Sight Calling

dandelion sky

image:wallpapersforest

Mortar and pestle soothe in their tempo
Peace

leave angst for rest            call
the
tap
tap
tap

of the jiggle
Rough smoothed
scattered            Collected              fractured           Reduced
what’s left is revealed but dressed.         Wait – But naked?                Old             new
comes the realization and the breath
Flows
Until up ratchet the old man on old trails of old pains
Wait! I’ll not stay
t he spell is broken yet choices remain
A journey = continual spiral   up   DOWN   UP   down
Ring around the rosie, a pocket full of posies
the music floats
The spirit joins
DOWN up down UP and on and on and on in what seems
Re dundant
For the sight is short
Ah, how sweet is that?
The needed sight is beyond this sight.
The huge sight reaching, drawing, calling Yes, we can. Together

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Together

Mortar and pestle soothe in their tempo

image:selahchurch.blogspot

image:selahchurch.blogspot

Peace           leave angst for rest                 call
the
tap
tap
tap                                of the jiggle

Rough smoothed
scattered   Collected           fractured          Reduced
what’s left is revealed       but dressed.                 Wait – But naked?                                                                                      Old       new
comes the realization and the breath
Flows
Until up ratchet the old man on old trails of old pains
Wait!          I’ll not stay
t he spell is broken                         yet                                                                                      choices remain
A journey = continual spiral        up            DOWN UP                   down
Ring around the rosie, a pocket full of posies
the music floats
The spirit joins
DOWN up down UP and on and on and on in what seems
Re dundant
For the sight is short
Ah, how sweet is that?
The needed sight is beyond this sight.
The huge sight reaching,       drawing,           calling                 Yes, we can.                   Together

Color me Home

Teal? Turquoise? Sea foam green? What color decorative pillows to choose for the new décor? The sofa is the color of a warm sandy beige and

image:freeipadwalls

image:freeipadwalls

the hardwood floors are light oak, so teal or turquoise or sea-foam green, any of the three will work as the accent color. The choices are distinct yet often have minute differences. Sea Foam Green with just a touch more blue in this decorative pillow than that one and you have teal. Or just a touch more of brightness to the teal on that decorative pillow and you have turquoise. Then there are two decorative pillows marketed as turquoise, but side by side, one is slightly duller and it looks more teal than turquoise. It’s subtle these differences. All on the same side of the color wheel or the arc of the rainbow, yet teal is not turquoise nor is it sea-foam green. And turquoise is not teal nor is it sea-foam green and sea-foam green is not teal nor is it turquoise.

They are all blue with green in them, but they are not a pale blue or a dark blue or a cornflower blue or a baby blue or a navy blue or a levi jeans blue or a royal blue or a slate blue or an Azure blue.

And they are not green. Not a jade green or a summer green or a moss-green or a spring green or a forest green or army green or an apple green or a split pea soup green. In fact, next to green they aren’t green at all. And next to blue, they aren’t blue at all.

Neither are they purple; not any shade of purple – not lavender or violet or amethyst or lilac or orchid or indigo or plum or mauve.
They are their own colors. They are teal and turquoise and sea-foam green. They are rich and deep and distinct in their hues. I close my eyes after staring at samples and color charts and catalogues and in my dreams the teal and turquoise and sea-foam green swirl around me; they lift me up, they carry me out beyond the city, we rise above the mountain’s height and we float past the greens of the Amazon forest and across the green Hawaiian islands in their ocean of blue.

The teal and turquoise and sea-foam green and I glide over the Amalfi coast and its Azure Sea. We fly slowly over the endless horizon of the sand of the Sahara, my teal and turquoise and sea-foam green shining bright and brilliant in contrast. We dip like clouds over the icy white of the Antarctic’s mountainous icebergs and continue on, constantly moving. My teal and turquoise and sea-foam green and I push our way through low-lying clouds across Great Britain where we emerge to skim across the emerald-green hills and valleys of Ireland.

Eventually, my teal and turquoise and sea-foam green and I return to sunny Southern California where the wild golden poppies on the rolling hills of the high desert and the brilliant scarlet Bougainvillea blooms in the yards alongside the freeway call us back to earth and when I open my eyes, the teal and turquoise and sea-foam have floated to their rest here in the house where they bring life and light and color. Teal and turquoise and sea-foam green. Which one? Or all? Teal for the decorative pillows and the lap rug on the sofa; turquoise for the dishes in the cabinet; sea-foam green for the tile accents and the towels in the bathroom; all beautiful colors, not blue and not green, but to me they define the colors of home. Teal and Turquoise and Sea Foam green.

