November 30, 2009

when unprayed prayers are answered

Somewhere along the line, I think I became a writer.

I went for a walk this morning because it was so pretty outside and I realized that we don't have many mornings like that left. As I walked, I felt like everything was a story. I know that sounds impossibly cheesy - I can't actually believe I wrote it - but it's kind of true. I found myself at each turn writing what was going on around me - putting it into words over and over until I finally found a way I liked. It was a nearly unconscious process; but then suddenly, I realized what I was doing, and I realized that this has become a part of the way I think. I've been writing on airplanes, and in airport terminals; while driving, walking, riding, talking, listening, observing, sitting, standing. On the elliptical and at family gatherings. I want to describe Christmas lights, and the bells of the church across the street from my house. People are stories to be told; words are like those tiny pieces of glass that people who are crazy talented use to make those incredibly intricate mosaics.

I've never really felt like a writer until this morning. And it was there, on Gaylord Street, Annie Lennox on my iPod, that the smells of Christmas candles and omelets and coffee and dog poo made me suddenly want to write a story about what it was like to walk down Gaylord St., listening to Annie Lennox, smelling candles and omelets and coffee and yes, even dog poo. It's poetry, people, I'm telling you...
Part of me wonders why now; but then another part of me tells that part of me to shut it and just enjoy it. Now don't get me wrong - I have a LONG way to go and a lot more to learn about writing and living and loving and the like. I'm nowhere near finished. But I'm starting to feel awake, and I don't think I've always been. I wouldn't call it happy - although it makes me that way, sometimes - because that's not what it is. Openness to feeling runs the whole gamut; which has to include pain and grief and suffering. No, it's not happiness - it's freedom to live authentically, I think. I will be vulnerable because it is far less scary than it is not to be. I care what you people think - I don't know that I can get rid of that entirely. I am, however, less worried about the inevitable catastrophe that is rejection, because really, it's ok. I'll be ok. And the truth is I'm better when I'm not worrying than when I am. Some people like me and (GASP) some people won't. I don't think I've ever been ok with that before in my whole tiny life. I may never craft a poem as eloquently as e.e. cummings, and maybe the only people who will ever read what I write will be my 15ish followers (most of whom are in my immediate family). But it doesn't matter, because I am a writer, and I will write because I love it and I am free to do so. TAKE THAT!

Why now? I don't know. I didn't ask for it. But I do know this: "In the same way, the Spirit helps us in our weakness. We do not know what we ought to pray for, but the Spirit himself intercedes for us with groans that words cannot express. And he who searches our hearts knows the mind of the Spirit, because the Spirit intercedes for the saints in accordance with God's will." [Romans 8:26-27]

I didn't know what I needed. I hadn't a clue that this was what I longed for.

[thank You]

November 24, 2009

An open letter to individuals who utilize air travel

Don't get me wrong, I like people. I do. But there is something about planes that make adults lose all of their social skills and all of the things they learned about manners in kindergarten and makes babies & small children immediately behave crazily. Must be something about being up at however many thousand feet, I guess. I don't know what it is, but I feel like everyone on planes is ridiculous.

On my flight from TX a few weeks ago, I sat next to a person whom I'm 99% sure was certifiably, probably qualified for some kind of institution situation crazy. (I'm a mental health professional so I can say stuff like this.) She continually, throughout the flight, swore (the worst words on the spectrum, too) under her breath. Several times she placed her leather jacket on my lap so she could do something or other - and she repeatedly made a noise that sounded like a combo of some kind of animal mating call and hocking a loogie. [That is a gross phrase to write out. I don't think I'll do it again.] At one point I had a tiny arm spasm and touched her arm - she elbowed me back. Hard. She also clipped her fingernails mid flight - that's not a joke - the lady on the other side of her ended up leaving at this point. Don't know where she went, but I wish she had taken me with her. On the way off the plane I saw a team of security people who I'm pretty sure were coming for her. Several people on the way off the plane gave me empathetic glances or said something to the effect of, "well that must have been fun for you." If by fun you mean terrifying, then yes. I literally pretended to be asleep the entire 2 hour flight because I was so scared of Sybil. (That's what I named her.) I practically ran off the plane, and even after it was over, I was jumpy for the next 48 hours or so.

