nonsensical text

Monday, July 30, 2007

helium filled

When I write, I have a great amount of trouble editing myself. In fact, I don’t work on drafts and polish anything. I don’t plan what I am going to say. I usually have an inkling, but it is normally just a case of going wherever my fingers take me. This process can lead to interesting thoughts when something is on the mind, but in times like these, the general level of stressful and hour-gobbling activity leaves me sitting in my chair - mouth agape, stream of drool dribbling down the edge of my chin – with barely the energy to even read other blogs (let alone comment on them or write anything for mine).

It’s a funny thing, blogging. The longer it has been since you have done it, the easier it is to ignore the fact that you want to do it.

While sanding walls (and painting, etc.), it occurred to me that need is a mystical beast. In the era of first love, the sheer headiness of being needed by someone else can float us several inches off the ground through every waking moment. Entering the serious relationships that come with maturity, the warm-belly tingles of being needed serve as affirmation.

Why is there always a flip side to every coin?

I remember reading years ago (though I don’t remember where) that very often, the very thing which attracts us most to a mate is often also the source of our greatest consternation. I believe I have expounded on the dual-sided leadership/stubbornness gene in the past.

But need.

The joy of holding a newborn baby who is so utterly dependent on my care? The thrill of acceptance that comes from feeling a toddler's arms wrapped around me in the need of mommy protection? The bedazzling wonder that is a teenager seeking counsel (or simply a loving ear)?


The unfed masses? The whining beasts? The able-bodied residents somehow incapable of caring for their basest of needs alone? The single-minded who can walk right past said able-bodied in order to find the drywall-dust encrusted mother for the all-important juice replenishing ceremony?

Not exactly bliss.

Hold that thought, I have more laundry to do….

Dear God, help me hold the Bliss before the mind’s eye.


Thursday, July 12, 2007

the tale of the dog that licked you

I have been remiss. In my all too frequent absence from this blog of late, I neglected to mention that we got a new dog. We were not intending to do this quite as quickly as it happened, but the eldest’s boss, upon hearing of our loss, asked if we would be interested in taking one of their dogs (personality conflict between dogs forcing them to get rid of her). So, we began the sudden adjustment that comes from severe downsizing, and made room on our laps for Daisy the Dachshund.

Daisy thinks she is a big dog. She is very loving and wonderful with the children and parents, but she is extremely protective. A ringing doorbell or knock at the door will immediately set her off on a frenzied rush of barks and growls as she runs back and forth from door to resident, “Intruder alert! Intruder alert!”

The husband has enjoyed this trait since discovering that doorbell rings on the television produce the same result (or telephone rings, elevator dings, game show buzzers…). He is now able to combine his two favorite pastimes – playing with the DVR remote, and teasing mercilessly (all in good fun, of course).

We have construction going on in an upstairs room of our house right now. Normally, we would be handling this by ourselves, but we threw caution to the wind, and actually hired someone to do the drywall this time around. The constant opening and closing of the front door combined with the speed of a certain weiner dog led to the necessity of leashing Daisy during certain times of the day. At one such time, S, the instigator, sick of holding onto the leash, attached it instead to the piano chair. Now, I call this the piano chair, but in reality, it is your standard wheeled office chair which just happens to reside at the table upon which the keyboard rests.

I was on the phone with my mother. It was turning into a relatively long conversation since, after several days of laryngitis, I finally had most of my voice back (and I haven’t been over to see her in an entire week), so I did not immediately notice the leash situation. When I did, I set off to locate the responsible party. Before I could make my way to the other room, happenstance interfered.

It is a dark secret of our “little” family that the TV is a member of the household. Often, even when no one is actually watching the thing, it is left in operation. After all, we wouldn’t want it to get lonely or bored. Apparently, the television would very much like to be the dear husband when it grows up, for it chose that moment to peal out with the ring of a doorbell.

Dachshunds are not very big dogs.

Suddenly, the piano chair went flying through the living room, hot on the trail of a barking tornado – through the obstacle course of a living room recently abandoned by young children at play, on to the dining room.

We live in a 100 year old house. I don’t know if you have spent much time in old houses, but it is a somewhat common anomaly for such houses to have floors which are less than level. In short, our dining room works well for science classes studying the effects of gravity.

The chair started catching up with the dog.

