Claiming My “Finndependence”

As you all know, I dread Finnish Independence Day, although now I hate it a lot less now that I’ve started calling it Finnish Independence Day instead of Diane Syrcle‘s birthday. I know next to nothing about Finland, am hard-pressed to name TWO Finnish composers (because there’s Sibelius, and……….) suomen_lippu_valokuvaand though I am very adventurous in the kitchen, of the Finnish recipes I’ve read I can pronounce maybe a sixteenth of the ingredients. Pretty much the only thing I have in common with the Finnish people is our shared love of avoiding others.

Finnish Independence Day is celebrated on 6 December because it’s when the official Declaration of Independence from Russia was adopted by Parliament after having been written by the Senate two days earlier.

I didn’t write my own line in the sand on today’s date, but it helps to think that someone else did. This is because on holidays, I still get rattled. 25 years is a long time to celebrate something and then just…. not.

I’ve told this story before, but I’m going to tell it again.

When Diane turned 24, I enlisted my mother’s help. I got her to call a florist so that I could get her a present delivered at school (Diane was a middle school choir teacher then). My mom asked me what I wanted, and I said, “one rosebud.” My mom said, “that’s it? You don’t want to get her some balloons or something to make her room look pretty?” “No,” I replied. “I have this joke I’m going to do and it’ll all make sense.” So my mom orders said rosebud and calls me over to the phone when the florist is ready to take the message for the card. I say, “for all you do… this bud’s for you.” My mom rolled her eyes and paid.

I am sure that there are many more gift stories, but the only other one I really remember is that I got her a GORGEOUS turquoise bracelet at Saturday Market on Festival of the Last Minute. She opened it on Christmas Eve and her joy was palpable. I said, “I figured I owed it to you after totally punking you on your birthday.” What did I get her for her birthday?

Well, first of all you have to know that when people know you like something, they’ll get you anything and everything having to do with it. For instance, my mother liked white geese. I don’t think she got a present for six years after she told people she liked them that didn’t have a white goose on it. Diane was complaining that now that people knew she liked dragonflies, it didn’t matter what the thing looked like, if it had dragonflies on it, people would buy it for her… that the overall aesthetic could be hideous, but if it had a dragonfly on it, it wouldn’t matter.

After (over)hearing this conversation, we were shopping and I found the ugliest “embroidered” dragonfly toilet seat the world has ever seen. Dana and I looked at each other, then wordlessly put it in our cart. We each knew, without saying anything, that this was a legendary find.

Good memories duke it out with bad on holidays, wrestling each other without keeping score. However, I have to remember that just like Finland, I have written my own Declaration of Independence, and the Parliament in my head has adopted it. When I feel sad at what I’ve lost, I simply look at the blue and white flag, and know what I have gained.



Devotional for Advent IIA: Screaming for Jesus

I apologize that this is late- I have been laid out with a cold for two days straight.

…yelling doesn’t make a thing any more possible.

-Angie Sage

What if John the Baptist was wrong? He was baptizing people from all over the region and saw the Pharisees and Sadducees coming… but in this pericope, they never speak. What if John lost his ever-loving mind over Jews who had changed their minds?

To put it mildly, he did.

He called them a “brood of vipers,” asking them who warned you to flee from the coming wrath? He is, in effect, shaming them for living these largely sinful lives and trying to get redemption at the last minute.

But did it accomplish anything?

Did the Pharisees and Sadducees walk away humbled at their behavior? Did they act any differently after their baptism than before? Did John’s rant of shame do any good whatsoever?

He thinks that The Messiah is coming to baptize with Holy Spirit and fire, putting the good people safely into a barn and torching what’s left of the threshing floor so that everything burns to the ground and we can just start over with all good people… rather than having to get out there and help the ones that will do better when they know they can.

John got part of the message right- he is not worthy to carry The Messiah’s sandals. The part he got wrong is why. Jesus was not coming to earth as a professional Jewish Superhero who was going to smite all those who sinned against God. He saw no reason not to forgive people at the last minute. Jesus never met anyone he didn’t think was worth something… worth a lot, actually, no matter what they’d done prior to meeting him.

