Doily season

Too hot to shawl

One and two…

Then I second guess myself. The counting is all off on the one on the left. The rounds between the design were not symmetrical or growing in the proper ratio. No purple ribbon there. I have considered re-doing it. That would be winter. The thread is really small. The second one might be a blu ribbon I am much happier with it’s turnout.

Three…

Made out of some shiny no.5 thread, it was much easier on the eyes. But the fingers… Any time the thread or yar has some sheen to it, think slippery. My left hand would get sore. From gripping it too hard. Most of the time I work for no more than two hours a day on doily items. The fine thread, stitches, or thought process is just not as relaxing as the afternoon nap. That’s usually when I work on such things. No naps in my life. Just rest or down time

Four…

This pretty yellow doily was rather hard for me to pin to the ivory board. One of these days my husband will put the black marker on his grandfather’s carpenter compass and I will have some lines to go by. One of the round doilies I stretched turned out almost oval. This eyesight is getting to be a challenge.

Five…

This pretty little thing will have to be another tea doily. The thread was much smaller than I imagined it to be. Another doily of different thread turned twice this size.

I was not sure what pattern to pick and do next with the rest of the yellow ball of thread so I finished this gem.

Back to it…

I have always wanted to do this beautiful pattern. Known as the “Virus” shawl pattern, it looks like the rows are done with changing color skeins. Though this is an option, the one above is a variegated yarn by Red Heart. The color blend is called “Latte Stripe.” And since I loved creamed coffee, why not? Pretty sure I won’t allow myself to give this one away.

The bench outside is an old Recitation Bench from the country school in Iowa. We found them in the old granary shed. My grandmother talked about the benches from her school days in the early twentieth century. I have always felt like their nod to the past cannot be destroyed.

To place the shawl on this bench for the picture,the leaves from the tree had to be swept off. The poor tree is quite ill and we need to replace it. It sheds constantly. All year long it’s residue is left on the deck, bench, and chairs. From seed berries, to flower blossoms, to leaves that are simply too weak to hang on I am kept busy with a broom nearby. I wonder if that’s how I feel.

The tree has aged so much. It was a pair to the flowering crab from years gone by. Today it’s shade keeps the top half of the deck well shaded, so we put up with the mess. I cannot imagine how hot the deck or our kitchen would be without it blocking some of the suns rays.

So, from the doilies to the Latte Viral shawl, the summer is heading into fall allergy season. I have a few gifts out of the process of counting in sequence, And a warm shawl to get ready for fall. I have had my own anxious moments this summer, most of which were hormone related. Sometimes the thread of worry slips into life like the wrong spice in a mango salsa. Changing the topic won’t make worry go away. I am glad to have crochet to pass the time. I am also glad to leave it behind and go consider the flowers once in awhile. Labor and toil over thread all day would probably do some pretty bad damage to my wrist or my neck.

Matthew 8:27-28 “And which of you by being anxious can add a single hour to his span of life? And why are you anxious about clothing? Consider the lilies of the field, how they grow; they do not labor no do the spin thread.”

If I say nothing at all

Letters become words

My little grand-daughter is in the “walk and talk” stage. I know, I told myself when I had children there would never be stages. No particular thing that I was hoping to get through quickly or without some mishap. Yet because my vantage point is more in weekly coffee break doses,the changes that she has are more in stages and more hops, and skips and noticeable. The new words that she learns, the mobility that she gains is different when I am not the mommy in the trenches.

The new words are fun: Swing, Nite nite, Josh, Yes, Mom, Huh?, and Dad are all part of her vocabulary tools. The sign language she knows helps immensely on communication. Things like more, food, wash, all done, oh no, too loud, and peek-a-boo make being around baby enjoyable. But when she learns to stand up from sit and won’t stay down for a nap, that’s on her momma. So to me she is still the cutest thing ever.