Here are my thoughts from tonight:
To the insanely tall college women's basketball player sitting next to me: please stop angling your body in such a way that our hips and practically our butts are touching. I don't even know you. You're making me uncomfortable.
To the mother of the child sitting behind me: I have to be honest, I'm not terribly concerned with the fact that snapping her seatbelt buckle might pinch her fingers, like you keep reminding her. I'm more interested in the fact that the repeated noise of metal on metal is making my ears bleed.
To the chorus of babies all directly behind me: was that a new harmony you guys were working on? Was this some kind of baby-screaming rehearsal you planned for during our flight? I mean really, well done. I especially liked how when one of you stopped the other one started so it was never ever not for one second silent. That was a pretty sweet technique.
To the girl sitting on my left: please, I beg you, stop talking. This guy who is apparently interested in the inane things you are saying is probably just being polite. Stop flipping your hair and waving your arms and saying weird things. Oh, and when you talk about "cocaine," maybe consider lowering your voice a little. Just a little constructive criticism.
To the guys in front of me: yes, I know I went to high school with one of you and that I know you, other guy, from somewhere in Denver, but I can't remember either of your names, so I am not planning on meeting the eye contact you are attempting so we can have the awkward "oh hey weird meeting you here how do we know each other when did I see you last and what is your name again?" conversation. I'm sorry. I just don't have it in me. The chorus of babies and the metal on metal in addition to psycho girl over here have taken every bit of energy I previously possessed for stupid airplane small talk.

Ok, ok, I'm half kidding. The other half, though, not so much.

Kindest & Most Sincere Regards,
Dreaming in Denver... of a peaceful flight & maybe a nice little nap, that is.

November 19, 2009

today, I am free

to wear what I want
----- & not wonder if you don't think my purple cords & boots are as kick-a as I do
to sing like a rockstar
----- & to like how I sound
---------- (in my car, anyway)
to say no
to write what I think
to say what I feel
to ask for what I need
to voice my desire
to not worry about the reactions I'll get
----- to my feelings, needs, desires
to recover
to do something different
to be fine
to not be fine
to paint my nails blue, if it feels right
----- (it does)
to be funny, if I want
to not be funny, if I don't
to say yes
to be heard
to be a little bit crazy
to listen to christmas music
----- even though it's not yet thanksgiving
to love who I love
to like what I like
to laugh like a dork
----- (and snort if its funny enough)
to be who I am
to like who I am
to love who I am
to desire freedom
-- & to be free

to look at this list & realize these things have not always been true
but also to realize that that's ok

because today, they are
today, I am free

and I like that

& I'm free to like that to my tiny heart's content

November 17, 2009


It was my month to host and post... so my blogging genius went into the November report. I'm not posting it here so as to encourage you to visit the Book Club blog! Also you can see our upcoming book selections and steal them as ideas for you to read yourself. I'd suggest doing so. We have excellent taste.

peace, love, & literature: Megan

November 15, 2009

love is a battlefield

As you may or may not have heard, I am very smart and/or intellectual. So I've been thinking about C.S. Lewis lately:

"Love anything and your heart will be wrung and possibly broken. If you want to make sure of keeping it intact you must give it to no one, not even an animal. Wrap it carefully round with hobbies and little luxuries; avoid all entanglements. Lock it up safe in the casket of your selfishness. But in that casket -- safe, dark, motionless, airless -- it will change. It will not be broken; it will become unbreakable, impenetrable, irredeemable. To love is to be vulnerable."