John the Baptist thought that The Messiah was coming to reconcile all our sins…. to put us in our places… to make the miserable and the pious claim their fates.

But the one we’re waiting for, the one far greater, keeps no such ledger.


The Leggy Blonde

There’s no rhyme or reason as to what or why I feel right now. Grief is a funny thing in that your mind doesn’t settle on any kind of order. Elizabeth Kubler Ross was right that there are five stages of grief, but wrong in that there is a particular order. It’s more like they all hit at once, your mind a TV blaring with five thousand channels of thought.

My three trunks are myself and my mom, Dana, and Argo. Everything I feel is somehow derivative of one of those three things (my mother and me being the same in her absence).

I’m thinking about how much I love them and how much each of them changed my life and then two or three memories of each of us pop across my mind in a way that I can’t direct them because they are disparate and out of order, or five memories blended together. I can only let it happen. This will get better over time, but I can’t imagine a more unfortunate series of events that would create recovering from mind-altering grief quickly.

The tapes for Dana speed up because I don’t want to think about them. Our bad moments so overshadowed our good ones at the end of our relationship that I’d just rather not deal with it as an overarching problem, just as they come up…. which is often, but less than people who recognize all the things of which I am capable. Dana didn’t want to be married to a writer, and I understand that implicitly; we are prone to wander through life lost in our own heads and because she was in my life, she showed up in my writing and didn’t always like what she saw. However, I have taken the steps to torch my own writing before, and it was such an enormous cost that I was not willing to give it up again. If it was being married or being a writer, the thing that is closest to my true self wins.

As I was telling Lindsay, I’m old enough now that I can picture never getting married again…. which is good, because I am technically married in two states…. possibly the only good thing to come out of the Trump election so that when sanity is finally restored I won’t have had to do any paperwork. #worksmarternotharder

You have to have a small, select group of people in your life that understand how you tick, and writers are impossible to live with. There will always be a couple of people who understand different parts of you, but hardly ever one person that understands it all… and even when they do, it’s scary for them to think they have to put up with it. When I least expect it, I am sure it will happen… that I’ll find that woman who understands the creative process and doesn’t feed the crazy, just acts as a sounding board and calming presence until I become the calming presence while she has her emotions about her calling, too. I don’t think there’s much more to love than that.

I am also dismissive and judgmental when it comes to finding love as a verb because I have impossibly high standards… which leaves me finding the tiniest things that annoy me about a person within seconds. The easiest arrow to my heart is “dumb.” If I find you boring, I’m out…. even though with time the conversations might become more interesting if I let myself breathe.

I have to like your face, and while I am not at all particular about the types of bodies people have, your face must have “that thing.” Maybe it’s a cute little mole on the side of your lip or a scar you got in a skiing accident or the way your eyes look like there are joyous secrets behind them. Maybe I recognize part of your facial features in someone else subconsciously, so your face already feels like home…. or, at least, I imagine it could be.

Because I’m turned on by brains and not bodies, I don’t think I’ve ever had a girlfriend that was classic trophy-wife beautiful. It was that their quirks made them beautiful to me.

Although who knows? Maybe my next girlfriend will be six feet tall with long blonde hair in a power suit with her cleavage showing a little too much… or perhaps leaving the house in Class As that I want to rip back off. But not if her face doesn’t look like home…

because otherwise, I wouldn’t even notice her at all.

Dancing with the Scars

I’ve reread a lot of what I’ve written over the past few days, and what’s jumped out at me is the dance of intimacy I present with Dana… how fully fleshed out she is in terms of how much I love her and don’t. I fluctuate between pushing her away and wishing she were here in the biggest breaths of my life. Knowing for certain that she doesn’t want to reconnect doesn’t keep me from wishing we were closer, and it also doesn’t keep me from talking about the bad parts, either, which are what keep me from wanting contact even as laughter envelops me when I think of one of our legendary adventures.

