Would you rather be in great health and in a bad marriage/relationship, or in failing health and in a great marriage/relationship? And why do you choose what you choose?
No reason for me asking this; I just haven’t blogged in a while and I randomly thought of this while I was just unloading the dishwasher in between gobs of hummus and chips. I think I would choose the health. Maybe. Is that weird? See? It’s not an easy question!
Sometimes you wake up and you realize how beautiful life is. Sometimes you have one of those ridiculously special days that you feel you somehow don’t even deserve, or was even possible in your boring, go-nowhere little neck of the woods. Sometimes you just feel so loved. That sometime for me is right now, right this very second. I was in the company of so many amazing people in everything I did yesterday that, no lie, I woke up with a smile on my face this morning. The day was filled with delicious food and creative friends and beautiful family and awesome art and gorgeous film and moving music and lively discussion and good weather and bad weather and laughter and tears and I just felt SO MUCH OF EVERYTHING.
As women (and especially as moms and/or at the workplace) we tend to go on automatic pilot just so we can accomplish the myriad tasks swirling around in our heads. When we are taking care of everybody else all the time, those days when we are kinda in it for ourselves are all the more special. Right now I’m so filled up that I could cry. God is good.
Carol took me to a fabulous lunch filled with wonderful conversation, and she gave me the portrait she painted of me and that hung in two galleries this spring! Below is the original photo, the painting, and the artist herself. It was a wonderful time. She is so rad. Also 2 pics of me and Shari at the Levon movie screening last night (complete with producer Q&A, free wine and delicious food afterwards! I can’t even talk about the movie right now. I just can’t. There are no words for how beautiful that masterpiece was painted). And then I came outside to see that my daisies came up! And the moon and the sun are both in the sky right now. I’m watching a bumblebee get his breakfast on the magnolias next to me while drinking my coffee from my favorite owl mug I got in Woodstock. My kids are playing and happy. Right now, I want for nothing.
So. I wouldn’t say that what I’ve got is writers block per se…I think that should probably only be attributed to a serious writer working on a novel or short stories. But I have NO CLUE what to write about lately. So I guess all I can do is write about not knowing what to write about. And that sounds really exciting, doesn’t it?
If you like to write and this ever happens to you, there is a wonderful little site called Language is a Virus. This concept comes from William S. Burroughs. There are all kinds of fun exercises that you may like, regardless if you are a “writer” or not.
I like the creative writing games a lot. They have a electronic poetry thing that I really liked to do a few years back. You could pick a writer you liked and they would give you a bunch of words that the writer might have likely used and you could make a poem with them. I used to do this at work when I got bored. Which was a lot. They have added a whole bunch of new writers since then. Including Morrissey! What!!! I gotta do that one ASAP.
Speaking of being a “writer” or not, I have had this amazing (at least I think so) idea for a novel. Obviously I am not going to tell you what it is, but the first half of it needs to be handwritten, and the second half in print. I don’t even know if that is a plausible concept, mass-production-wise. (Don’t you love how I have already jumped ahead to the mass production of this novel that I haven’t written one single word of?) I think it’s a cool idea, though. I need to research how to pitch a book deal. Even though nobody reads real books anymore. So maybe my idea IS more plausible in this new e-reader world. Maybe THAT’S why I’ve never started it seriously before! It just wasn’t time? Hmmmm. Maybe now is the time to get off my bum and do this.
One thing I will say about this idea i have for a novel is that it is not really “fictiony.” Because I am one of those weirdos that doesn’t love fiction. I like biographies, autobiographies, factual accounts of whatever. I do like some fiction, but I don’t seek it out. I’m not usually drawn to it unless it’s really trippy and crazy and absurd. So this idea has a very real element, like you are privy to something that you shouldn’t be. But in a sweet way, not in an icky, Peeping Tom kind if way. But I have already said too much.