Dreams

highrise city scape

image source: fineartamerica.com

In the dream, I’m in the middle of towering steel and glass highrises in a large, downtown city, the sky’s blue reflected from building to building.  I’m not aware of any particular sounds or smells but street traffic is heavy and sidewalks are crowded with busy, rushing people.

I’m anxious.  I’m to start a new job in one of these highrises.  Will I be able to deal with the new work environment?  Will I succeed?  Where will I live?  What part of town?  Will I be able to support myself?  How much style will I have to sacrifice to find a place that is affordable?  Will I be able to build a retirement income?

I vacillate in the dream from being energized at the prospect of a new challenge to feeling out-of-place and aware that I no longer belong in this busy, downtown world.

The dream never seems to go beyond that point and when I wake, I’m surprised that I dreamed of a new city and a corporate job.  Is it San Francisco, Downtown Los Angeles, Beverly Hills, Nashville, or perhaps, Dallas?  I can’t pinpoint the city.  I’ve worked in highrises in all those places but it’s been thirty-three years since the first day I walked into a job in a highrise and eighteen years since I left the corporate world for self-employment.

Strange that I never had the dream until after I’d retired from selling Real Estate and moved back home to care for my elderly parents.  Perhaps that’s the point.  I left the outside work world of highrises and busy downtown streets and took on a job that is primarily contained within the four walls of this suburban house.

I’d had the dream a time or two before I realized it was a stress dream.  It typically came the night before I had some task to which I had committed myself but about which I was uncertain.  The times of the dream that stand out in my memory are the nights before Daddy’s Memorial Service; before I drove to UCLA the first year I went to the Los Angeles Times Book Fair; the night before singing a solo, also the night before I started my first writing class in West L.A. with the highly regarded writer and teacher, Jack Grapes.

Dream - beach scene

image source: google images

A few nights ago, I had the dream again.  This time, there were people at my new job in the highrise.  They weren’t faceless, but I couldn’t tell you much about them.  Again, the city was unknown, but everything was bright, shiny, modern and exciting.  I asked a thirty-something man where he lived and what the housing options were in town.  He told me about the trendy, beautiful, large and upscale apartment he rented in a building with all the amenities: pool, spa, exercise rooms, doorman, cleaners, restaurant, WiFi, grocery, roof gardens.  He said it was downtown in walking distance to my new job.  Wow.  Sounded wonderful.  And expensive.  Probably far more than I could afford.

“How much do you pay, if you don’t mind me asking?”  I asked.

“Three Hundred and Forty-Eight Dollars.”  He said cheerfully.

“What?”  Surely, I’d heard wrong.  “Three thousand, Three Hundred and Forty-Eight?”

“No.  Three Hundred Forty-Eight.”

I was ecstatic.  I was starting a great new job and I’d have a wonderful place to live.  This was thrilling!

When I woke later, I was amazed at the change of my stress dream to a dream of possibility and excitement of great things to come, things of challenge as well as enjoyment and ease and comfort; things bright and shiny and new, surrounded by blue sky.  But why had it changed?

I’d gone to bed in the wee hours of the night, tired but happy after posting to my blog and getting positive feedback from family and friends and even strangers with blogs of their own.  The dream hadn’t changed because I had learned all I needed to know about writing well; nor because I’d crossed the goal line of maximum impact with my writing footprint on the big, wide, world.

Rather, I had begun.  I had pushed against the fears of not being good enough, of having nothing to say, the fear of saying something offensive or politically incorrect that would end any chance of being considered a successful writer.

Jeremiah 29:11

image source: Photobucket

As I thought about the dream, positive as it was, the unknowns lurking there were clear.  Will there be enough income to take me through retirement?  Enough for some of life’s finer things, like travel or a lovely place to live?  Was there significance to the age of the man who told me about the apartment?  I was successful in the corporate world in my thirties and forties.  Am I now too old to accomplish anything of worth or value?  By the time Mother’s days on earth are finished, will it be too late for me to travel and to embrace once again, the outside world?