The last few years being unable to “drive” away from my isolated country life has been so hard for me. There are days when the empty black pit seems to come along and swallow me whole. Few people know what I mean when I mention that “black hole.” I am not talking about some space odyssey either. Not long ago, I had a series of books on my talking book library that put into action what “Stomping Out the Darkness” was trying to teach me years ago.

Spiritual warfare, mental battles, mind over matter is never a subject others prefer. Most people just want to avoid matters of the mind. Spiritual health and well-being are considered topics best dealt with on a clinical level. So while this lovely little one year old is learning the power of words, and language, dealing with my own mental battle with the strong words and weak thought-life… here we go.

When I was a young girl things happened within our family that would best be forgotten. Words that cut through marrow were flung and spewed from the figure in my family that should have been loaded with coaching encouragement. Dealing with verbal abuse for so many years left a mark upon our family. I am not playing the shame and blame game. This is just how it was. Being a girl as the offspring of the “incapable” should have been an obvious mirrored image to the tongue that spat, but those feelings were never-the-less planted.

So today when I deal with the spiritual topic of ask and receive, my mind does a complete 360 while I consider all the possibilities. It makes me dizzy to think of the people who have come and gone in my life. As a child we learn to say please and may I and thankyou. As an adult we learn that asking others often leads to be “shushed, ” “turned off,” “told no,” or simply considered a burden and ignored. Several times in my journey towards lost eyesight, people have asked if they could pray for healing for me. Then within a short period of time told me they could not give me rides places. As if praying for my healing gets them off the hook for not helping. This kind of response led me to quit asking. So perhaps I am much too human, but this turning away has taught me that perhaps God the Father says “No” more that He says “yes.” Mentally I tell myself that God is more loving than people. Yet, it’s hard to ask and be rejected so many times.

Words are creative. Or destructive. And yes, sometimes words are like creeping bindweed. Like the boa constrictor of weeds, it wraps around the soul, the mind, the will-power, the heart and these words and feelings are difficult to root out. And like russian thistles, their barbed thorns take flesh and soul with them as we try to deal with the ugly past. Right when the field is all cleared out, some nasty ragweed finds it’s way back into our daily existence.

Because of my library of book reading, I spent years training my brain how to do battle with these nasty weeds. Knowing that the power of scripture to overcome these old thought patterns is key, I have an MP3 Bible that I plug into at night. The words of the Father Creator are far stronger than any insult, or abuse ever endured. This keeps me going on the path to uprooting the dark matter.

I also know that giving the demons voice is the worst thing that I can do. So silence often invades my life. I say nothing at all. Trying to speak good and light in the face of evil dark thoughts is the hardest thing ever. Most times all I can manage to mouth is “Jesus, help me.”

By nature, I am a creative person. I like to see crochet art take shape. I like to watch the yearn take cloth. I like to hear music fill the space. Being creative has always been part of who I am. As a child I made cards, and wrote poems. I was always singing and soon began to play the piano with passion and possibility. When I wa not turning letters into words, I made music.

That girl that I once was, letting my voice ring in noisy play, or pounding away at the keyboard seems lost to me. Often I wonder if she is still under all this skin. The tent that covers me, is it really still me? Remembering how I once sucked nervously on a strand of hair, makes me wonder what anxiety do I let rule me now? Taking another step today sends me farther away from who I once was in that little girl.

So I cherish watching our little one learn how to blow kisses goodbye. The teacher in me rejoices when she discovers imaginative play and puts “Scout” in the box that she was just in, doing for the stuffed puppy what we had been doing with her. I treasure her little fingers learning how to put the lid on the cookie tin. I want to memorize how she plods back and forth figuring out the tupperware basket for her little three inch ball. I am amazed at her ability to put sounds into words. Yeah, the cycle of life tells me this is all repetitive. But to her- Everything Is New.