  • When I told Dana that when I met her, I thought she was a loud obnoxious blonde woman, she started putting that on her name tag at church.
  • When I moved to Houston the first time around, Dana made me a cat at Build-a-Bear, complete with her famous Stitch impression that used to illicit tears… because she said that line.
  • Dana drove with me to Houston and flew back. We’re punch-drunk as hell trying to make El-Paso for dinner. We come up with this bit… “Excusth me, do you have a margarita asth big asth my head?” “I want a margarita asth big asth her head, too, ’cause she’sth got the bigger head.” “Yesth, your head might be taller, but mine hasth more circumferenceth.” We never actually did get margaritas that night- we ended up at Sonic. How I let her get on the plane back to Portland is beyond me.
  • I remember seriously planning our first child in the moments after our first kiss, because my biological clock exploded as if my uterus was talking to me, telling me I was home.
  • Dana used to work at a grocery store, and the first flirt I really remember was that every time I went to the counter, she’d say, “hay sugar” and wink as if I was the only person in the room.
  • When Dana and I were in the same room, the air was different… electrified. It not only energized us, but fed others…. mostly by being explosively funny.
  • We were Jeopardy! fiends, and constantly amazed each other at the sheer amount of random shit each of us knew. This led us to compete in pub trivia, and one of the moments my pride for Dana knew no bounds was when she won THE ENTIRE THING BY HERSELF…. and she was playing for money.
  • One of Dana’s ex’s friends was playing on our trivia team one night and David and Nathan knew something was up. They knew that we were thick as thieves and it was only a matter of time. We giggled in just that way, and just got a knowing look. So, said friend goes to the bathroom and David says, “ok. What’s up?” I said, “we’re so in love we can hardly see straight.” David: WELL IT’S ABOUT GODDAMN TIME. When Dana called her dad, even he said, “I’m surprised it took this long.” And that’s just two people in a two page list.
  • I was celebrating my breakup with Katharin when Dana came over and we got trashed to Talladega Nights. I don’t handle alcohol well, and the next morning when I woke up, Dana was gone. In my deepest Southern drawl, I said, “did I do anything last night for which I owe you jewelry?

Looking back on it, that’s when the barrier broke for me, and I couldn’t stop wanting her, when before I was stuck on the idea that all this emotion was just what best friends had. Surely all best friends can finish each other’s sentences… surely all best friends wake up in the morning and snuggle? Surely all best friends are automatically assumed to be a couple wherever they go because they act like it.  Surely all best friends avoid going on dates because they feel coupled enough? Moving to Houston was the best thing for us, because it forced us to realize that the people we loved were fine for someone else and treating us like crap so that the timing for us was finally right.

When I was living in Portland the first time around, Dana was married and I was single and badly needed a friend…. and over time, pushed away dating in favor of hanging with her. When I got to Houston, I had two girlfriends who were both convinced Dana was my soulmate and I was just trying to hide it by being with them. They didn’t give themselves enough credit, because I valued my time with both of them, but ultimately they were right. I was lying to myself because I had to.

I think it’s the reason I remember our first real night together so clearly, because it was so emotional. Everything that had been bottled for almost four years we drank in with laughter and tears, because it was a moment a long time in the making. I went to sleep with tears of joy streaming on my cheeks because I felt home.

In that time and place, she was my sun- accurate because she’s blonde.