Well... shoot. The decision to be vulnerable. I think about my life and all the things/people I love, have loved, will love, and I have recently come to the startling realization that loving is hard. You love, and you risk. I love, and I get hurt sometimes. It's just what happens. But I mean, Pat Benetar warned us, did she not? Love is a battlefield. (How much do you love that I quoted C.S. Lewis and Pat Benetar all at once? Epic.)

Risky business though it is, it seems to me that it is far scarier to not love than it is to risk, love, and maybe occasionally be hurt. And losing love and being hurt is really freaking hard. In loving we risk loss, we risk disappointment, we risk rejection, we risk the heart-wrenching feeling of watching another person suffer and being helpless to assist. It is occasionally an appealing thought that I could just, if I wanted, say no. I could choose not to invest, not to care, not to do any of it. I could say, "You are scary. I will not love you even though it's what my heart wants, because you terrify me. You could hurt me, but I won't let you. HA! Suckaaaa!" If I don't do it, I'm safe. I'm unhurtable. I'm 100% unvulnerable. Unwringable and unbreakable. And since vulnerability scares the hey-ho out of me, that sounds kind of awesome 85% of the time.

But I don't want that, really. So I try on love. And to love means to risk the awfulness when something bad happens. It means to risk the hurt that comes with my not being able to protect another person from hurt. It means to hurt and be hurt and forgive and be forgiven because I love them too much not to. It means to sometimes cry in a counseling session with a kid even thought it's maybe not the most professional option. It means to cry sometimes just because I know what you're all going through. It means to hurt and grieve right alongside people and hold their hands even when I might need someone to hold mine, too. It sometimes means to let someone do these things for and with me, even when it seems like letting them is the actual scariest thing in the world.

I talked to a friend the other night whose heart is broken and wrenched right now. I have felt the same way, all too recently, and I had very little to offer my friend in the way of comfort or good advice. And in spite of the fact that I hardly know what to say when the people I love get to this place, I love them. They love, I love, and we are wrenched, and I have to believe at the end of the day, it's worth it. That loving each other is a great, wonderful privilege - something we just cannot let ourselves give up no matter how appealing the option looks in the thick of despair.

It's kind of exciting, if you think about it. I mean, exciting in an I-might-pee-my-pants-at-any-given-moment kind of way, but exciting, nonetheless.

"heartache to heartache, we stand..." Preach it, Pat.

November 11, 2009


I don't like extremes, I think. I'm self-conscious about being overly negative, but today, I'm self-conscious about being overly positive. Maybe I should stop being self-conscious? Or learn to live in some kind of middle ground. But that sounds kind of boring. And so not my style. So, here we are.
I do not know why I woke up this way this morning, I really don't. I mean, today hasn't even been that great. I'm having a terrible hair day, for one thing (it's in a side braid. why? I couldn't begin to tell you), and for another, I messed up the coffee-to-water ratio AGAIN this morning so I was uncomfortably jittery until about noon. But it's kind of like the Negative Nancy who lives in my brain was murdered in the night and replaced by someone awesome and sickly positive who tells me only good things. Either that or someone has medicated me against my knowledge. Those are the only logical options, I think.

There is a part of me, I have to confess, that wants to feel guilty for having a good day - like my grief and my sadness isn't serious enough if I could still have such a good day. But the fact is, I thought about Audrie today just like I always do. I missed her, just like I always do. It still wasn't right that she isn't here. None of that changed because I had a good day. Being happy today didn't mean that I wasn't honoring my sister.

And I'm not going to say much more about it, because sometimes, things are so nice and so simple that they do not need a bunch of words to explain just how nice and simple they are.

I have been quoting ee cummings lately like its my j-o-b, I know, but ending with this just seems apropos.* Interesting that this particular poem is coming up again, by the way...

i thank you God for this most amazing day:
for the leaping greenly spirits of trees
and a blue true dream of sky;and for everything
which is natural which is infinite which is yes

i who have died am alive again today,
and this is the sun's birthday;this is the birth
day of life and love and wings:and of the gay
great happening illimitably earth

how should tasting touching hearing seeing
breathing any-lifted from the no
of all nothing-human merely being
doubt unimaginably you?

