Thursday, March 29, 2007


Bird songs,
Flittering by on airy wings.
From banch to air.
From air to sky.
The air smells clean,
Everything new.
Buds emerge from frozen ground
Reaching towards sunshine
And breezes
Softly blowin gby
As if to say,
"Wake up from your winter slumber
And gree the new day!"
Sunshine sparkles down,
Warm rays upon light-hungry ground.
Birth and rebirth.
Emerging from darkness.
Red cardinals hop around
On yellowed grass, showing the hars winter's grasp. must be spring!

Friday, March 09, 2007

Hard Love

He changed me so much. He changed me in ways I never thought possible. In ways I only dreamed about and in ways I never wanted. With the good comes the bad and everything we go through shapes us a little bit more into the person we will become someday.

He helped me accept who I am. To realize that I am enough. I am good enough. Just being me is enough for someone to love and accept. But he also showed me the parts of myself that are dark, that need examination. To be brought out into the light and understood instead of shoved deeper down inside and forgotten, surging up to the surface when I feel threatened or lonely.

Love has a way of doing that - showing you the good and bad and everything in between. Things you thought you had dealt with a long time ago resurface and problems you thought would never go away seem to melt into the background. Life is a little less complicated and so much more complex all at the same time. Things are in slow motion - the world seems to stop in a single moment and you wish you could stay there forever. But things seem to spin by so fast that before you know it the moments are gone, the memories just left as a foggy reminder of what was...and the questions of what might have been. Life changes. People change. Relationships change. And they all change you in the process.

I went into that relationship so unsure, yearning for love, longing for that one person who wanted to be the world to me and about whom I felt the same way. I wanted the kind of love that's everlasting, or at least perfect in the moment. Those moments that can last a lifetime. Kisses that seem to be able to melt you. Smiling and giggling at just the thought of him and wanting to share everything. Talking on the phone for hours about everything and nothing. But things get complicated when two people who are so different come together and try to make it work. Love isn't enough sometimes.

There's a Bob Franke song called "Hard Love". That's what it was - hard love. But, as it says in the song, "Love is never wasted, even when it's hard love."

Here's the song - the first verse doesn't apply to me but everything after that resonates very well with me and my experiences.

Hard Love
Words & Music by Bob Franke

I remember growing up like it was only yesterday
Mom & Daddy tried their best to guide me on my way
But the hard times & the liquor drove the easy love away
And the only love I knew about was hard love

It was hard love, every hour of the day
When Christmas to my birthday was a million years away
And the fear that came between them drove the tears into my play
There was love in daddy's house, but it was hard love

And I recall the gentle courtesy you gave me as I tried
To dissemble in politeness all the love I felt inside
And for every song of laughter was another song that cried
This ain't no easy weekend, this is hard love

It was hard love, every step of the way
Hard to be so close to you, so hard to turn away
And when all the stars and sentimental songs dissolved to day
There was nothing left to sing about but hard love

So I loved you for your courage, and your gentle sense of shame
And I loved you for your laughter and your language and your name
And I knew it was impossible, but I loved you just the same
Though' the only love I gave to you was hard love

It was hard love, it was hard on you, I know
When the only love I gave to you was love I couldn't show
You forgave the heart that loved you as your lover turned to go
Leaving nothing but the memory of hard love

So I'm standing in this phone booth with a dollar and a dime
Wondering what to say to you to ease your troubled mind
For the Lord's cross might redeem us, but our own just wastes our time
And to tell the two apart is always hard, love

So I'll tell you that I love you even though I'm far away
And I'll tell you how you change me as I live from day to day
How you help me to accept myself and I won't forget to say
Love is never wasted, even when it's hard love

Yes, it's hard love, but it's love all the same
Not the stuff of fantasy, but more than just a game
And the only kind of miracle that's worthy of the name
For the love that heals our lives is mostly hard love

©1982 Telephone Pole Music Publishing Co. (BMI)