Anatomy of a Moment

I just sat down and realized my mother was dead. In an instant I see her as the children’s choir director when I was in third grade with her little skirt and jacket combo… which she later replaced with a scarf because of Liz Claiborne. She’s sleeping next to me in my queen-sized bed and we’re talking late into the night and I see her at McDonald’s carrying a second full order of food because I had already gotten our food, sat down, and she told them they’d forgotten our number. I ate too much Filet-O-Fish but I hadn’t eaten in two days so I didn’t mind… until we went on a tour of the city and I felt like a Sumo wrestler as I walked. There’s the moment at my thirteenth birthday party where she told me I was getting my own phone line and crying at the prose on the Hallmark that she wrote under the obligatory rhyming poem. There’s sitting on a stool at the bar doing my homework while she cooked and I couldn’t do math. There’s watching her call out every name in the house until she gets to the dog. There’s the way she drove, rocking the accelerator so you felt like you were on a dinghy about to get sick. There’s my third grade birthday party set up as a Peter Pan amusement park and I was Peter Pan. There’s my mom after me coming home from a date with a boy and I had a hickey on my neck and failed to convince her it was a curling iron burn. There’s the way she carried the picture of my junior homecoming in which I was wearing a rainbow ring and standing next to my beard for years on end, but said it was just a good picture and it was really the last one she’d see in which I looked remotely heterosexual. I am positive that it stayed in her wallet until she died, along with my eighth grade prom picture I made by myself because my boyfriend went to a different school and I couldn’t invite him…. but there was no way I was wasting that makeup and that hair. There’s everything she wanted me to be and everything I actually was.


Venti Christmas Blend

I’m at a SBX waiting for a glasses shop to open. I love my black and white-checkered frames, but I also really like my blue wire-rims and I think when I fixed them with my own screwdriver, I pushed one of the prisms to a different angle. There’s no appreciable difference in my vision, but of course as a Virgo the lack of symetry is intolerable. It will be my Christmas present to myself, and it may not even cost a thing. I will probably want more frames in the future, because my earrings are semi-permanent and, well, fashion.

Since I have both blue and black glasses, I need a brown pair. The ones I have now are keyhole bridge tortoise shell and way too big for my face. Working Girl is just not what we’re doing now. When I ordered them, I thought they were tiny and cute. When they got here, I thought, “the eighties called. They want your glasses back.” In the right fit, keyhole bridge is timeless… an axiom for fashion. There will never be a time in which sport coats, crispy button-downs, and Converse All Stars™; for whimsy and comfort will suddenly be Right. Out.

I need to take my brown Converse to the shoe hospital because they need to be re-soled and stitched in a few places. The reason I’d rather pay for that instead of just getting new ones is that they’re leather and keep out rain, even when I step in shallow puddles.

It’s funny how I got them. I was shopping at Ross and there was only one pair in boys’ five and a half. This woman was saying out loud that she didn’t think they’d fit her nephew and I said (a little too loudly), “can I have them?” I said it so fast that she started laughing and said, “you clearly need these more than me.” Yes. Yes, I do.

Because I liked the brown ones, I bought the black ones with black rubber as well. Converse for every outfit, although I’m wearing my hiking boots more than ever because they accomodate huge wool socks. I look a bit funny considering that with their classic fit, my hiking boots make my feet look huge…. and there is no euphemism for that. #lesbianproblems

We’re supposed to get cold rain for the next two days, thus Bigfoot. Ugh. When it gets a little warmer, my leather Chucks will be ok again. If I lace them tightly, I even get feeling in my feet.

Again, too cold with no payoff…. no pictures of beautiful trees, no snow angels, no nailing the kid on my street with a snowball for having a Doctor Who backpack out of jealousy.

Last night, I was playing around on Facebook™ and found this quote on my wallpaper changer. Posted it with #INFJ….. Also me: Strong people don’t put others down. They lift them up and slam them on the ground for maximum damage. -Abhishek Shukla

The duality that has lived in me for so many years is finally ready to laugh at. When I walked in darkness, I wanted to. It was an unexplored version of myself that I didn’t know existed. And then I got tired of that duality and show mode melted more than it ever had before. Integrating my compensity for both lightness and dark, it has been an interesting process of rejecting the past and rewiring a ton of neurons that were just dead before. New pathways are growing and I listen to music for it the most, because if you set words to melody, it makes recall mostly instant.

I had that moment with Nine Inch Nails, listening to Closer and ruminating on everything that had happened to me from 14 on. What jumped out at me is how much the song changes when you think of it as the dance between an abuser and a target. It started with you let me violate you, and all of the sudden I pictured every abused child I’d ever known…. My skin crawled as I realized that you let me violate you are the words that create back-door access to someone trying to gain control of you. Because if I let you, it’s all my fault, and that abuser will pull those strings until he/she can’t because you’ve created your own scab over the wound, because no abuse victim gets closure. They just get stronger.

