Inverted Crescent

One Woman's Journey Over the Moon and Beyond

Wednesday, October 07, 2009

It took 1.5 villages

Hello cave aficionados!
Since I was sixteen I have kept some form of journal. In these journals are many truths and self deceptions. Added to the journals are several letters that I have received over the years from loved ones. There are letters of encouragement during exam time, support during recovery from broken hearts, letters that showed me that I wasn’t as awful and terrible as I thought I was, and letters that simply relay the events of life.
I love having these because I can finally look back on all of this and have some real since of who I am and how I got to be there…of the huge debt I owe to so many people who made a good-faith effort to love me when I was unloveable, to be there for me despite the bad choices I may have been making, and to celebrate with me when things went well. I was blessed. Deeply and irrepressibly blessed and all I can say for it is “thank you” to the universe, to God, to the beautiful and deeply flawed individuals who were there for me. Thank you to my family, to my friends, to the patient and impatient who let me go through my growing pains, and who still do.
Things I have learned from these mementos:
1. I am loved.
2. My mom was awesome in all the ways she tried to mother me, without smothering me.
3. My Dad really did want the best for me.
4. That I wanted love so much in my youth that I put up with some pretty unacceptable behavior from others and from myself.
5. That I don’t always challenge myself to be my best.
6. That my church group, my summer camp friends, friends from school, work and life in general have all done large and small things to keep me in line.
7. They actually liked me, for me. It took a long time for me to accept that I might be likeable.
8. That regardless what others do think of me, I am still God’s creature, undeserving of his Grace and yet have it accessible. What a miracle is that!

Wednesday, September 23, 2009

Only to be with you

I’m not certain what it is that I’m looking for.
Perhaps to be better, or smarter, or wiser than I’ve been in the past. Perhaps to have a new pretty thing, or to get rid of old stuffy things, or simply to be in a different space than I am now.
Restless. That’s me.
At every phase of my life I’ve experienced some sort of restlessness. I’m not certain what it is I think I’m trying to get to------but there is an underlying urge to get to that place that is real and ever present.
In my youth, I wanted a degree. When I got a degree, I wanted to end up in the perfect job. When I got the perfect job, I wanted the perfect man. Now that I am happily married, what is it I’m looking for?
Part of it is a relationship with God. I know that much. The empty holes in my heart that I’ve tried to fill all of these years are God-shaped holes, and not people shaped ones.
Part of it is a greater sense of community and fulfillment. I’ve been blessed with so much, how do I use it in a way that is pleasing to the big G? And perhaps more importantly, how do I get to that place where feeling that connection, and WANTING to give more than I take is “natural”?
*sigh* I’m so selfish. I don’t want to reach out too much to strangers for fear of what it will cost me. I don’t want to give up too much of my time because of how easily tired I get. I get angry and frustrated when people do not act the way that I want them to, and I am so quick to judge others for things done and left undone.
I don’t want to stay this way, and hope to come to a place where it is normal and natural for me to be my best self---and to turn to God for help when I’m not feeling naturally loving, forgiving, or patient.

St. Francis' Prayer

Lord, make me an instrument of your peace,
Where there is hatred, let me sow love;
where there is injury, pardon;
where there is doubt, faith;
where there is despair, hope;
where there is darkness, light;
where there is sadness, joy;
O Divine Master, grant that I may not so much seek to be consoled as to console;
to be understood as to understand;
to be loved as to love.
For it is in giving that we receive;
it is in pardoning that we are pardoned;
and it is in dying that we are born to eternal life

Sunday, August 02, 2009

are you out there?

I've been reading "The Shack" lately and though I'm not impressed with the writing style, I am intrigued by the topics brought up in the book.

If anyone reads this blog---I have a serious question for you...

How is it you know that you are encountering God in your life?

That used to be something I was very clear on in my life----but it has gotten a little fuzzier of late.

I think, on the whole, I'm an okay human being----but I'm hardly a person living in a real relationship with God anymore---and I miss it.

Any insights/advice out there from those of you who have felt like you were going through a spiritual dry spell>

Tuesday, July 21, 2009

the latest simple meme/craze

Borrowed from the Simple Woman’s Daybook:

Outside my window…
Raindrops and twilight

I am thinking…
about going to bed early

I am thankful for…
A sweet puppy dog at my feet

From the kitchen…
salmon patties and squash fritters

I am wearing…
a polka dot skirt and a blue cardigan

I am creating…
A new blog post!

I am going…
To take a real vacation up the east coast this fall.

I am reading…
Three Cups of Tea

I am praying...
to be closer to God

I am hearing…
The raindrops outside, the ceiling fan on it's endless rotation, and the breathing of my cat.

Around the house…
It is quiet. The house smells of newly cooked dinner.

One of my favorite things…
is a well crafted science fiction movie

A few plans for the rest of the week…
work, work, work-------miracle grow for the garden on saturday---iron my clean clothes on saturday, and set aside a little time to actually journal.

navel gazing in one end and out another

It's a wonderfully rainy evening and I have survived a workshop, eaten deliciously fried squash fritters, and am currently imbibing a glass of red wine.

Life is good.

My garden is looking strange as the early tomato plants are fading, and the new basil and tomatoes are nowhere near grown-up enough to look productive. Give them time and they'll be fine though. I know it.