If I say nothing at all, that does not always mean that there is nothing good to say. Sometimes letters become words. But just like my little one year old specialty, letters can sometimes just be magnets that stick to the front panel of the dishwasher. Sometimes words just get all jumbled up and things come out wrong, like calling the giraffe stuffy a “zebra.” Sometimes there is not even any music that comes to mind when my fingers rest on the ebony and ivory. Sometimes I just watch other people, hoping I don’t forget what they look like. Sometimes it’s easier to just copy an old crochet pattern than to learn a new one. Sometimes… I say nothing at all.

If I say nothing at all…

Will you still pick me up when I fall?

will you still carry me?

Will we still walk hand in hand?

If I say nothing at all…

Will you still sit with me?

Will you feed me?

Will you still care?

If I say nothing at all…

Will you still take me to the zoo?

Will you still show me the ocean blue?

Will you sing to me “You Are So Beautiful?”

If I say nothing at all…

Will you still tell me about your day?

Will you still say you love me?

Will we still be best friends?

If I say nothing at all…

If I can no longer call…

If I cannot help when you fall…

Will you

Still

Love

Me?

-written by Yovnne Annette

Look square in the eye

Facing the facts of blindness

Square eyes?

Realistically speaking, the pupil of the eye is round, not square. So considering the whole concep of looking something square in the eye does not really add up with the bulls eye itself is round. Whoever thought up such a thing does not seem to remember that David hit Goliath in the square right between the eyes. Locking horns with the bull-elk just might get you square in the bulls’ eye. The fact of the whole matter is that going blind “one day at a time” does not make that hymn become my themesong.

My challenge to myself lately is removing clutter. Some of the things are easy to do. Going through a container full of boxes and old picture frames for example. Other tasks are not quite as easy. In particular, tackling the greenhouse clutter left me nearly in stitches and brokenness. The pathway was getting so bad from the items left there, that tripping over things was a daily event. So I am trying to do one corner at a time.

The geraniums were in desperate need of deadheading and some plant nutrition. An earlier decision to raise them up in the greenhouse left them high and dry, literally! So that job finally god done last week. After my reaction to bug repellent required me to use Benadryl, I decided it was a good time to expose myself to more plant pollens. Rough morning. But if I already had the allergy monster on my side, more exposure to plants seemed natural.

Cleaning the geraniums up is no easy task. With my tunnel vision, I left unseen dead blooms many times and had to turn the pots two and three times around to get them all clean. Then after all nine pots were done, I took a step back to survey and realized I had completely missed one of the nine planters. Thank goodness I did not have to climb the ladder today to get any more down from the high perch. It was so hot in there. Even with all the vents open, the outside temperature is mirrored under the glazing of the timber frame.

Decluttering the yarn scraps gave me some new projects. Just when I think I have a new pile of yarn cleaned up, I find one little scrap on the floor, or remaining in the basket. I don’t curse myself or the object, but it is frustrating. I feel like it takes me three times as long to do anything.

Trying to use up some of the freezer stores, I decided to make a zucchini cake one day. Only to realize there was no cocoa in the house. Then the next day, it is found by my husband. Everything use to have such a well defined home when I was up to putting things away better. Now, unless we get one of those fancy label guns, my husband has decided not to use his memory and put things back where they came from. I have to use my memory to find things. My eyesight did not find the cocoa or cacao powder.

Going outside and down the stair steps of the front deck causes more anxiety than usual lately. The blinding mid-day sun makes it hard to find the steps with my eyes. Even finding the rail in the bright sun is hard. I don’t want to resort to using the mobility cane in my own home and yard. Yet the feeling that I am lost hits me so many times each day. Thankfully, Honey sometimes helps with the stairs. And if I an conscience of what I plan to do, I just have her guide me.

Cleaning the house does not happen as frequently as it should. The clutter makes it treacherous, so that’s why I am trying to clean up some. If the surfaces have less things, then the cleaning is easier. But even while putting things away, I still come back and find something that was out of my range of sight that got left behind. So time consuming, all this clean up.