Tuesday, March 06, 2007


Looking back at childhood and remembering all the great, comforting things about it is something I guess I tend to do a lot. I had a good childhood overall with lots of great memories. And one of my favorite things related to my childhood is the muppets. I grew up in the era where Jim Henson was doing many of the voices and somehow the Sesame Street sketches seemed...different than they are today. I think of it as "classic" Sesame Street. Sketches like Rubber Ducky, Put Down the Ducky, Ladybug's Picnic, I Don't Want to Live on the Moon, Here Fishy, Fishy, Fishy, Dance Myself to Sleep, C is for Cookie, Captain Vegetable, Super Grover, Teenie Little Super Guy, the aliens, all those great Grover the Waiter ones, and so many others. (If you didn't figure it out, you can click on those links to go to the sketches on YouTube.) But my favorite sketch of all time is one that perhaps some of you know, although I have to admit that, in looking at a lot of those sketches on YouTube it's hard for me to not smile and laugh at so many others. I think it's still shown on new episodes of Sesame Street from time to time and maybe it's well known, maybe it's just something that's specific to my childhood and unkown to most other people (especially those not from my specific generation). But, you now have the opportunity to see the sketch, thanks to YouTube (which I think is one of the best methods of procrastination out there!). The sketch is called...well, I guess it's called Ma Na Ma Na since that's all that's said in it. I hope you see the charm that I see in it and come to love it as much as I do. And if not, just consider it a glimpse into my childhood, that time when things seemed a little less complicated and Saturday mornings were for cartoons or soccer games. Ahh, nostalgia.


Thursday, March 01, 2007

Life's a Journey

Our lives don't usually go as planned. The vision we had of the future when we were growing up doesn't quite become a reality (except in some extraordinary circumstances). Life gets in the way. But maybe life doesn't get in the way of our dreams at all. Maybe it's the other way around - our dreams, or rather the stubborn nature many of us have to hold on to our dreams, get in the way of life. It's easy to say that you should go with the flow and accept things as they come, but the reality is that some of us (maybe all of us to an extent) are planners. We make "to do" lists, we plan out our weeks, we have a plan for our lives. Maybe it's nothing extraordinary - it could just be to graduate high school, go on to college in finish in the "normal" four years to get a Bachelor's, then maybe some time off to save up some money while working full-time at some relevant (but maybe not altogether fulfilling) job, and then on to graduate school for a master's degree before settling down with a career and throw in some meaningful relationships, marriage, and kids to round the whole life plan out. It's nothing that strange, not overly optimistic, it's kind of a general, run-of-the-mill education, career, and life plan. But then things happen - illness, deaths, financial difficulties - and we are forced to veer off course. Maybe some things go according to plan - I graduated high school on time with my class (although somewhat unconventionally being homeschooled for three out of the four years of it), I applied and got into a good college and started on time, but since then it seems that the years have just been dragged out. Instead of graduating in four years as the plan was, it's taking me at least seven. I'm so thankful that I've been able to be in school and that I'm graduating at all, believe me, there were times when I really didn't think that would happen. And I've done well in school. Maybe I've had to spend more time on assignments because my brain is too fuzzy to concentrate, maybe I've turned things in late on multiple occasions, maybe I haven't gotten the grades I would have imagined on certain courses or assignments, but I'm finishing. The end is now in sight - hopefully less than six short months away. I see this as a huge accomplishment and I don't take it lightly. But at the same time, there is this question that keeps popping into my head - "what next?"

This is where I'm not sure what's getting in the way of what - whether it's my stubborn nature getting in the way of the direction life wants to take me or if life is veering me violently off course from where I was headed. But either way, I'm not going to be following the path that I had laid out for myself. My hope (notice the carefully chosen word there) that I will be able to get a part-time job - probably half-time (20 hours a week) - and make enough to save up some money and eventually be able to move out of my parents' house. It's not that I don't love my family and love spending time with them; it's that I am 24-years-old, soon to be 25-years-old, and it's so hard to be so dependent. Well, maybe it's not being dependent; it's more the lack of independence. I crave that independence of being on my own. I had never even given much thought to moving out - it was just sort of a given when thinking about growing up. And I did move out, multiple times. I lived on campus for two semesters (not consecutively) and really hated dorm-life and lived for...a few months in an apartment that really was just a disaster from the beginning (someone should have hit me on the head before I made that decision - I won't go into detail here, if you know what I'm talking about then you know what I'm talking about and if you don't, well, it's not really that important - but if you're really nosy you can ask me about it). Then I had a wonderful year living in an apartment with some wonderful roommates and that taste of independence was so great. I loved it and I loved where I was living and just the whole situation. I was flying on my own (well, sort of) and it was great. I want that again. And I want to be able to work. And go to graduate school. And be able to move around to see where I want to settle down (mainly Maine and Oregon). But life pulls me back and there's reality staring me in the face.

I know I will get to where I want to (or need to) be and it might be far from where I thought I'd be but I know there will be a space for me. I'll find a meaningful job that I can manage. I'll have a family. I'll live somewhere great. It just seems like life is moving in slow-motion as things take twice as long (or longer) than planned or anticipated. But I guess that's life. You can plan all you want, but there's no planning for the unpredictable things that pop up for all of us. I guess there's no such thing as a "life plan" unless we're willing to edit it from time to time. So write in pencil but write your past in pen so you can look back and see all that you've accomplished, regardless of whether it matches with the pencil scratchings you once inscribed. Life is a journey - enjoy the ride!