Is it possible to simply break?
Once your heart has been shattered by a hundred tiny instances does one's body follow suit?
I sat and read about Eucharisteo today, grace in thanksgiving. I finally bought Ann's book. I have to admit I was scared to buy it...I'm tired of reading books that tell me I'm not doing things right. I'm not much of a crowd-follower and the book is gaining quite a crowd. But I feel like I've 'known' Ann for a long time, I've followed her blog, Holy Experience, for many years already. I've watched her list of 1000 gifts grow, and I grew my own alongside hers. Her book is the story of how she got there and the change it made in her. I have to admit I was a little jealous. She spins out words and they are poetry and go soul-deep...sitting in me. Wrecking me. Wishing, that my gift was a little more like hers.
I, too, write words, not like hers. They are my story. My mess. I wasn't sure I wanted to hear what she had to say.
She has a mess, too. Like me;, farmer, Canadian, six kids, homeschool. The same but different. The struggles strain us, test us, push us. The same but different.
Would her words help me in my mess or make the mess feel like so much more.
Today the mess took me by surprise. I'm not sure why, it's been here for so long, but when there's been a little reprieve my flesh forgets the pain for awhile and when it comes back to hurl itself at me it hurts a little more than before.
I read to my little boys behind a locked door and we listen to the sound of missiles against the wall and pretend it isn't there. The crashing of frustration and restlessness, trying to re-create the trauma that is more familiar to only him. Our spirits don't know what to do with it because we don't understand it and can't. The rest of us were loved and nurtured when it was most critical, we trust, we relate and he just isn't able and it wounds us to the very core.
Later we try to play a game together but he doesn't understand that there is winning and losing and you have to accept the losses with the gains and the frustration is back and we must stop.
So I sat in my mess and read Ann's words of learning to give thanks in the mess. Reading the road to joy and peace begins with thanksgiving, like Jesus did on the night he was betrayed - he took the bread, the ordinary bread of everyday and gave thanks, Eucharisteo, and then he went and died for me. There is healing in thanksgiving, I remember it from when 'fresh flowers' - the little pieces of heaven that came just for me - arrived on a regular basis...I looked for them but I haven't for a long time. My eyes yearn to re-awaken to wonder but despair looms large and I'm not sure I have the will to push it away. But I begin to feel the first sprouting of understanding. Under the dirt the seeds I planted are beginning to unfurl, perhaps hope has a chance in me yet. So I will begin again to count the gifts of grace in the mundane, everydayness of my life. Bits and peaces of grace that when swept together will help me taste joy. Perhaps if I look for flowers they will bloom again.
Last week Abby and I discovered a lovely store called The Paper Umbrella. For one who loves writing and blank paper and beauty this store was a bit of soul-candy. We lingered for a while, relishing the sights and smells of journals ready for thoughts, ideas and sketches. I ran my fingers over lovely parchment and breathed in leather and sealing wax. I limited myself to only a small notebook that spoke to me of an earlier, less complicated time. It was somehow appropriate after just finishing Pride and Prejudice. Perhaps I will begin a new list in it's pages, another 1000 gifts that Someone who loves will help me see