Monday, May 28, 2012

mirror, mirror (bulletin board)

Once upon a time, there was a mirror. She was ghastly. So gold and gaudy that whenever light struck her, she projected shadows instead of casting her own. Outdated and shamed, she sat in a thrift store.

Of course you know what happens next in these stories. She was seen, carried, and taken home with great rejoicing. She was given a new coat of paint, which made her frame look like lace. Proudly she hung in a spot all her own on the living room wall.

Until tragedy struck.

A broom, innocently set against the wall by the person who had cared for her, slid down the wall. It all happened so fast. She tried to hold onto her anchoring nail, but the fatal blow had been dealt. She crashed to the hard, cruel floor.

Her heart was broken.

So was her face.

She remembered no more. 

Only a few pictures impressed themselves on her delirium. Vaguely, she felt pulled and poked. 

(Narrator's note: the surgeon was too lazy to cut two pieces of cork to fit the entire frame, so she bandaged the gaping wound with lace.)

(Another narrator's note: Sharon, do you recognize a few things?) :) 

Today, our brave little mirror is not a mirror any more. But she is back in her very own spot on the living room wall, happier than ever. Her new life has just begun. 

Tuesday, May 22, 2012

dance of daughters

Over a latte and an espresso macchiato, she and I, respectively, painted with words the dance we try to learn. Femininity, role, gender, equality, dream, freedom, responsibility... God. All that and me. And her. The steps we learn, the toes we step on, the embarrassments we make, the slippers we lose, the twirls in which we exult.

Sometimes silence is most wise, but sometimes it is only easy comatose. That is no conclusion, but perhaps it will guide the dance.

"Cultures in which women have not found their voice, or are silenced, are scary places. They do not produce good men." That's what my dad says.

Maybe, when we are old, the lines in our faces will sketch the pattern of a woman shaped in the likeness of her God. Yes. That's why we engage this push and give, this question and peace.

Thursday, May 10, 2012


Aspirations. My head has always been full of them, my heart running about five steps ahead in about six different directions. And God has been generous, so very generous in the helpings of opportunity He serves me.  I've done more in my short quarter-century than I ever imagined. 

And I like to think I know where and to what He will take me next. 

But this has been a changing sort of year. It feels like God is shoving things around, rearranging the furniture of my heart... until I'm not sure who lives here any more. Or what dreams fit into the revealed corners. 

It's a little disconcerting. 

Simultaneously, more opportunities present themselves than ever before. It's hard to choose between them when I really don't know what I want. Maybe the problem is that I want to do everything.

I hugged the questions to myself in the darkness of the plane. The moon, round and full, bounced off the wing outside my window until we banked. I looked up, then down, suspended between the fullness of the moon and all the lights of Memphis in rows like jewels on velvet. 

In the silent moment of catching my breath, the questions ebbed. In flowed slowly, like a tide, the music. 

"Nearer, my God, to thee
Nearer to thee!"

And into my memory dropped my dad's voice. He had been talking about his life, and how it's turning out so vastly different than he'd dreamed. After the uncertainty and pain, the forceful rebirth into what he never thought, his rest declared this triumph: "I'm forty-eight and closer to God than I've ever been." 

I still don't know quite what to do next, but I know what I want. Most of all. Anything that brings me closer.