The Glass Tunnel

photo credit: creative commons

Here I am staring at the blinking curser and I feel just like I did in the cafeteria in elementary school. I grab my tray, hoping that it is pizza day only to realize it’s sloppy joes. As the hairnet lady scoops some onto my tray (because yes, they scooped directly onto the divided trays back then) I would rather be there than the alternative. I don’t want to leave the line.

It’s a sad day when you realize overcooked mystery meat from a woman in a hairnet who would have a wonderful smile if only you could put her head on upside down, is better than finding a place to sit in the lunchroom.

I feel like that here in our internet world. I see the cyber-space full of long tables with attached benches and have no idea where I belong.

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There are the pretty girls with their beautifully designed blogs and their perfect smiles and clean homes and delightful children. I don’t even bother with those. Perfect never looked good on me anyway.

At the next table are the techy people. The ones who have every widget and talk rss feeds while forgetting to eat because they are so consumed by technology.

Then you come to the angry ones. The ones who are writhing in contempt for the world and their glares stare at me in words harsher than the black on white of the screen.

And the theater kids…only in this world they are the crafters. They have a language all their own with cricuts and modge. I almost approach them because they are always smiling, but I could never wear a sweet smile like that all the time, even if it were pasted on.

And then there’s me. Staring at my tray of unknown quality meat wondering where to even try to sit, where I might slip in unnoticed or, dare I hope, to fit in.

I stand here for days, weeks, years, hoping that time is really standing still and wondering how loud my silence is screaming. How long can I stand invisible because it’s so much safer than realizing people see me and I still don’t fit.

And then I see it.

I have to walk across the whole room that echoes silent stares louder than children scream. So I take a step and then another, but my eyes never leave the tray. Maybe if I stare at my own stuff long enough I can forget that people can actually see me.

I walk past the perfect ones and the scary ones. I walk down this endless tunnel with glass walls until I stand right in front of it.

I set my tray down and sit there at the empty table because alone feels better than the glass tunnel. And here, it’s just a girl at a table. I’m not sure what it means or where I belong, but here feels pretty good right now.

Maybe you’re not navigating the great interwebs. Maybe you are finding your way in your job or school or your role as a parent or wife. Where ever you find yourself, there’s some bench here across from me. Care to join me?


Taffy and Construction

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Words feel like taffy today and my fingers are sticky.

I keep pulling apart and twisting and pulling, but right now things just look like a mess. If I stop now I am left with sticky hands and strings of confection that amount to nothing.

So I am here.

Pulling and twisting.

Unsure it will really amount to anything lovely and sweet.

But twisting and pulling just the same.

I realized I’m a finish line kind of person. I’m not so much about the process as I am about the product.

That makes writing a tricky endeavor.

But it’s either give up or change.

If only change felt good and easy. That would be lovely. But even change is a process, mocking my desire for destination over journey.

I’m choosing to exhale, but this time I’m getting busy.

Busy with words, even in their mess.

So I sit here with sticky fingers willing my words to become.

Please pardon my appearance; apparently I’m under construction.

I’ve never liked dusting

dusty book

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Sometimes the dust is thick and it doesn’t seem worth it. We forget that under those days, months, years of the particles of life lay a treasure that is guilty of only one thing: neglect.

I’ve said I want to be a writer for so very long. I have starts and stops, spurts of productivity, but the words seem to become the overlooked furniture in a never used sitting room of life and I forget. I forget they exist, they are beautiful and they are worth something. And I allow these minute pieces of me and you and everyone around me to flutter through the air and rest on them creating a blanket that seems invisible until it feels too late. It goes from a thin sheet to a thick, worn comforter in the blink of an eye and I forget what it takes to undo it.

I tell myself it’s too hard and it requires too much. But sometimes all it takes is remembering what’s under there and having the courage to shake off the regrets and reveal the beauty that was hidden underneath.