The death of innocence is every big a grief as losing someone close to you, with one giant exception. Your body betrays you. You know it’s wrong, you know you should run, and you are frozen in place with loving the idea of having secrets. Your brain turned off to save you from fear, betrayal is getting wet or hard. Part of the guilt and shame that lasts your whole life is that you knew it was wrong and you loved it, anyway…. because inappropriate or not, nerves go off autonomically and your brain associates this terribly wrong thing with something incredibly desirable. The majority of abuse is done by someone you love, someone you trust, someone you can’t even imagine doesn’t love you in the same way or is even capable of it…. which makes it harder to break away because there are genuine moments in a twisted reality. How do you think they keep us hooked? They twist us into believing they own us…. “pet people.”

As you realize the extent of the abuse, you resent the genuine moments because you learn just how much they weren’t. You let a hacker in the back door because there are no security updates for threats of an emotional nature. As Brene Brown says, and I’m paraphrasing, shame is the one thing every therapist in the world is trying to uncover. You can be absent from your abuser for years, and reestablishing contact opens all those doors you thought were closed. One sentence becomes a rootkit in a matter of hours, and there you are, under control once again. If you are an adult when this happens, you’ll be surprised at how fast you regress.

What adult could not be undone by seeing the person that abused them?

So many people went through much worse than I ever did. The dopamine and sexual rush was all in my head… but not of my own hand. As I have said before, it was a plant that outgrew its pot quickly. I remember with clarity a letter Diane sent me that said, “I shudder to think the depth of emotion you’ve had for me.” Meanwhile, all the time reinforcing our verbally abusive relationship so that I was the one who was always trying to make things right in a relationship that never should have happened in the first place. What child wouldn’t give you more emotion than you could handle when I think I am as close to you as my own parents?

I never thought of her as anything else until she planted a seed in my imagination and my body betrayed me. There are plenty of people out there who absolutely cannot believe this is what happened, but they weren’t there and we were. Who’s we? My parents, my sister, and all of the choir members who saw it happening and didn’t say anything then, but have come forward now that the statute of limitations has run out to say that yeah, they knew something was off, but they couldn’t quite put their fingers on it so it wasn’t worth pursuing, because they loved Diane just as much as me. Surely this person who charmed everyone couldn’t be the same person that was traumatizing me?

My mother was the first to say she wanted to press charges, but for what? She could have gotten a TRO, but it wouldn’t have worked. We found ways to sneak around. There’s nothing that would have broken us apart until I realized what was happening and stopped it. No contact has been the right choice for me, because I don’t spend my time processing what she’s doing and being afraid I’m not there to protect her…. so much love and care dumped into a hole when I was too young to understand why.

I will protect all of my friends to the death, because I know for sure they’d step in front of a bus for me, too…. they know I’ve got their backs. That’s been the biggest revelation in this whole thing…. noticing when I am pouring love and protection into people who wouldn’t do the same thing for me. If there is no reciprocity, there is no relationship anymore.

It’s called (really) the INFJ door slam. We require equillibrium, and we’ll do anything to get it. If the relationship is off to an enormous degree, we will love your ghost eternally while not interacting with you. It’s not that we don’t love you, don’t care about you, don’t wish you well. We’re just done.

There are so few people that fit this mold for me, but the relationships I’ve severed have felt right for me over time, because I realized how much they were draining my ability to practice self-care. I was always pouring from an empty cup. My closest friends know to bring water.

With me, there are so many types of social interactions that leave me drained, and others I could maintain for days. Some people are just exhausting, and some give away their life energy in sync with as much as you’re giving them. It’s this mutual admiration society that keeps me going in the face of enormous obstacles.