Below is some of the electronic poetry I did many moons ago. The first one is Kerouac, and the second one is Ginsberg. Man. I love those guys. Deeply. Kerouac is the King of Stream of Consciousness Writing and I love to read him. I want to go to Lowell, MA and visit his grave. Allen Ginsberg is also outstanding and he was just so important to so much about popular culture in the 50’s and 60’s. He stayed totally relevant until he passed away. Love him. It’s fun to take their “types of words” and mix them together and pretend I have an ounce of their vision and talent.
Tonight begins my foray into home bible study (Women in the New Testament). I am super-stoked! I have missed these ladies so much! I need them more than they realize…I find that unless I truly have fellowship with others – like talking about what The Lord has done in our lives, how we struggle, how we succeed, how we need Him so much – I risk feeling far away from God. Then I go to my church and see my friends there and I just love it there so much. I’m excited to be a part of things there. I also love that I can wear an old, wrinkled Grateful Dead shirt there and nobody bats an eye (which totally happened yesterday because I was rushing and I just grabbed it and it’s basically my favorite shirt, so…yeah). But then all week long I am a stay-at-home mom and I’m isolated much of the time – meaning, I can’t just pick up and go meet a friend for coffee or whatever to talk if I need to. There’s nap times to consider, spending money that I shouldn’t…and even if I go, I end up entertaining the little people, not speaking candidly to my friend about life and whatnot.
But don’t get me wrong; this is my job, and I LOVE my job! Like, big time. And I found a way to make it work: I’m just going to have a bunch of awesome women gather at my house once a week! This is beneficial to me in two important ways: 1. Aforementioned fellowship. 2. It forces me to keep my house clean.
I am really excited about what the next year has in store regarding my spiritual walk. I have this summer study, and then at the end of July I am doing an online study on my own, “What Happens When Women Say Yes To God,” which is a book by the fantastic and fabulous Lysa TerKeurst, whom I met and heard speak several weeks back at a women’s conference. If anyone wants to do this with me, let me know! It’s a 6-week study and it looks great. We can meet up at my house, or anywhere else. Here’s the link to sign up for the emails.
In September it’s back to BSF, where we begin our intensive, 9-month study of Matthew. I wish I could tell you how excited I for this. AND at my church we are currently studying The Sermon on the Mount and how we are to all be on the same page as a church to be the believers, followers, disciples we are instructed to be. It is all such beautiful synchronicity. There is such freedom in knowing exactly what you are supposed to be doing. Of course, living that out is another story. But the instruction book is right here for everyone. You just have to open yourself up.
I lived many selfish and wasted (literally) years for myself. A few years ago I knew it was time to change my path. I’m on my way, but still have so far to go. We all do. It literally takes our whole lives. But Jesus never lets go of you. NEVER. He certainly never let go of me. Even when I broke His heart time and time again. Even when I ignored Him or thought he was ignoring me. He was right there. He was there when I was too drunk to walk or too high to move or too angry to speak or too lonely to say no or too afraid to call out to Him. He is ALWAYS there…not only when you think He’s not, but ESPECIALLY when you think He’s not. “Come to me, all you who are weary and burdened, and I will give you rest.” -Matthew 11:28
What does this mean? Well, for one, it means He loves us. Period. He loves us like crazy. And I am living proof of the positive change that is possible when you come to Him, weary and burdened, messed up and hungover and potty-mouthed and lost and afraid and sad and used and JUST DONE. I came to Him, like TRULY came to Him, and He gave me rest. Gives me rest. Will always give me rest. I still struggle with lots those those old things…if I go out and decide to leave Jesus at home that day, there’s no telling what I might want to get up to. But now I don’t ignore that little voice inside me, gnawing away at my brain like an annoying beaver on a log. That’s the Holy Spirit, y’all. Not my “conscience” per se…it’s the Lord saying, “Stef. Seriously. I know you’re out having fun, but just stick with two beers.” “Stefanie. You seriously do not need that record, Put it down.” “Woman, you are NOT EVEN HUNGRY. Why are you eating 12 cookies?!?!” (I’m not sure that last one is so serious. But hey, maybe it is. It’s gluttony, for sure. And with having small children…you just can’t be a good parent unless you bring your A-game every day. They can’t think 12 cookies is the perfect amount. 2 cookies, sure. 12 is kind of cray-cray.