Yet, when you boil it all down, is there anything new here?  Don’t we all have the same needs for significance, safety and security?  None of us can see the future and a dream of stress or a dream of promise won’t change what happens, but my dream reminds me that I’m to push forward against the fears, all the while resting firm in what I know to be true:

“I know the plans I have for you, declares the Lord.  Plans to prosper you and not to harm you.  Plans to give you a hope and a future.”  Jeremiah 29:11.

God will be there to walk with me into that waiting future.  What else could I need?

Friend through the Unknown

image by Marlene

image by Marlene

My friend, Marlene, was in town this week for the first time since she moved back to Ohio about six months ago.  We met at the little and funky Peach Café in Monrovia (try it, you’ll like it) and had a happy three and a half hour visit.

I’ve missed her.  She was one of the few friends close enough to Pomona that we could get together once in a while in the five years since I moved back.  Initially, when I was so busy taking care of both Daddy and Mother, she and I met about every six months, but in the last two years before she left, we’d upped our times out to several times a year, which made it hard when she said the job interview in Columbus had worked out and she was headed to Ohio.

For our last lunch together last summer, we met at our favorite Sunday lunch-after-church-meeting-place, Macaroni Grill.  She was all ready to leave town and this was our farewell.  She came bearing gifts, which is so like Marlene.  She’s gracious and giving.

“Since your friends in California are losing you to Ohio, we should be sending you off with gifts, not the other way around.”  I said as I opened the greeting card.

“Oh,” she replied in typical modest, Marlene fashion, with a smile on her face, “that’s so sweet.”

She even picked up the bill, which was very generous and made the parting even tougher.  It was sad knowing that one of my links to the outside world was going and our Sunday lunches ending.

A few months before she left, we’d gone into Hollywood to the Pantages Theatre to see “Wicked” and then out dinner at one of her favorite Italian restaurants, Villa Italiana in Duarte  (another good place to try if you’re in the area).  It was a fun and stimulating evening.

Sometime after that, Marlene, her roommate, three of their friends and I caught the commuter bus that took us to the Hollywood Bowl one night for the L.A. taping of “Prairie Home Companion.”  What a fun time that was sitting in the cool evening breeze as the sun set and the lights of the Bowl stage came on.

I felt young and alive and engulfed in one of life’s things of beauty.  It was a peaceful enjoyment of a carefree night, so far away from my world of an elderly Mother, our church with its mostly elderly people and the several elderly neighbors who live on our street.  That night I felt like I had been struggling underwater but at last had come up for air and was able to drink deeply of its life-giving force.

Meeting Marlene for lunch this week on her short visit to get her furniture packed up in the truck her brother and sister in law would drive back to Ohio, was another one of those breaks from the world of caregiving and the elderly.

As we left, we hugged each other goodbye and got into our cars to drive in opposite directions, the early afternoon sun shining and warming up the winter day to nearly 80 degrees after several weeks of freezing temps at night and cool days.  I once again felt alive and hopeful that life most likely held much more for me than living with my elderly mother.

It’s often a tug of war.  On the one hand, I can’t imagine being anywhere else than here with Mother.  How could I possibly go, knowing that would mean she would be forced to leave her home?  I’m not sure her days would continue very long if that were the case.

On the other hand, there are limits to what I can do with my days because she needs me here.  Times of escape for a meal out with a friend are rare.  Yet in the middle of that tug of war, I am amazed at what God has done by putting me here.  He’s handed me the financial means and the time to learn a new craft and to develop a new skill: writing.  Somehow in the middle of that new skill is the knowledge that my world doesn’t end where these walls end.  Writing transcends these boundaries.  I’m grateful to know that.  But even that knowledge pales in comparison to the other thing God is doing.  He’s teaching me much in the day to day living and caring for my elderly Mother.   He’s teaching me again, in this new situation, that He is the solution for every worry, every care and every unknown.

Who of us truly knows where our lives will go next or how long those lives will last?  We don’t.  But, what I do know is that God is the giver of life and life isn’t just bright moments of release from caregiving, it’s a bigger purpose and a greater design than I could possibly imagine.  I’m in His hands, just as my dear friend, Marlene, is in His hands.  Because of that, both of us can go freely, wherever life takes us next. See you in the unknown future, Marlene!