My job this year has been to learn to reach out and listen more, talking less. It’s just one more step into being able to welcome someone else in my life, because I am trying to create relationships that have an easy give-and-take like I do with my friends. Being more compassionate all the time won’t hurt, but especially in romantic relationships, I’d rather be ready for one than try to jump in unprepared. Some people believe that jumping into a relationship helps fix those things… I don’t think it does. I think you create the same pattern with the new person that you had with the old, fighting about new things in the old dance of intimacy. Last time around it was the brand of toothpaste. This time it’s the dishes by the sink…. the small issues that are covering up deep wounds.

Let’s start with the deep wounds instead, so that the dance is new- with music in a different key.

Devotional for Advent IA: We Interrupt This Broadcast… -or- Trending: #Jesus

In order to understand the past, you have to understand the future.

It was October 2nd, 2016 that I was sitting at my computer, completely in the writing zone, typing 80wpm, when my sister called me to tell me that my mother was dead.

Two weeks earlier, I texted her to call me ASAP. This was not, in fact, a good idea. I wanted to ask her if I should just get in my car and drive down because she broke her foot and my dad was going through a series of surgeries. It was, like, 9:45 and I just wanted to talk to her early enough that I could stil get going depending on her counsel. I emotionally “fell asleep at the wheel,” because why did I have to base it on permission- or at the very least, approval and a heads up that I was on the road? For some reason, she didn’t get the message until 2:30 in the afternoon and by then thought I was mangled horribly or dead. She called me, and I didn’t reach the phone in time. I called her back, and she was on the phone with my sister trying to decide just how much danger I was in. In retrospect, I should have known that if I wrote “as soon as possible,” it didn’t mean “as soon as possible.” It means that I am telling you I am getting mugged at this very moment.

I didn’t keep watch.

I slept through my life as my father recovered from surgery and my mother died instantly. If I’d listened to my intuition, I would have been there. I could have done something… not to save my mother or heal my father but to just be there when our world exploded. My sister needed me and I needed her. There’s no way I could have known that I was coming home to a funeral, but at least I would have been there in minutes and not hours, getting to spend two weeks memorizing my mother’s face before it was embalmed and never the same. Before she died, it had been a year since she’d visited.

I didn’t keep watch.

It only took one crack in the foundation of my marriages to let the water flow through and erode the cornerstone. I buried myself in other things, convinced that there was no such thing as a Schonanagan or a Bambelanager divorce. Through the years, we’d developed an intricate emotional shorthand and a language all our own. We could have entire conversations with our eyes, as well as conversations no one else in the room would understand… to their consternation that we were just being too “inside.” There were plenty of things wrong that I own, but I do not own that our marriages came apart in one moment. The last moment was just the last moment. Kathleen and I were married for 11 mos, but we’d been together three and a half years before that. Dana and I were married for seven years, having an intense best-friend relationship for almost four years before that which didn’t make a lot of appreciable difference in our relationship after we married except for about a third…………….

The roots withered on our family trees while I was completely oblivious to the role I was playing in all of it. Those things that could have been small, but grew into great big things before I paid attention.

I didn’t keep watch.

From the very first moment I met Argo, her words were strong, secure- so much love and respect that if I could have bottled it I would have used it as hair product. By the time I told her flat out I can’t do this anymore. I have feelings for you and I cannot continue to be friends and stay married to someone else. I can’t look at myself in the mirror, she told me that I was tossing away a friendship like it was nothing. She was willing to let me have my feelings and let them be large and watch the process it would take for me not to feel them anymore. I assumed that the energy I was throwing at her was not the kind of energy she wanted in her general direction, and the assumption cost me, because I stupidly didn’t realize how much I meant to her and how much she was willing to try and understand, even when it seemed impossible. She was willing to walk in my inner landscape as long as I was willing to walk in hers. Again, a crack in our foundation that allowed the water to disfigure our rock.

I didn’t keep watch.