Somewhere within the almost year that I've been married, my fat kitty has gotten quite used to my husband's dog and I am suprised and happy simultaneously about this new and equitable arrangement at which they have arrived. The peace between them in the house is remarkable.

Now, if only I could get my lazy butt up enough to exercise I think I would be "getting somewhere." (:

My grief over my mother's death is becoming manageable. Each day is a bit better, and I do not find myself sulking over all the things that I cannot have with her.
I focus instead on what is ahead, and where I am.

Life is about the present moment. The older I get, the more certain of that I am.

If my present self could write a letter to my past self, it would say "go visit her more". Definitely.

I lament that I will never asked her how she makes her famous banana pudding, or bothered to learn exactly how the christmas chicken and dressing was made. Things that I would have gotten around to, if there was more time spent with her.
These food staples of every christmas I have ever had are lost to me.
However------the important thing about my christmas celebration will be bringing the family together.

Through her death, I have become my small family's matriarch. I find it exceedingly strange that a woman who does not want children ends up being the one who tries to maintain these family bonds.

What's next?

Work things mainly.
I've developed a wonderful focus for work that I haven't had before.
My opinion is saught out, and I am looked to as a mentor.
I have greater clarity about the purpose of my teaching, and about where it will take me and my students.

I wish I could really blog about my work; but for all the reasons any self-aware blogger is cogniscent of, I shouldn't.

What can I say? That my students are awesome---that they are becoming very aware of their place in the universe and their role in it, and that, if I do my job well---this will be a much better place to live for many` many reasons.

Monday, July 13, 2009

hodge podge

It's a long, hot summer, and I've been jumping with my students.

I've injured every almost every part of my body below the knee due to lots of outdoor time---------and the illusion that I can still take on a team of 9 year olds in a relay race.

Silly me.

However, it was still time well spent.
I shall miss them, now that summer school is officially over, and it's time to take a brief rest and get ready for real back-to-school.

On the upside, I have been reading a wonderful book by Barbara Kingsolver called "The Prodigal Summer".

Beautiful story. It's full of sex, ghosts, legacy and nature. I couldn't have picked a better summer read.

Next on the list is "Three Cups of Tea". It is getting positive reviews, so I'm looking forward to it.

Having been a difficult summer, with the death of my mother and the assumption of a few new work responsibilities, I have looked for positive things to cling to that will give me reasons to be happy.

I find my mind too often strays to thoughts of her death, and even to what my own death will be like as well.
It is a trait of my family-------that when they realize their bodies are slowing down, they focus entirely too much on their end, instead of where they currently ARE.

Perhaps that is only a characteristic of these "planners". My family is filled with planners. They are always looking toward the next thing-------and death is a very big and final next thing. They don't know what comes beyond that----so they get stuck on death.

I don't want to be that way. So, what do I do to live more fully now?

Read a book, love my husband, throw myself into my work, join a gym to make my body
stronger, goal to walk a marathon, blog or write more regularly, and pray. I've gotten so far away from my spiritual life.

When everything is working out well, I still feel an absence------and often it is because God and I aren't talking like we used to.

Of course, this experience with dealing with mom's final affairs has made me very aware that I need to set my own affairs in order. I am young---in the full summer of my life----but I should have all of my papers set up so that my husband is well taken care of should anything happen to me.

Plan, yes. But don't live as if the plan were the only thing.

Love my family. Live in the now.

This is what I need.

If you read this, ( and I doubt that anyone does anymore since it's been ages since I posted regularly), pray for me.

Much love to the universe.

Saturday, July 04, 2009

A very Merry 4th indeed

Today is the 4th of July and I am going to celebrate in my usual style----------by doing as little as possible.

I'm staying in, reading a wonderful book, and have plans to go to the hot air balloon/fireworks festival in Canton, MS.

I'm so excited about attending....I've wanted to do this since I first moved to Mississippi, so this should be fun.

There will be bar-b-que, music, and hotter-than-hell weather amidst hot air balloons. Should be a good time.

Happy 4th to you all!

Monday, June 29, 2009

Memoriam, May 2009

Her hands were small, but perfectly formed.
They were always busy--------cleaning something, cooking something, loving or petting on someone. I do not remember a time when they weren't busy.

Her nails were burgundy red. Always.
Since age 16 she wore a shade of burgundy----and it suited her, with her pale, pale skin and her mink black hair. She was her own version of Snow White.

If I grew too restless in church, or was winding down for the night, she would put my head in her lap and stroke my hair. I would become peaceful then. I would know that I was loved when those small motherly hands were in my hair, combing it, putting it up in ponytails or dog-ears.

When she died, I placed my head in her lap one more time and put her hand on my head. I didn't know how else to say goodbye. It would be the last chance I had to know her this way. One last loving touch.

When I went to the funeral director I brought her best shade of burgundy and asked them to paint her nails a fresh shade. I insisted that her toes be done too. Mom was nothing if not particular. She would have liked to look her best.

Thank you Mom for everything.
I will try to be the person you raised me to be.
I will try to do as you have taught me.
Much love to you in heaven-------love on Dad, say hello to "prissy", because all dogs do go to heaven, and say hello to my baby brother.
I look forward to meeting him one day.

Many blessings to you in this new phase of life-------and hope that your nails there are as pretty as they were here.

Much love,

Your daughter