Smorgasbord is a Real Place

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Pumpkins are the most loyal friend a man or woman can have.

I have been writing as if for myself lately, but it needs to be stretched, so I’m posting it on here. It’s not diary material by any means or a cheap dump. But I wanted to share my serious talks with myself as they’ve surfaced lately. So yes, smorgasbord is a real place you can be. How are you? I’m smorgasbord thanks.

It’s hard to write about topics as seen below, because talking about love makes me cringe because it is hardly ever done right, and it reminds me of former goopy-ish writings from teenage versions of me. Only that’s not what this is.

For someone to love you in a way and to come to the conclusion, “It is important for me to see–and be entirely confident–you know how I love you very much.” For someone to not want you to miss that. This is the love I miss. Most of the time, in our inability to rise to the occasion, even the feeling of love is placed off on the other person. So if they don’t know you love them it’s because they just aren’t seeing it, or you shouldn’t have to tell them or have any responsibility in them knowing it. Closer to the truth, it barely involves us at all. If I think of how often I say, “I love you” it would be at least a couple of times a day at the end of phone conversations. But I don’t remember saying I love you to someone and leaning into the meaning behind the words, patiently not escaping the uncomfortableness of what comes after. We don’t linger long enough in the presence of those words or our intentionality to inhabit what they will do. We don’t stick around to see them testify for us-or to us-that there was an appealing exchange. We make our love-drop for the other person to pick up. Our feelings don’t remain attached to us because we can’t bear the result, so the finished work is never made. And its better that way because we both can move on, breathing a sigh of relief, because we did it. We showed someone we indeed love, but we didn’t have to feel it.

Not a change of friends, but a change of their inner functionality and I’m not talking swapping Cowboys for Space Rangers:

A lot of my friendship-seats in my mind have been reserved for my closest friends, but my closest friends aren’t choosing to sit in those seats. I wonder if all of this time if I keep the spots open, waiting for a person who isn’t coming back because they aren’t in my life anymore in a physical way. What if someone else would like to sit in those spaces. What if I relabeled them 20-minute parking? It reminds me of the scene in You’ve Got Mail where Kathleen Kelly is saving the seat for NY152, but Joe Fox shows up. She has no idea he is the one who she has been saving the seat for. In her mind, she is waiting for someone else to come, but they already came. I want to open up some new seats. My best friends aren’t coming to take them, and they don’t care that I have saved a seat for them. But it’s a team effort in our wrongness. I’m wasting my time. I want to give the deserved seats even possibly to people I haven’t met yet. It doesn’t mean I need or want new best friends. They will always be my best friends, but it means I need to let go of the places in my heart people don’t want to take. It is my heart to leave a space for them, but it they don’t want it I want to use my heart to benefit someone who really would appreciate and grow from the love that’s there.

Wins of Change

photo In my head I want this morning to be a win. Win because I’m not standing in front of 3rd graders saying phrases like, “Did you ask to get up? Spell it the best you can. Take your jacket off your head. I’m moving your clip to yellow. I’m writing you up for climbing on the bathroom stalls.” I won’t miss literally watching a kid eat boogers or walking into a fog of someone’s gas they so willingly contributed to the classroom. But I will always miss their stories. I love how their eyes light up about their smencils (spell-good pencils), or the gruesome details of their pet that got “runned over,” or how they remembered to take a bath so they don’t stink bad. The hardest part is the stories that are too big for them to understand. They blurt those out in transitions like, “I never seen my daddy,” or “me and my mom sleep on a couch cause there’s no bed,” or just the fact their jacket smells like cigarettes every morning. Working with kids let me imagine what I might do right or wrong as a parent. One of my biggest struggles was stepping away from them, so they would trust their own ability. And now, I’m stepping away from them completely, but that is part of growth on my end. It’s knowing I can’t save their world through exhaustive micro-fixes. Now, in a very similar way, I’m stepping away from one of my toughest struggles. I take huge precautions to protect myself from any judgement that might say I’m not making the smartest decisions in life right now. In this time I’m attempting to walk out “intentionality” as purely as I can. I want to have bearings instead of wanderings. I took my last job as a Para Professional because I had fear in my heart of not having money and fear of appearing lost or, even worse, lazy.  And taking the job was a solution, but to the wrong problem. For those five weeks, I had money, but it was insufficient, and I had a wall to protect me from judgement. But walls can only protect you when you aren’t moving, and money (whether in miniscule amounts or shamefully huge sums) will never hold up in the place of passion and true direction. Really, what this time is about for me, is stopping trying to go on adventures that aren’t mine. And this finally relieves that feeling of life being like constantly wearing clothes that aren’t your size or style.

Gentleness

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I’m thankful Greedy sees me as a gentle giant, even though I occasionally-spontaneously-accidentally kick him or roll on him in bed. He runs away in frantic terror, but I know he’ll love me later.

I had seven more days of my job going into work today. It always happens when you are leaving a place that you start to see it unfold in the most beautiful shade as you let it go. I’ve learned that’s a natural part of moving on and changing your grip because it looks the best in parting (except usually at the very end when the tie is severed in a most definite and necessary way where you are momentarily disgusted so you can completely let go). I see all the amazing teachers who pour their lives out in the tiniest of ways, thousands of ways. They give like the spout of a watering can, and I hate to not see that every day and see the kids who never know they are growing for it.

