About Me

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Five years into widowhood, after one year of incredible happiness and nearly 14 years of single blessedness. Have given up perfect manicures and pretty hands in order to resume playing the soprano recorder and to see if I can figure out how to play bluegrass banjo. Singing in the shower. Still really, *really* love to knit!

Sunday, November 21, 2010

This is what a Black Hole looks like.

More on that, later.

All of my beading supplies, at least all that I am aware of, are now gathered in one spot. I found four tiny bronze beads, given to me on my birthday when I was in the interpreting program, which spell out my name in finger-spelling. I may intersperse them with beads leftover from restringing the green necklace and either insert another strand on that, or start a new necklace.

I found a pin that says, “I have my cats and my chocolate, who needs anything else?” That will go to a friend, later today.

I found an award from when I was employee of the month at the movie theatre, when I was in the interpreting program. I have shredded the certificate and put the frame in the out-it-goes pile.

I found this sonnet, not one of my best, but I love the couplet at the end (although I’m not sure I believe it anymore).

The prophet told us any righteous man
And any righteous woman might be wed,
To make a home celestial, Spirit-led,
Through prayer and fasting, following God's plan.
I dated dozens; priesthood's greatest fan
Was I. In mingled hope and dread
I sought a man to share my heart, and bed.
(The branch’s barracuda: how they ran!)

In time God sent a man who feared me not.
Most thankfully, those others I forgot.
We married in the temple, children came,
And passions cooled, though neither merits blame.
Then comes to me this bittersweet idea:
How rare is Rachel - most of us are Leah.
©1994 (me)

For better or worse [pun intended], that is where my head was during the last few years of my marriage.

I found my rough draft of a novel that, if ever finished, is not likely to be published by and for the LDS market, although its protagonist is a faithful Latter-Day Saint woman. Sherry read that draft, years ago, and said that it was good writing, powerful, and difficult to read. Premise: what would you do if your best friend were overjoyed because her long-lost brother was moving into your ward, and when he came to church on Sunday you recognized him as the man who had raped you when you were fifteen? How would that affect your friendship with her? How would it affect your marriage? How would it affect your children? How would it affect your ward? What if your husband was the bishop?

(Sherry does not have an evil brother. I was not raped when I was fifteen.)

I started that novel when I was gutting my way out of my last major depression. It was a good way to channel my pain, my loneliness, my despair, and my fury. And someday it may be a novel of restoration and redemption. But for now, it has moved out of the notebook where it lived for fifteen years, into a file folder, and into my file cabinet.

I found a pen, still working after all this time, and several containers suitable for the inflicting sharing of holiday treats. Ornaments I made for each of the girls, and me, from art paper for Christmas 1999; the rattan and wire star for the top of the tree, that first Christmas without their father in residence. A garish red and green basket which is structurally sound and will make some kindergartner’s day. A rickety, slack-jawed nutcracker which I am passing on to Fourthborn’s Fiancé because he loves nutcrackers, even awful ones, and he can make the decision whether this is good-bad or just plain bad. My Santa hat. Three dopey-looking angels that are meant to perch over votive candles: Peace, Hope, and Joy. They just look as if they had been over-served and were hoping for a quiet place to sleep it off. A two-inch length of dowel, with no clue as to what it may have once been a part of. Smooshed fake evergreen swags with patently fake red berries, most of them chipped, all of it into a trash bag; I moved this, why? A kluge of icicle lights, and no spare outlet to plug them in. Ditto a bundle of Christmas tree lights. After I plug them in to see if they light up, they will go to the thrift store with another, larger loopy/looped-angel tealight holder. [Postscript: buy butter; those lights are toast.]

That would all come from three large, empty tubs, one of which has had a nice soak in the bathtub to remove shards of candy cane, which are now stacked neatly on the floor of the closet in my studio. Next up? the shredding of a large recipe box full of MK sales receipts and customer cards. And then the tackling of another large box filled with mysterious paperwork. The recycling bin which pertains to my half of the duplex is full to the gills. I may need to press the other one [for the unoccupied half of the duplex] into service; my landlord has to pay the city for it every month, but mostly it just sits there looking forlorn.

So, I tackled that box of old paperwork, and I think it just might have a black hole tucked inside it. After pulling and folding and creasing and stacking for an hour, and pulling out a two-inch thick sheaf of magazines, birthday cards, etc., as you can see, there is not a lot of empty space above the stuff that remains to be sorted. It reminds me of that part of labor where you grunt and puff and groan and flail, and there is still no sign that a baby is coming out within your lifetime. So I did what any sensible woman would have done: I got ready for the adult session of stake conference and grabbed a burger and fries on the road.

My review of the Saturday night session, and the dance in Richardson (almost an hour and a half away from my stake center) and today’s session of stake conference, will have to wait. I need to eat breakfast and put on my Sunday best and put the donation pile into the car and drive back down to the stake center. I am almost done shredding the stack I made yesterday afternoon from the paper I pulled out of this box. And I am almost two inches into the pattern on missionary hat #2. I need to join on a new ball, but that will probably wait until I am sitting at church, waiting for stake conference to begin.

If all goes according to plan, my new visiting teachers will come over this afternoon. Unlike three or four weeks ago, it will only take two or three minutes to get the couch looking presentable. Maybe half again that long to deal with the piles on top of the coffee table, most of which are things belonging to one daughter or another, which I will hand off to them at Thanksgiving dinner.

I don’t have any illusion that my life is under control. I do have a sense that Heaven and I are making a modicum of progress, and that the more important Partner in this process is pleased that I am still trying to order and refine my life and my physical surroundings. When I was sitting at church last night, I was granted a glimpse of the Heavenly perspective on my life. That makes the effort worthwhile, and once more confirms that God really *is* in the details.


Bonnie said...

I'm glad that you are finding so much satisfaction in bringing order to your life. I thought the Saturday night session of conference was amazing. It was definitely what I needed.

Jenni said...

I too am proud of you for all the de-cluttering. I know some of it is more emotionally cathartic than pleasing to the eye.

leslye said...

why did you stack the shards of candy cane on the closet floor? Just thought I'd ask...

Lynn said...

Oops, it does read like that, doesn't it? A pair of parentheses would have come in handy, in that sentence.