So I did it. I dusted off my one solid novel start. I gathered the courage and clicked quickly before I could change my mind. As I read the words I saw their beauty anew and I was so glad I got my fingers dirty to get back here.

Sometimes all it takes is a moment of courage and willingness to get dirty to reveal a beauty long forgotten. Is there something you’ve forgotten that has disappeared into the landscape of life? Maybe it’s time for a little dusting.

The Chorus and the Bridge

photo credit: photorator

The clock ticks ha, ha, ha, ha never ending in my ear.

The swift wind blows in and sweeps it all under the rug, but I step there and feel it uneven under the arch of my foot, under the soul of my heart.

There are years there of relationship unknown, unexplored, unwanted.

And still it rings silent in my head.

Sometimes I look around to see if anyone else hears the sound, but it’s white noise in their world full of brokenness.

I wonder if I will ever know silence and I wonder if I will ever stop wondering.

Sometimes the fear grips me and I worry that I will see him just around the next bend.

Sometimes it’s the sadness that falls on my shoulders and I worry that I’ll never lift my head.

Usually, the truth settles into a place deep in my hear that makes my jaw tingle and my eyes fill before a quick shake of the head clears the cobwebs of yesterday.

Sometimes even blood stops flowing and bridges are not so much burned as they are left unkempt.

If you leave something in the elements for long enough, there’s no going back.

And now the reality of yesterday and tomorrow pull at my heart as the clock continues to tick, reminding me that I’m further from where I was and closer to I don’t know where.

Sometimes a broken yesterday seems safer than an unknown tomorrow.

Sometimes walking away isn’t a one-time occurrence, but more of a cd on skip whenever it hits a certain place in the chorus.

And as the chorus comes round again in my heart, I remember why I walked away.

Sometimes you walk away because there is nothing left to stand on.

Sometimes you walk away because you were only passing through.

And every once in a while you walk away because the right thing isn’t always the easy thing.

And you wait for the chorus to come round again.

Fear Isn’t Bad?

clapper with hands

I’m starting something new and I’m scared. I’ve never been good with change, or new, or unknown (just ask my mom.) I’m scared, but I’m doing it anyway.

Scared was always equated in my mind with something that is not what God wants for me. I had always been of the mentality that if perfect love casts out fear, and God is perfect love, then anything that has fear must not be from him.

I’m beginning to think I was wrong.

My new endeavor is a class focused on writing. It’s called Tribe Writers and it is created by Jeff Goins. I am not sure what I think of it yet, but I’ve read some of Jeff’s work and it resonated with me (seriously…check out his ebooks: You Are A Writer and his Writer’s Manifesto. No I am not compensated for this. I just think they’re great.)

I just listened to the first conference call for the course and something keeps bouncing around in my head like a ping pong ball I can’t catch. It is making me question all this about fear and faith.

Jeff was responding to a question about fear and he said, “Fear can be an indicator that you are on the right track.” He then went on to suggest it can even mean you are on the cusp of something great.

Now there’s something to think about. What if all these things that I have run from because of my association between fear and God were actually good things? What if, instead of running I should be grabbing on?

It didn’t end there. There were two points that drove this home.

We can be more afraid of success than of failure.

Yikes. I never thought I it was, but I realized that’s me. Failure is comfortable. It’s like that ugly recliner that no one has the heart to get rid of. It’s hideous and worn. The handle doesn’t work and it gets stuck in the recline position all the time. But it’s familiar. So we hold on to something ugly because it’s known. What if there was something better out there?

Yes, I am reeling in a back and forth of conviction and revelation by this. But then….then….

It can be harder to act than to dream.

And that’s when I realized just how safe dreams are. I can’t fail in my dream. It’s easy to dream and feel good about it. But actions? Well, that’s another story. Actions involve moving, even if it means moving backward. Actions feel scary, but if scary isn’t bad then what do I have to lose?

Here’s to pushing through fear, being open to success, and calling ACTION.