way to be productive and self-sufficient (not always a given in the last few years).
way more pots and bakeware and kitchen gadgets than anyone actually needs.
a vision for my life that includes passion and service.
the hope that things can be different than they've always been.
the knowledge that they already are.

and of course, it goes without saying (but must be said), a God who knows everything about me and, for some reason, loves me still. and it is this love that drives my every breath.

*sigh* the page is turned now, Lord....isn't it?

a new chapter has begun.

Wednesday, November 26, 2003

for today

so much of being young (and i don't just mean chronologically) is about dreaming. and so much of dreaming is about speculation. dreams are safe. they don't require risk. they're not going to bite you in the butt while they float around in your mind. it's jumping in and living that's hard. it's living that means hanging your heart - your self - out there and letting what comes COME. it's LIVING that makes you want to hide under a rock some days.

i've noticed that people (myself included), in a futile attempt to prolong the discomfort of actually having to live, rest on the concept of 'some day.' you know that day, don't you? that's when everything will magically fall into place and all the little details will work out such that you can FINALLY feel comfortable enough to take the step you're dreading. see, it's LIVING that makes people flip out.

and i think this is why so many people don't actually ever get on with it. it's so much easier to talk about what you'll do 'some day' because either a) you honestly are deluded enough to think that the right circumstances are going to erase your fears or b) you're hoping that 'some day' will never stare you in the face, thereby forcing you to live up to your word and achieve your goals. staying in denial feels much easier than having to stress yourself out about the possibility of moving out of your comfort zone and on with your life.

but here's the problem: this mindset does nothing but make people miserable and hold them back from the things they should be doing. it prevents people from maturing, from being emotionally ready to handle life's bigger obstacles. believe you me, i've seen the effects of a life driven by fear, putting things off, living for the 'some day.' it's been my life. and it's sucked. oh, don't get me wrong. i've made a lot of progress - especially in the last couple of years - but in order to do so, i've had to take A LOT of risks and hang myself way out there and i was terrified most of the time. in the end, it's all been worth it so far. and i feel myself growing up. amazing how that works.

so, here's to living TODAY (perhaps with the goals of 'some day' in mind, even still). here's to my other friends who are seeking to throw caution to the wind and jump into their lives. here's to growing up - for REAL this time.
maybe not

i thought i had something to say. i was wrong.

Sunday, November 23, 2003

me and not me

last night i hung out with a cousin of mine. before my grandmother's funeral this summer, i hadn't seen her in almost 20 years (she was not even 5 at the time). turns out she's been living in no. va., so we decided to get together and hang for the evening. we went to dinner (i had the indonesian peanut saute. quite yums) and then dropped in at the bookstore for some coffee (for her) and chai (for me). it is odd to me that our ancestral photos contain the same faces (her grandfather was my grandmother's brother), yet we know so little about one another. but we are becoming more familiar....and we are learning that we share some of the same quirky loves, habits, thoughts about life. and besides which, she is another sara (although her name has no 'h' like mine) elizabeth.....so how bad can she be?:)

*******************************

after she left, i came upstairs to my place, locked myself into the silence of my apartment, surfed blogs for awhile, and then crawled into bed to read before turning off the light for good. and as i lay there in the stillness, in the few moments before sleep came, i realized how profound of a thing it is (for me) to live alone. and even now, as i type this blog entry, i am here by myself. and for most nights for the next year or more, i will end my day much the same. and that's more than okay with me, i guess. but i still wonder when it won't be quite like this....when i'll lie in bed and hear the cadence of another's breathing...when i'll have in-laws and babies and a mortgage....and i'll be called by another name....

and maybe by then, my heart will not remember so well these moments in the dark, me sinking under the covers, waiting for warmth to surround me....the loneliness and freedom intermingled in the center of my chest. breathe in. breathe out. it's just me. God...will it always be just me?....

thank you that it's just me.

please don't let it always be just me.

Wednesday, November 19, 2003

torrent

for the last 2 days, i've been pretty much waylayed with what i think is a stomach bug. suffice it to say that excruciating pain has woken me out of a dead sleep for the last two nights. rest? not so much.

also, i discovered water damage in my apartment tonight. it was pouring here today, with lots of wind that swirled and swished the water up under the overhang and onto my balcony. not a gentle fall storm, that's for sure. it's got me pretty nervous and thinking that i should definitely be calling to get some renter's insurance on this place - quick, fast, and in a hurry!

now onto other things:

i'm plagued by this un-nameable feeling...this vague desire, this bottom-dwelling thing that refuses to come up for air and make itself known. i feel an ache inside. i may know where it's coming from and although it would be really easy for me to lay it all out in this medium - cleanse my soul, if you will - i'm not going to do that. suffice it to say that there are 4 large issues competing for top billing in my heart right now, and it's enough to make a girl crazy....

oh yeah - and then there's the water that's threatening to drip - or gush - through my ceiling and onto me.

some days, i can intimately sense how those israelites must have felt as they walked through the rocky/sandy bed of the red sea, held back only by the merciful hand of God.

keep it steady, Lord. just keep it steady....

Tuesday, November 18, 2003

sometimes i am astonished by how many people there truly are in this world. just when i think that somehow i could get my mind around it, the numbers overwhelm and perplex me once again. and just as there are bodies, there are souls...hearts....to be won or lost, built up or broken. it's a crazy, crazy thing.

and here i am, one person, out of millions. MILLIONS. and it's easy to feel like the whole world revolves around me and my problems, my pains, my joys. it's so easy for each of us...all of us...to feel that way. and yet it doesn't revolve around me. not at all. i'm dust. i'm a breath. i'm a wisp.