While recovering from my reaction to absorbing junior (to keep off the bugs) I found more things to clean up and throw away. There was a stash of jars on the counter from the canned goods. There was a collection of spices not put away yet. And there was a stack of towels not sorted to their various homes.

While I soaked in the epsom salt to help the hives, I finally found my sunglasses. I had left them on the dry sink sometime last week. Memory did not serve me very well on that one. Being routine, and scheduled has taken vacation for the past week as I do such un-ordinary organizing routes around the place. So that’s why the sunglasses were set down in the wrong location in the first place. This de-clutter thing is tough.

Making decisions about toss or keep is easy when moth and rust eat up an object to nothingness. Other keepsakes are more difficult. But now I even look at once valuable to me things, as dust collectors and hazards to my health. For instance, the glassware that decorates the tops of the kitchen cabinets. Why did I like things just to clean? Pretty to look at should be in something less dust collecting. So now collectables make me thing only of dust, accidentally knocking something off the edge of the table, and climbing up and down on a ladder. Funny, what is no longer valued.

So, I value my toes, my nose, my head, and my eyes, more than things. I would say that’s pretty normal, right? Just like I use to enjoy some things, now the labor of it is too tedious. It has become easier to sit and crochet than to dust all those silly glass objects. Creating something new is better than removing old dirt.

Every day something finds me square between the eyes. Lately, it is the low hanging branches. Another hazard of the acreage. We took care of those one evening last week. Hubby got out the ladder, the saw, and the skid-loader to haul away the mess. He can do things so much quicker than I can. And even find my lost objects, if I just ask. I spent all day yesterday looking for my yarn bobbin winder. He found it five minutes after being home. Never mind that I hit my head on a wall during my searches. Suffered from the headeache all the rest of the day.

We got the dry sink and the little bench fixed up this last weekend. I am not happy about where to put that writing desk that is now smooth. The next item to clean and refresh is the bench that his dad made nearly twenty years ago. It never had a coat of poly on it, just tongue oil. Me and the smell of tongue oil does not get along. And poly is less dust collecting.

So I have looked at myself squarely, sized up the situation and attempted to clean up some of the clutter. My tunnel vision is not a square tube any more and at times it becomes a pin hole. I do not look forward to my visit to the eye doctor this week. It just feels like a failed attempt at hope to go. Oh, well.

God Above

God above, oh, God of love, be merciful to me.

Be merciful to me, a sinner.

Be merciful, be patient, a sinner, Your servant.

Show me, Lord, show me Thy word.

Be patient Lord with me.

Be patient Lord with me, Your servant.

Be merciful, be patient, a sinner, Your servant

-written song and tune by Yvonne Annette, approximately 1998

Empty rabbit hole

At too yellow

Where I am at is not where anyone else wants to be. I find myself in an empty rabbit hole, running around in circles and never finding my way out. The only way out is up. Reaching up for the ladder that is just out of touch. Being too short to touch the bottom rung, then I will need to jump. Jumping up to grasp what is just beyound reach. My attempts to be anything but the rabbit that I once was leaves me exhausted,. No one wants to pretend at life. The whole idea is that Halloween costume party might just exist everyday for some…

At this point in my existence, I am at covering up who I am now by who I once was. Learning to deal with the change in my abilities to navigate the normal life that everyone else still lives has left me faking the smile. Pretending to be okay in my rabbit hole. The world goes on. The people around me have left. The others have their daily interactions with others. I have a rabbit hole.

Pushed over a cliff. That’s me. Sitting on a ledge with a large rock wall just before me. Open the door for me and push me first. The anxiety and the fear that surfaces from the unknown because of my eyes inablity to adjust to the change form outside to inside or from inside to outside. Might as well push me over a cliff. Who pushes a blind person first? Lots of people don’t understand. This anxiety from new and the constant flow of people in a group setting, continues to set me face value with a rock wall in front of me. Finding the face level of an outstretched hand is like asking me to go first. This anxiety of meeing new people or new situations has left me sitting out on a ledge with a rock wall in front of me and a deep cavern heading off in all directions.