Being a person of gentle heart, I should feel guilty that I didn’t help the poor thing sooner, but I must admit that I was simply laughing too darn hard. My greatest regret? I didn’t have a video camera handy, so I won’t get to use that wonderful phrase, “No animals were harmed in the making of this film.”

Labels: ,

Friday, July 06, 2007

humming to the beat of a different fiddler

What better day to jump back into the world of chronicling thoughts than today? What better method than to act as though weeks hadn’t passed with nary a whisper of fingers to key? That time has fleeted by, and it is long past the hour when I should be asleep, but thoughts tickle at my mind. I want to sleep (though not tired), and I know I should sleep, but soon is soon enough for such things.

There is this little thing called a Hump Day Hmm perpetuated by Julie at The Raven Picture Maven. Now, I realize that today is not Wednesday, and therefore not the day of humpliness. I also have just enough rationality left to admit that my particular hmm stems not from this week’s hump, but from that mid-week hill that we passed way back on the 20th of June.

There is something about the phrase “accident of birth” that just speaks to me. I found myself looking up the word accident on I have trouble with the word “accident” in some uses, because it has such negative connotations. But I found two definitions which spoke to me in this regard.

3. any event that happens unexpectedly, without a deliberate plan or cause.

5. a fortuitous circumstance, quality, or characteristic: an accident of birth.

Ah, such a wondrous stroke of good fortune that the phrase “accident of birth” is actually associated with the definition I find most appealing for this topic.

Years ago, my mother and I almost died through a little thing called childbirth. Placenta previa was far less frequently diagnosed in the era before routine ultrasound. Blizzards in rural areas and hemorrhaging pregnant women (some thirty miles from the nearest hospital) would not easily add up to a living child and mother – the same mother who, years earlier, almost wasn’t born.

Years and years ago, a woman with an almost total hysterectomy gave birth. All that remained of her reproductive tract was one ovary and a small bit of uterine wall (in the doctor’s eyes, just enough to keep early menopause from triggering). That baby would grow up to become my mother-in-law.

Accidents? Coincidences? Miracles?

My first year of marriage was not a happy one – at all. However, we did find ourselves expecting a baby after about five months. Was this an accident? We weren’t “not trying.” I am not a proponent of having a child to fix marital issues. Generally, that is a very bad idea. For us, though - for me specifically, the first look from those newborn eyes left me drastically changed. My soul center shifted, erasing hurts and guilt – re-erecting the core of my faith as the core of my life.

My second child came. Purpose deepened; love grew. The third child brought, at first, a relaxed familiarity along with the joy. Soon, however, I found myself overwhelmed with three small children who got into every conceivable mischief in the amount of time it took to blink.

Depression loomed. Marital bliss suffered in its wake. Accident came again (not oopsie daisy accident, but “without deliberate plan”). There was fear involved in the joy of two pink lines (or blue, or purple. I’ve lost track over the years) - fear stemming from deep within - terror on some levels (am I adequate?), anxiety on others (will this make the tensions more or less acute?).

My fourth child was born, but born without cries or breath or open eyes. And, in the permanent weld of white-hot torment shared, the birth of a child into Jesus’ arms made petty irritations lose all value.

Unfairness? Accident? Miracle?

A fifth child came along - very much planned, yet so much an accident. Had his brother survived, the timing would have been different. The same combinations of momma and daddy might never have come to be. The family might have been deemed complete. The fifth child brought the fourth set of living cries to my external senses – a gift both powerful and frightening.

Child six, my fifth to keep, followed several early miscarriages. Is his genetic make-up accidental as well? He brought with him hope that life could come again from this body.

Child seven! Child seven? I never planned on having a large family. Is that accident as well? Is it accident that led that sperm to that egg and created a female baby? It certainly packed shock value!

A fortuitous circumstance led to such happy accident (serendipity, I love thee well)!

But today, today (well, yesterday in physical fact, even if I haven’t been to bed yet), TODAY! My best friend had a living, breathing, beautiful baby girl. Today, while her mummy tried to fitfully sleep in the post C-section haze, I got to hold in my arms such joyous evidence that there is most certainly a Great Designer. I got to look into newborn eyes and feel the unadulterated peace of lulling fussy whimpers into innocent sleep.

Labels: ,