Wow, where did all that come from?
Rainy day, dream away, let the sun take a holiday. (Jimi Hendrix said that.) I’ll let you be in my dream if I can be in yours. (I said that.) (I’m just kidding. Bob Dylan said that.) (This chick’s not making any sense this morning. You said that.)
This is a chilly, lazy, rainy, sleepy day already, and we’re not even out from under the covers yet. I am exhausted, yet I have been awake for 2 hours already, just lying here and thinking and trying to fall back asleep. It’s not happening. So here I am.
What was I thinking about? Everything and nothing.
Well, we are up now, and the aftermath of Hazel’s meltdown when I tried to change her diaper looms heavy in the house. She’s still in bed, sulking. She lets out a whimper when she hears me coming, just so I know she is still emotionally wounded. The teen years are gonna be a blast with this one, I can tell.
But she’ll get over it. She wanted to put her diaper on herself, and she can’t do that because she is 2 and that’s just impossible. She already took her own diaper off and used a wipie…this girl is unbelievably independent and strong-willed and determined. When she came out of me via c-section, the doctor told me that her eyes were wide open, staring at him, and she thrust her arm out of my belly. I like to imagine that she made a fist, like Rosie the Riveter or Jane Fonda in her mugshot. Max, on the other hand, was probably sleeping through the whole thing. I hope Hazel is good to me when she’s the President and CEO of Drama Queen Productions, Inc. And I hope Max will remember to call his mama once in a while from the road (when he’s on tour playing his sensitive and edgy folk music).
Does everyone have as many bugs in their house when it rains as I do? They are always in my kitchen by the back door…usually ants and teeny little winged bugs. It makes me feel like my house is gross, even though I know it’s not. And speaking of bugs, what happened to Cicada-pocalypse 2013?? I have not seen a single cicada yet! I feel somehow ripped off. I was envisioning an epic B-movie-type swarm.
And speaking of B-movies, Blobfest is coming up fast! Phoenixville, PA, holds a festival once a year in honor of The Blob. The most famous scene in the movie was filmed at The Colonial Theater, the scene where the Blob comes oozing through the vents and takes over and all the people go running out of the theater, screaming. They reenact this event every year, by the way. The also have a street fair and rockabilly bands and you can watch the Blob and other B-movies at the theater. The stores have Blob-themed window displays, and some have fake Blob oozing from the windows. It is SO AWESOME. A highly recommended event.
We are going to a local amusement park in two weeks with the kids. It’s an old-timely family campground-type place in the woods. I saw a documentary several years ago that featured this place…because a woman was IN LOVE WITH ONE OF THE RIDES. They showed her talking to it, kissing it, etc. It was pretty cray-cray. You can be assured that I will not be on this ride in 2 weeks. That gets me wondering how many people have “relationships” with inanimate objects that I frequently encounter. I mean you just never know!!! What a freaky concept, man. I wonder how one develops an attraction to a giant amusement park ride, or a car or a building? In this same documentary, a woman got married to the Eiffel Tower. Married. With flowers and a veil. Some of her friends flew all the way to France to support this person’s decision and “just were glad she was happy.” I mean, wouldn’t a true friend gently suggest some counseling? (I apologize if I have offended anyone reading this who may in fact be married to the Eiffel Tower.)
So I guess this means the Eiffel Tower is a man, right? Unless this woman was carrying on a lesbian relationship with the Eiffel Tower. Which is REALLY risqué. And the Eiffel Tower is a polygamist, because you KNOW this woman isn’t the only one.
My brain hurts now. The world is insane. I need more coffee.