Monthly Archives: November 2010

patience: a few thoughts.

It is very quiet.  There is the white noise, its variations almost indistinguishable, which I know to be produced by the refrigerator behind me and the washing machine and dryer closeted in the laundry room beyond the kitchen wall.  The trees on the fencerow, cedar and perhaps pine, are waving noticeably outside the window beside me, but I can’t hear the wind.  It was blowing a stout breeze when I went walking earlier this morning, rippling the surface of the pond from the south-west across until it hit the vast tracts of weeds that are barely submerged in the shallow water out from the banks; it wasn’t blowing hard enough to push the little waves through and all the way to the edge.

I am sitting in the kitchen in the quiet house, alone, thinking about patience.  Someone just left, obviously off-kilter, seeming so frustratingly set on perpetuating their own sense of despair and rejection.  However, at the moment, I’m not feeling frustrated.

I said I have been thinking about patience, but really, I’ve been feeling patience.  This is what it means to be present for someone who is emotionally out of control: patience.  It becomes something tangible, in the deep breaths and the self-calming, the recalibrating of my own stress level.

And while I spent a whole long paragraph describing my environment, a short one describing another disregulated person, and have left a few short lines for a description of my subject, I hope you realize that all of these things are a description of this thing: the quiet of the house, the autumn day, they are an expression of God (love is patient), His own patience welling up to meet me, large enough to receive my fear, my pain, my despair, my rejection; responding rather than reacting, reflecting back love—love—love—love.   He is firm, I cannot shake Him with my own desperation; He takes it, absorbs it, and reflects back a peace and a joy true and unwavering.  This is patience, and in receiving, I am enabled to turn to another and give.

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Jeanne Now Knits!!!

It is official.  I have finished a hat.  I am a knitter.  Yay!!!!

(Please disregard the graffitied wall, incorrect date, visible knitting errors and large nose.  Please do regard the pretty Marjolein Bastein poster.  And the nice red yarn.  Red and Hats just go together, don’t you think?)


to write

Posting this seems oh-so-ridiculous, considering the drivel that has preceded it.  Thankfully my (miniscule) audience tends to be exceedingly loving, forgiving, and strongly prejudiced in my favor.  Sometimes writing– or at least, posting!– does indeed take courage.  Even little blog posts, and especially when we are talking about ourselves.

                I write because the written word is my voice.  I am frustratingly handicapped when communicating orally and extemporaneously.  There are bright, beautiful moments when what comes out mirrors what I am trying to get across, and then there is a lot of scrabbling around for words and coming up short.  And once they come out, there is no editing.  It is impossible to erase or replace what has been said.  Of course, this is exactly what the process of writing consists of: scrabbling around for words, then erasing and replacing and rearranging until the page, paragraphs, sentences and letters metamorphose into a mirror image of that inner thought… or rather become the perfect form which carries that thought into another mind, and releases it to be realized anew.

                I also write because there is something that pushes me to create, and language is the artistic medium in which I feel most at home.  Reading certain passages from East of Eden reminds me of standing before a massive, exquisitely executed scene painting.  It is breathtaking, not so much for the story the words describe, but the way they saturate my whole being: words that have taste and texture, that burn in bright colors.  John Steinbeck spoke with his own voice, and somehow he made poetry with deliberate prose.  Jane Austen crafts her pictures so masterfully, and yet so very slyly: first, you find yourself immersed in a flood of words; then you come out again on the other side of the paragraph, and find that the meaning, the clear and sparkling thought, has insinuated itself into your head.  You see.

                 So then: for me, to write is to speak with my own voice.  To write is to craft art through the medium of language.