BUT (and this is the heart of the matter at hand) i'm important. i'm incredibly important to the Maker of the universe, to my friends, to those who love and miss me when i'm gone from them.

this is a simple truth. no one will give me a medal for realizing this. and no one should.

but i forget sometimes. and sometimes i need to remember....for whatever the reason. today, it's because i'm lonely and longing for something i don't yet have. i'm wanting a place - a time - that my feeble mind cannot bear to conceive. i want to know that i'm worth that time. i want to know that i'll make it to that time.

i want to know that someone else is wanting to meet me there. not all of the world.

just one.

Sunday, November 16, 2003

'hello darkness, my old friend....'

the day i turned six was one of the saddest days of my young life. i won't get into it here, but suffice it to say that i saw my mom really cry for the first time, and it scared me. i felt completely out of control and uncertain and just plain terrified. i was willing and wanting to do anything to make her stop - it scared me that much. i was so young and that day, though long over, still sends chills, reminding me....

the truth is that i don't have any regrets about getting older. some people yearn for their younger days, when things were more 'carefree' and easy. not me. i'm more and more thankful for the years that pass....that take me farther away from the child i was and closer to the woman i want to be.

i mean, don't get me wrong: i have some good memories of being a little kid. but they're peppered with a lot of sadness and pain. i'm not avoiding. i just don't want to go back there.

some days, the past shows up on your doorstep and demands to be let in for tea and company....

for the record, the porch light is off.

Tuesday, November 11, 2003

monday

tonight i burned a pot of rice. and i don't just mean kind of. i mean...i'm not sure if this pot will ever recover....

but i'm not really that upset about it, even though it is/was a really good pot....

actually, right now, what i'm thinking is that it's 2 a.m. and i'm still awake. and my eyes are drooping but my heart feels full. i had a relaxed, very effortless evening with a friend. we shared story after story of our lives and experiences. it has been quite some time since i have discussed certain events and issues in my life; it felt strange to drag all of it out and spread it in front of someone else to inspect and digest, but it was good for me. it keeps me connected to myself.

what a strange thought....

my heart is a swirling cloud of emotion. perhaps it is sleep that i need more than anything right now. my bed is calling me. morning taunts me, a few hours off....

for now, a pause.....

Saturday, November 08, 2003

chill

it is SO cold in here! i love it, though, and i'm refusing to turn the heat on!! i'd rather snuggle under blankets than have artificially heated air any day (well, usually). besides, after that muggy, rainy few days, i'm enjoying the air being cool and crisp and FINALLY indicative of autumn.

yesterday i got a few things organized, ran a load of towels, and had a friend over for the afternoon. we just sat in my living room and chatted for about 3 1/2 hours about God, our lives, the state of the world. then, i made myself some dinner and watched a little tv while reading cookbooks all evening. took a shower to ease some sore muscles and then went to bed around 11:30. all in all, a pleasant and relaxing evening.

today, i have plans to chill out in the pad until mid-afternoon and then hook up with salimah later on. we'll figure something out for dinner and then watch movies tonight ('the bone collector' being one - a netflix hook-up) and maybe have some cocktails or something. i'm definitely in the mood to bake....will have to see if i can drag together a few pennies to buy some ingredients:). how i miss having money! but having a home is more important, i guess....

oh, and as a complete sidebar: i am now craving korean food like a madwoman. something reminded me of its existence yesterday, and i fear that until i get some of it, i'll have it on the brain for awhile.....*sigh* mandu....bulgoki....won't you come and visit me?:)

Friday, November 07, 2003

waking

last night, i dreamed of my grandmother. i was at her house, and she was bustling about in the kitchen, and some relative of hers (maybe a sister?) called to ream me out because my grandmother hadn't baked enough for some event during the past year. i was trying to explain to her that it was miraculous that she was still alive (i was shocked, myself, to find her there) because we had nearly lost her. i was insulted that anyone would be so demanding in a time such as that.

my grandmother was so young, so full of life in this dream. in fact, in every dream i have had about her since her death, that is precisely how she appears.

and after i got off the phone, she took me into this hidden attic-type thing over her front porch (this did not exist in real life) and showed me all of her nursing paraphernalia that she had apparently been hiding up there all these years. it was amazing.

i awoke feeling really sad....thinking about the rest of my family....wondering if they struggle some days with the understanding of never getting to talk to her again.

Wednesday, November 05, 2003

perhaps i'm not too young to be getting old....

i was home today working, feeling lousy and on top of it randomly weepy about this whole partial-birth abortion thing.....and then at about 3:30, the sky got really dark and rain began to pour, forming rivers between the piles of leaves in the parking lot. what else can one do in moments like that except lie down on your new couch with all the lights out and watch the weatherman talk tornadoes as the storm whips about outside the balcony window? and then fade deliciously into a quick afternoon nap....?

and THEN, 2+ hours later (!), wake up groggy and completely out of sorts, wondering how all of this happened and feeling like someone has just played some kind of joke on you that will mean you not actually sleeping tonight!!!!!!!

*breathe*

and in the midst of all of that, all i could think of is where are the baking pans my grandmother gave me?

don't say it. i know.

i know....

Monday, November 03, 2003

gimme the 4-1-1

my cable man rocks! he is hooking me up with major discounts off my service for the next three months. we (that would be the royal 'we') love this....

but how much of a stalker am i? his work cell phone was out of service (he had changed it, apparently), so i tracked the man down at his residence. yikes!

listen, times are few and far between when i can get money off. i had to go for the gusto....he was cool about it, though. i just won't be pulling that stunt again next time i need a favor.

uh, hi, james? could you come over and kill a bug for me?

oh please. i'm sure he wouldn't mind....

;)
snapshot

this morning while sitting in traffic, i looked out my passenger window and saw, lying next to each other on the street, a balled-up pair of men's dress socks and a tipped-over can of coke.

perhaps they had just engaged in a mutual smackdown.