I’ve let friendships go that would have been lasting because I didn’t recognize their depth of feeling for me and let go in my own worthlessness… I could not see that I was worth their time, but they could. I was so attuned to how I felt that it kept out what would have been enormous had I taken it in. I could have had the support system I needed no matter where I’ve lived, but I could not trust myself to open up to create it. My personality type dictates that I have lots of acquaintances and very few friends, so the idea of reaching out to people I did not know well was intimidating.

I attended a youth group trip to an amusement park minutes after Diane’s graduate school going away recital was over. I was crying so hard I couldn’t stand up straight, embarrassed to be emoting publicly and my parents made me go, anyway. Instead of trying to shut off my brain and reach out to the people around me, I went straight from distraught to show mode, because I was fine. I was not open to friendship, because I couldn’t focus on what might be coming… friends my own age who could help me re-focus on eighth grade banalities so that they became reality again.

I didn’t keep watch.

In this first Sunday of Advent, it is this very idea to which we are called, for we do not know when the Son of Man will be lifted up. Our meditations center on the ways we’ve checked out of our own lives, shutting ourselves off to the possibility of what might happen. There is a lot of language about how we, as Christians, need to behave… but they are not just for Christians. It is not a calling out of immorality, but a refusal to do those things which allow you to zone out the easiest. Perhaps in those days, it would have been taken that way, but I have to believe that it is just an example of how not to live our lives with only the instructions on the shampoo bottle… Lather. Rinse. Repeat.

As the sun grows darker, we turn inward, but not in a penitential sense… it is a call to arms, apocalyptic language that says to examine what you are doing that will keep you from recognition of greatness when it arrives. There are two scriptures, taken together, that are our invitations and anthems:

Jesus said to the disciples, “But about that day and hour no one knows, neither the angels of heaven, nor the Son, but only the Father. For as the days of Noah were, so will be the coming of the Son of Man. For as in those days before the flood they were eating and drinking, marrying and giving in marriage, until the day Noah entered the ark, and they knew nothing until the flood came and swept them all away, so too will be the coming of the Son of Man. Then two will be in the field; one will be taken and one will be left. Two women will be grinding meal together; one will be taken and one will be left. Keep awake therefore, for you do not know on what day your Lord is coming. But understand this: if the owner of the house had known in what part of the night the thief was coming, he would have stayed awake and would not have let his house be broken into. Therefore you also must be ready, for the Son of Man is coming at an unexpected hour.”

Matthew 24:36-44

The disciples did not know when Jesus was coming back, and did not think it was going to be in their lifetimes. The Epistle, written in the spirit of Paul, attests to this fact because Matthew was not written down until about 50 years after Jesus’ death, borrowing heavily from Mark, indicating that according to everything this “early blogger” had read, we’re still waiting. Note to self: put on pants.

You know what time it is, how it is now the moment for you to wake from sleep. For salvation is nearer to us now than when we became believers; the night is far gone, the day is near. Let us then lay aside the works of darkness and put on the armor of light; let us live honorably as in the day, not in reveling and drunkenness, not in debauchery and licentiousness, not in quarreling and jealousy. Instead, put on the Lord Jesus Christ, and make no provision for the flesh, to gratify its desires.

Romans 13:11-14

It is a story repeated through time.

If you get there,
before I do,
comin’ for to carry me home…

Tell all my friends
I’m comin’ too
Comin’ for to carry me home.

Who are those children all dressed in Blue?
God’s gonna trouble the water.
Must be the ones that made it through.
God’s gonna trouble the water.

To the Freedom Fighters call,
Black, Brown and White American say,
Segregation must fall.
Good evening freedom’s fighters,
Tell me where you’re bound,
Tell me where you’re marching,
From Selma to Montgomery town.

Keep your mind sharp, your bags packed, and your sandals on your feet, because you never know when something is about to happen.

In order to understand the past, you have to understand the future.

Some people were not open to the glorious signs all around them, asleep to the rest of the world. Love arrived with the simple words “I’m pregnant,” such an ordinary thing few would have paid much mind…. unless they’re the family that’s expecting.

We have the advantage of knowing we are. I’ll meet you at the hospital.

I’m keeping watch.