Deep Soulful Love
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I know, I know. Things won’t make me happy. No matter what I get, things will leave me feeling empty – empty like a Kardashian brain.
But let’s just say that it’s Lent, and that for Lent, I gave up frugality.
Here’s what I would buy:
Charley Harper: An Illustrated Life.
This shirt in every color.
A tiny clock. (What?)
It’s a good thing I have sensible, prudent things to spend my money on, like cavities and car repairs. This is saving me from the world of disappointment I would surely discover if I actually got a tiny clock.
For as much as I love cheese – which, trust me, my devotion is infinite and everlasting – I rarely eat grilled cheese. Chalk it up to just another childhood overdose – I never eat peanut butter & jelly, either. Grilled cheese lost its appeal before Clinton took office.
Which is why it was shocking that yesterday, I had the chance to eat a grilled cheese for lunch – and I jumped at it. Like, I literally sprung out of my chair and made a beeline for the kitchen. See, my co-worker Delaney is a dazzling maker-of-all-foods, and she brought a griddle! To work! To make grilled cheeses! And if this woman makes something, it is a guaran-freaking-tee that I will love it.
I’m serious. Remember how Ritz Cracker Cheese Sandwiches are my secret shame? Delaney has actually taken these bite-sized wonders and made them into a gourmet snack. She shakes some sort of herby goodness all over them, and I swear, they could be served to the Queen of England.
After experiencing this woman’s brilliance yesterday, I can positively say that I am back in the saddle when it comes to grilled cheese. She has renewed my hope, my faith, my confidence in the sandwich. Thank you, Delaney, for pointing me toward the truth.
Now, to make my own. I’m looking for grilled cheese tips, if anyone has any…
But… I just love him so much. So much that I want to be just like him.
Last night, I returned from Kansas City to Nashville and, upon depositing my suitcases at home, put a beer in my purse and drove to my old apartment to clean before my lease is up. And as I sipped on Red Hook and Swiffered the floors, I thought of what I’ve been learning about writing.
I thought about how writing songs is like working on a jigsaw puzzle, turning a piece this way and that, trying to figure out how it might fit – and when it doesn’t, trying it in a different place. Sometimes I start with the edge pieces and work my way in; other times, I begin with the lower left-hand corner and have absolutely no idea what might be forming… until suddenly, with a single certain piece falling into place, the big picture is made clear. That is an exciting thing – the brief moment of warmth in an otherwise desolate landscape.
I thought about how there is an art to attempting to live buoyantly and passionately, yet still having eyes to see and words to tell of darkness and hurt – for that is so much of the world that we live in, and it’s important that writers tell the truth. My favorite songs are sad ones; how can I write sad songs and still be a healthy and contented person? I want to figure that out.
I thought about how miraculous a privilege it is to birth something into the world, to bring forth a scene, a song, an emotion, and then step back and view it – something where there once was nothing.
I thought about how the practice of writing has made me more aware, more observant, with quivering ears attuned to any truth worth telling. And I thought about how the biggest gift that writing has given me is a greater appreciation for other people’s astounding words. I’m a better reader. I’m a better listener. And I love good songs even more than I did before.
But then I thought about how Stephanie called me out of the blue one day, and told me that something I had written brightened her otherwise dreary afternoon. And I had the distinct feeling that if my words could make a small-town Colorado housewife smile, then I was on the right path.
And I thought about the time that Duane encouraged me to change one of my songs – to revisit it, to perhaps rewrite part of it. And when I listened to his advice and did it, it WAS better. I became a better writer.
I thought of the card waiting in my mailbox last night from the friends saying, “We believe in you,” and how those words are worth more than any amount of money.
And I thought about all of you, continuing to land on this blog day after day, even when you know it’s a weekend and I won’t be writing, even when all I talk about is hair dye and shower curtains and bra shopping, even when I feel sorry for myself and am convinced that the sky is falling… you listen: strangers, many of you, giving me a moment of your attention each day. I am so grateful – because your permission that I be a person in process has given me the freedom to grow.
