I was listening to the Mumford & Son’s song the other day Ghosts That We Knew and at one point I heard the line, “…you saw no fault no cracks in my heart, and you knelt beside my hope torn apart.” For some reason those words really touched me. They seemed to sum up in such a visually poignant way what we all want and need from the people closest to us; our partners and parents, our children and siblings, those we call our friends. We want to know that someone will look beyond our failings and still love us, will look past the cracks and still love us, will kneel beside our brokenness and still love us when we need them most.
I’m lucky to have my husband Doug beside me still as we celebrate 34 years of marriage this week and that is my Wednesday wish for you–that you know the joy and blessing of a love that is quiet and kind and constant.
I’ve been thinking about the human spirit lately, that delicate, resilient, ageless part of us that holds fast to our dreams, hopes, needs, and wants. And I’ve been wondering, can we keep the changing circumstances of our life, both good and bad, from changing that essential part of us?
“The light died in the low clouds. Falling snow drank in the dusk. Shrouded in silence, the branches wrapped me in their peace. When the boundaries were erased, once again the wonder: that *I* exist.”
These are flower photos I took and edited with my iPhone4S. I’m continually amazed at technology, at the way it not only links us to friends, family and people around the world, but also how it allows us to be creative in new and fascinating ways. Over the past few months I’ve been having some health problems and as a result the ability to connect and create with minimal exertion on sites like Facebook and Instagram has helped me feel like I’m at least somewhat still a part the “big picture” of my currently slightly diminished life.
As anyone who has been sick for a long time or suffers from a chronic illness can tell you, going to doctors, being poked and prodded and tested week after week, waiting for results and that elusive magic pill that will turn things around can be very isolating and discouraging. You feel like your body has betrayed you. You see the color and energy of life moving swiftly by all around you, without you, and sometimes you’re afraid. Afraid you won’t get well, afraid you will but you won’t be able to regain your footing and find your place again in the ongoing drama of daily life. But perhaps what you fear most is that it doesn’t matter either way. Because whether we are sick or well, productive or weary, sad or joyful, we all so want it to matter. We want to matter.
I’m happy that I can say I do feel better this month compared to last so perhaps there is a light at the end of this gloomy weight-loss-tummy-ache-tunnel. In the meantime I will keep my skinny butt moving toward that light with a little help from my docs, the love of a caring husband, the beauty of the flowers in my garden, a dash of patience, a sprinkle of hope, and last but not least…a pretty pink iPhone in the palm of my hand.
“Imagination is the true magic carpet.” ~ Norman Vincent Peale
This week’s Illustration Friday topic is “stripes”. I pulled this simple angel sketch from my journal because I thought her hair and wings fit the topic. I haven’t been feeling so great this week, it always scares me a little when I don’t feel well. I worry that I’ll begin sliding down that slippery slope back into full blown Chronic Fatigue Syndrome. I hate that name, Chronic Fatigue Syndrome, most people in the CFS community do since fatigue is only a small part of the illness. The CFIDS Association of America has been around since 1987, advocating and educating doctors, patients, and the public about the disability and suffering caused by CFS. In a way, they’ve been an angel to people with the illness, especially years ago when I first got sick and no one knew anything about it. I feel a bit better today, so hopefully this past week was just a little bump in the road. It is nice to know though, that we have angels like the dedicated people at the The CFIDS Association looking out for us, and maybe, just maybe we have angels like the one in my drawing standing beside us, whispering hope and touching us with grace when we need it most.
“If you can’t hear the angels, try quieting the static of worry.” ~Terri Guillemets
I took this photo when we were up north in July. I don’t remember what building it was on, and I don’t know what is behind it, I just liked the way the door looked painted red against a backdrop of crumbling, beige cement. And the truth is, I’d rather not know what’s behind it because not knowing allows me the opportunity to imagine whatever I want. Maybe there’s a trapeze school in the building, people soaring through the air, reaching out toward polished swinging bars, learning to let go and fly. Or maybe it’s the storage room for an antique carousel, a forgotten treasure of beautiful hand-painted prancing horses, leaping bunnies, and roaring tigers, waiting to be discovered and restored. Or perhaps it’s the world’s biggest ice cream parlor, a palace of stainless steel and white marble where colorful sprinkles and chocolate chips fall from the ceiling like rain into bowls overflowing with delicious, lactose-free ice-cream!
Of course, there could be something scary behind that door, something that might even break my heart. I know that too, we all figure that out sooner or later, don’t we? But sometimes we have to open the door anyway, say yes, when we really want to say no. No, not today. I can’t. I’m afraid, or maybe I’m simply too tired. Those are the days we have to take one small step forward, say a quick prayer for sprinkles and bunnies and the strength to let go, and have faith that we are not as alone as we feel.
“Fear knocked at the door. Faith answered. An lo, no one was there.”
I strong-armed my son Andy and my daughter-in-law (actually, it was my son who needed the coaxing) to model for some iStock pics this weekend. Before we got started I offered to do some photos for them of Meagan’s growing tummy. So far, everything is going great with this pregnancy. When they first got pregnant again we were all so guarded, trying to push back our emotions, afraid that…well, just afraid. Some of Meagan’s friends, when trying to comfort her after she lost the first baby, told her that everything would be fine this time because they already had a heartbreaking event. And as we stumbled through the baby’s loss last year and my mom’s progressing illness and difficult death, we sometimes told each other the same thing. Sometimes. Most of the time we knew the truth. That pain and heartache know no boundaries. That they will come into every life, even when we think we least deserve them, even when we think we just can’t take any more. But we have also learned another truth. That hope is not just a word. It is a light that can lift you up off your knees and carry you into a tomorrow where broken hearts are slowly mended – where joy replaces fear.
I believe that imagination is stronger than knowledge – myth is more potent than history – dreams are more powerful than facts – hope always triumphs over experience – laughter is the cure for grief – love is stronger than death.