Significance can be found if you think to look for it, and I did. Good for me right? I looked for it in the number seven, like the seven spirits of God. Today I took on gentleness. And it always perplexes me how magnificent the power is behind the vulnerable traits, as if in their nature some force is taking up for them, like a big brother or sister, making them inherently stronger than anything else. In gentleness there is an assured authority that can make the difference in truth given as a hasty gash versus a reassuring hand, disarming fear and inviting change as if it was your idea to begin with. There is a reason for the saying “gentle giant.” In the same way a cloud can bring shade and in the same turn drop a storm.

In accordance with the whole idea of spirits of God it makes it so much more plausible to agree with a spirit, so it became the energy that I flow in that day. There’s a significant difference in putting yourself “in” something rather than putting something “on.” Then it can begin to work with your muscle memory and become a part of you so that it never leaves, and you can never leave it

Gosh I have to go back and add what Grandma Wikipedia had to say about gentleness. So yeah. What she said.

“a disposition that is even-tempered, tranquil, balanced in spirit, unpretentious, and that has the passions under control. The word is best translated ‘meekness,’ not as an indication of weakness, but of power and strength under control. The person who possesses this quality pardons injuries, corrects faults, and rules his own spirit well”.

Do Justice to the Struggle

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What I’m frustrated about is waiting. It leeches from every reserve. My faith is low, my desire to write is low, my vision for the future is low, my will to believe or hope is low. Waiting reveals every ugly angle. It’s like the selfie camera on the i-phone that mirrors my face and makes me look lopsided.

Today it got as bad as me complaining up to God, “I don’t wanna be thankful for my food anymore. It’s a peanut butter and jelly sandwich.”

I can’t believe that God is testing me until I fail so he can blame my unhappiness on my inadequacy. It’s like if I don’t have a good job, I just need to be thankful in a pit of despair and feces-and then God will open a door. But that’s manipulation, so I know God isn’t that. Do I need to be thankful? Yes, but thankfulness isn’t a magic potion.

I want God to know I’m disappointed, but more importantly confused out of my mind as to where he is taking me (or not taking me). And I feel like it is my fault for not knowing where I want to go. And I hear the choirs of angels saying, “This is all about your bad attitude.” But honestly I do not feel a need to look good in my struggle. I want to do justice to my struggle and not waste my time trying to look pretty or quote the right magical bible verse to get me out of it. And I want to bite all the people who struggle admirably and eat bugs and dirt in front of them just to make them scared.

I don’t have any patience right now, and I’m tired of other people’s lives overshadowing the story of my life. I just feel choked out of my own story. But I don’t have enough left in my tank to propel me forward. It’s so easy to watch myself get swallowed whole in a numbing blanket.

Today I went with my Grandaddy to The Farm to plant pumpkins even though I should have planted them a lot earlier in the growing season. But I want pumpkins, so I don’t give a shit in a bucket when you’re supposed to plant them. My God, just give me pumpkins. The best part about my day was that and the butterflies. There were hundreds of them, and they let me shake my fingers at them and film them and chase them,and then they’d land back in their huddles like they were still cool with me. (Thanks guys.)

And then we fed the fish. Fish are gross and slimy and disturbing, but I loved watching the end-of-world chaos as they fought for floating food. And the grass carp that swam up made such a big shadow in the water that I felt wonder. At a fish that is gross. I felt something. And if life can be that stupid and make as little sense and get away with being ridiculously incoherent, why don’t we allow ourselves that grace?

Emphasis on Ekphrasis

Painting by Clay Beasley

By A Spider’s Thread

A man’s strand of hair dangles
by a spider’s thread. A man is gone.
By a spider’s thread
everything consequence.

She trims the candle wick,
lights it, and takes two steps
towards the dark window.
She falls short,
stares at the blackness,
and places the candle on the floor.

Dust scattered boards creak
under the mother rocking
in the night. Candle light
rubs the walls and bends
the shadow of the crib.
The baby breathes in.
The mother stares out
the window.

Her reflection is darkness
split into eight frames of glass;
a painting of her ghost
she wishes would run away
and find his. A man is gone.
A spider’s thread hangs from ceiling to crib.
She stares at her baby. And then back
at the spider. And back
at her baby. The candle doesn’t flicker.
The mother doesn’t breathe.

A man is gone.
And the crib dangles by a spider’s thread.

"Woman Passing By" Clay Beasley

“Woman Passing By” Clay Beasley

The Skyface

Look at my face.
Do you you want to see the
sky? Again. No,
look at my face
before it sets. The sun, no.
My face. Look at my face.

I have something to tell you.
I’m leaving.
I need you to look at me
when I’m leaving. I’m giving you
one more chance.
Look at my eyes.

I’m not finished. I know, but
look at my face. Because I’m leaving
I need to see you see me.

Do you see the sky?
Okay. Now do you see it’s face?
The skyface?
It isn’t the same isn’t it.
I have to go.

Look at my face.
Do you want to see the sky again?
Look at my face, before it sets.
Not the face. My sun.
My faceset.

I have something to tell you.
I’m leaving.
I need you to look at me look at you.
I’m giving you
one more chance.

Look at my eyes. They aren’t
finished.
I know, because I’m leaving.
I need you to see you see me.
Do you see the sky’s face? It isn’t the same.
It isn’t the same.
I have to go.
I’m taking the sky with me.