Writing is the only thing that I know I want to do for the rest of my life (that, and get as many shoulder rubs as I can). And I suspect that the more that I write, the more I will figure out that the real value lies in the doing of it. Even if nothing ever “happens.” Even if there is never a song published, or a book released, or a memoir read aloud on “Oprah.” I’ll be glad for the moments spent writing, stringing words together like beads on a thread – for it is in these moments that I feel like I might actually be living up to something.
This is my nephew Micah. He is 4. He is one of my favorite humans on the planet, tied only with his little brother Tyler.
Micah has always been advanced when it comes to speech – he has a large vocabulary, and is not afraid to use it. Recently, during a game of Candyland, he lectured my mom about her “options.” He has been known to pick up and then repeat phrases that he probably never should have heard, such as:
“That cat crapped on me.”
And my personal favorite:
“Screw you, Jessie!” Said with much enthusiasm and gusto.
Lately, due to some unknown source of inspiration, Micah has been bringing back a great expression.
Micah, do you like trains?
“I sure do!”
Micah, are you excited for school?
“I sure am!”
Micah, aren’t these cookies delicious?
“They sure are!”
An earnest and ardent affirmation. I love the way that Micah embraces life wholeheartedly, and expresses his unbridled excitement. I want to be more like him.
I sure do.
In her memoir “Eat, Pray, Love,” Elizabeth Gilbert succinctly defines the human condition as simply “the heartbreaking inability to sustain contentment.”
Any attempt that I throw at happiness will eventually fade. No amount of money, power, fame, clout, success, wit, possessions, or H-O-double-T hottness is going to be enough to fulfill that eternally aching place in my spirit. I know that on my own, I cannot make and keep myself content – it’s impossible.
But I thought I would try, anyway.
Behold! My new shoes!
The picture shows the color to be greyish, but trust me, these babies are teal. As soon as I set eyes on these gems, I thought, “Now, those are Annie Shoes if I’ve ever seen them.” And since I had a gift card given to me on my birthday, they were free (thanks, Becca!).
Whoever said that you can’t buy happiness has obviously never been to Target.
It appears as though Jim Halpert may have a run for his money.
This was the world’s most humble and magnanimous win I have ever witnessed. I am blown away by this man. His modesty and grace make him so likable, I can hardly stand it.
David Cook has cemented himself into my heart, and single-handedly convinced it to beat again. If you need me, I’ll just be over here swooning.
PS: All of my big talk about hating men in vests? Retracted. Revoked. Reversed.
Shut up. Shut UP.
I really love my Macbook. It’s black and sleek and has never, ever let me down. It is why this blog is possible. It is my portal to the outside world. It is my Craigslist housing connection. It is the reason I have found oh-so-appropriate gems like this.
But then I saw this.
And I was consumed with such longing. It’s so… THIN. And light! And, AND! It has a backlit keyboard, which is something that I have wished for forever.
But more than jealousy, I am filled with pride. I mean, I am an Apple girl. This is the same kind of pride that I felt when I first saw this, and realized, “THAT’S TOTALLY MY CAR.” That’s exactly what I do every morning to start it, too.
And just so we’re clear, the moment that they start making the iPhone in leopard print, I’m pouncing.
For the past 10 days (has it only been 10 days?), I have been a rollercoaster of emotion. Within a single day, I can feel hugely hopeful, and then despairing, and then peaceful, and then turmoiled. I don’t enjoy feeling so schizophrenic, and I don’t like the fact that my circumstances have such control over my attitude. I continue to plug away, looking for jobs and places to live, but each time that something looks promising, the rug is ripped out from beneath my feet and I fall apart.
But I have found a new reason to live.
Walking through Pier 1 tonight, I came across the most perfect couch I could possibly dream up. No, it’s not flashy, and there’s nothing really remarkable about it aside from the fact that it was screaming my name. And from the depth of my spirit, my soul (sounding strangely like David Cassidy) echoed back, “I think I love you, so what am I so afraid of?”
I circled the sofa, inspecting every line, every angle. Is it red, or is it rust, or is it brown, or is it pink? I choose to believe that it could be any color that I want it to be. I cautiously lowered myself onto the cushions, and was pleasantly surprised to find it cozy and comfortable. I envisioned it next to the the only piece of furniture that I own, The Chair:
Therefore, I will press on in my job search. I will persevere until I find a home. And someday, when I once again have ANY expendable income, the couch will be mine.
Oh yes. It will.