(now the ears of my ears awake and
now the eyes of my eyes are opened)

and even if tomorrow sucks, it will be fine. I think baby steps, for now, are enough.

*I can't begin to tell you how pleased I am with myself for using this word. Just throwing that out there.

November 4, 2009


(now the ears of my ears awake and
now the eyes of my eyes are opened)

November 2, 2009

I think I'm going to like November

who are you,little i

(five or six years old)
peering from some high

window;at the gold

of November sunset

(and feeling:that if day
has to become night

this is a beautiful way)

[ee cummings]

November 1, 2009

there were so many people in my house last night.

I have two new favorite things. Fake eyelashes & Sparkle Spray.among those in attendance at 1403 HP 2k9 were:

+ 3 Rainbow Brites. I know. Like my worst nightmare come true. But don't worry - mine was the best.
- Allison Wonderland (see what I did there? It was Allison... as AliceIN wonderland)
! Danny, Sandy, & Frenchie from Grease... Chelsea did a bang-up job with Sandy and Troy was a great Danny, he even had some lines down which Chelsea forbade him to continue sharing because she was embarrassed. I thought he was pretty good. And Frenchie, Chelsea's little sister Hannah, was way cute too, that beauty school drop out...
# So many CELEBS! Lindsay Lohan, her lesbie lovaaaah Samantha Ronson, Hannah Montana, Kanye West...
$ a car wash
^ Mister Rogers in a women's sweater...
* Romy & Michelle! "if you fall, I will catch you, I'll be waiting... time after time" so beautiful.
() the Blockheads from Gumby - their costume was ridiculously good. Also ridiculously large.
% Goldilocks & the 3 Bears - Goldilocks was played by an insanely tall man with a beard, which made it funnier I think.
AND SO MANY MORE GOOD COSTUMES!!!! I mean, people really went all out... I was impressed. I loved it. also in attendance was my sort of creepy but also endearing old man neighbor, the guy I lived next door to 2 years ago and haven't seen or spoken to since moving out, two of my favorite Sigmas from Trinity, Carla and Whitney, & a bunch of my JCrew friends (below)!!
My sweet friends Susan and Chris came (as Dairy Queen and Burger King) and they are ENGAGED!!!!!! I just think they are the cutest... couldn't be happier for those two! That makes all 3 of my former roommates with big fat diamonds on their fingers. This house must be magical! Either that or I am. I'm hoping it's the house.
It was an all-star cast. And even though my house was trizzashed (that's ghetto for trashed) this morning, it was worth it to have all of our friends in our house and see everyone have so much fun dancing and singing and being hilariously funny and creative and wonderful. I heard there was a friend of a friend who attended who said something to the effect of, "wow, you guys have GREAT friends!" It's kind of fun in situations like last night where I realize how freaking awesome the people I get to hang out with are.
KCi & Jo Jo "all my life" came on - and I got asked to dance - which was pretty sweet. We later went on to bring the night home with a lot of karaoke duets. They included "my favorite things" from sound of music, "linger" by the cranberries, "you're the one that I want" from Grease, as well as "summer nights." We're real good.
Around 2 am, the karaoke got really hoppin. We pretty much did that until 4. Well, 3 because it was daylight savings... but still. This part was maybe the most fun.
It's always kind of sad when really fun things are over. We've been excited about this party since... well... November 1st of last year. It's the best when ridiculously high expectations are absolutely surpassed. I have such fun friends, such a lovely house, and roomies who support throwing massive parties.

Spent the day lying in bed, looking at everyone's pictures, reminiscing the night with different people... typical day-after-party stuff. Tomorrow... back to real life. No more snow days or parties! But on Friday I am finally, after much anticipation, SAN ANTONIO BOUND!!!!! Trinity Alumni Weekend... here I come...

peace, love, & sparkle spray,
Rainbow Brite