Chasing a bunny tail around in circles. That is me. The less one goes to experience new, the more life is just chasing the owner’s tail. Round and round the sun travels. Round and round the familiar circles go. Yet with the blindness that comes my way, the circle grow smaller. The never ending expansion of one’s life and experiences, has now reversed direction. Until all that remains is the beginning of the line. And now all the bunny does is chase his own tail. Not a very fun day actually.

Socially deprived dogs will develop anxiety or elements of acting surprised at every thing that happens. Whether it is the door bell, the phone ringing, or a neighborhood child that cries out, a dog that has not been exposed to lots of experiences will overreact. Never mind the dog, my days are now turning into the socially deprived mutt-hood. Without the proper training and constant repetition of social skills, they become lost. Empty days in the country turn the hermit into an angry mutt. This is not the me that I want to be. The country bumpkin I used to be longs for sitting on the busy corner of a street and do some good old people watching.

An empty planterbox sitting in front of the parked car reminds me once again where I am at. The days that coming home to the pretty plants adorning the parked vessels are so long ago in the past. Filling the boxes so that someone else can park there and enjoy the view as they arrive… Nope. My life is that empty planter box. I do not take that vessel to wherever I so chose. Filling the boxes just reminds me that I no longer have the choice to go away and return to an enjoyable view. It is not an enjoyable view when it is all that I ever see.

Open the door to a brick wall that stands in front of me. Outside my daily empty rabbit hole there is a brick wall. Seeing a future ahead is getting harder and harder. I do not see a future without the view of delapitating buildings around me. Living on an acreage where things are just left to fall apart, reminds me that my eyesight is failing. It is very depressing to imagine a future filled with the view of buildings crumbling. While others leave and do not see the crumbling status, who wants to imagine this view as the last days of their eyesight. I do not want to just watch buildings crumble, while my eyesight fails me. These images will be burned in my brain. I want to watch things being taken care of. I want to see neighbors fixing their roofs. I want to see people planting their gardens.

Lacking social skills is attributed to children who do not slpend time with peers. No one understands the value of an active life more than sn inactive life. Not having peers or people to go do things with has left me empty and lacking in social skills. I still know how to ask someone else all the right questions, but having no experience outside of my rabbit hole makes me an empty person to be with. Therefore, no one comes

Gas tank on empty usually gives a driver a little red flag or red signal on the dashboard. When I look in the mirror agter the same empty start to each day, I see a signal eep in my soul that the gas tank is on empty.

Not many days ago, I found myself tired of not having expressed anything about myself to for so long a period of time around a group of people, that when I finally did, there was an audible “shushing” that escaped someone next to me. The feelings that followed the experience were undeniably awful. Everyone has feelings, and when left to never express those feelings eventually they ooze outward. Being shushed in the midst of the expressing left me collaping into

Too yellow

Who would tell a dandelion she is too yellow? Lots of people do this very thing every day. Telling the dandelion not to shine so bright in the sea of green grass. Telling the expressive soul not to be soo loud, or the nonconformist to be more like everyone else around them. I begin to wonder what the world would be like without Picasso, Rembrandt, Mozart, or Debussy. What would the new world have looked like without Columbus, or Sacagawea, or Madison? Why do we shush the abortion debate, the political issues, or the holocaust? Will there even be any history in the history books? Maybe dandelions are just yellow. Not too yellow.

Just yellow. Not too expressive. Not too passionate. Not too wordy. Not too loud. Not too boisterous. Not to excitable. Not too Impressive. Not too intimidating. Not too dramatic. Not too bright. Not too dreamy. Not too hopeful. Not too flamboyant. Not too artistic. Not too creative. Not too inventive. Not too different. Just yellow.

Morning Mist

Fleeting faith

Hosea 6:4. “Oh (fill in with your name here) what shall I do to you. For your faithfulness is like the morning mist, And like the early dew it goes away quickly when the sun comes out.”

Who knew that the Bible has something to teach us about every thing that happens in our lives?

This morning while I did my morning chores, the fog rolled in and blurred my vision to return back to the house from the barn. Then my mind had to tell me “no silly that’s the fog, not your eyesight.” Sometimes this has to be clarified with my retinitis pigmentosia. There are times when the eyes dry out and that glass of water is one cup of coffee too late in keeping my eyes hydrated enough to see. Evening is the worst. So this verse about faithfulness and the morning mist is very real to me.

Another verse in Hebrews eleven tells us something similar. Faith is the substance of things hoped for. Faith is not what we see, rather it is the hope of things not yet seen. Hope and faith seem to go so hand and glove together. A glove does not keep me warm just lying there. I have to put it on. Faith does not become a working thing unless there is some hope involved. These concepts of spiritual and physical are very hard to grasp. It’s something like trying to squeeze the mist out of the air!

My lungs were just trying to get the air and not the water. I did have to come inside after a few frisbee tosses to my muddied up doggy. My “smoker’s lungs” told me it was time to leave the mist and opt for the dryer house.

So goes the clouds. So the mist evaporates in the sunshine.

This week my husbands plans to take a trip literally went south. His midnight vertigo turned into severe motion sickness and the plans were canceled. My plans for the week also ended up flipped upside down along with about a dozen other people that are close enough to be affected by his movements. Thanks to his sister for all the car rides as he got his stability back. A doctor visit, therapist, and chiropractor all had aid in helping him get back to upright. One ear can sure make the world go topsy turvy-literally.

So now with new plans, and another schedule in the future, we wait to see how that will all take place. Faith has to be both firm and flexible at the same time. How do we find hope amidst such feeble circumstances. Change in an instant can surprise or devastate. Faith cannot be placed in physical objects. Yet we place our faith in others hands all the time. We walk by faith not by sight. Once again this thing grips us and we must decide what carries us forward.

Hope that the sun will take away the fog. Belief that the morning mist is not a dim view of my Lord’s faithfulness to me. My God is sure. My God is steadfast. My God is here with me whether my eyes fail me, my ears give me vertigo, or my wits grow dim.

The substance of faith for me is the hope that God is here with me whether I can see the house through the morning mist or not. His Son is that ray of light that drives away the morning dew and allows my spiritual lungs to breathe once again. Ahh. Air. Fresh clean perfect air.

Dense fog advisory

De-valued subsistance

Maybe some questions have no answers.

The alarm does not call me to rise up. Neither does duty. Most days it is the dog that signals my rise time.

Having no go-to-meeting alarms makes my life seem empty some days. The work of my hands calls my name certain days. The challenge to keep my fingers occupied keeps me going. Until the days that it does not. Even the idea that keeping house in order needs being done sometimes does not get me out of my corner to tidy another one.

Human being means that unless I find something to do I am not content just being.

There is no convincing that my evolution from some critter that could care less what design his kennel or cage has…. Well, no matter how hard they try I am not buying that by chance the human spirit began thinking up something more complex than a beaver cavern. Nope, not buying it.

More and more it seems that my “doing” has less value than ever to others. A recent scheduled something by one person, was erased by another and then completely overlooked by a third person. My idea or scheduled ability was tossed into nothingness and now I find my mind in a battle for the value of me. Is there anything that I do that is not simply overlooked by others?

The thoughts that want to take root are ones like – no one believes you are worth listening too. This thought especially has plaqued me. I use to write music and sing songs. Songs that I felt had been given to me to share. As time passed it seemed no one wanted to listen. I felt my thoughts turned to songs were waste of time. The supposed gift fell silent. The instrument that once said sung now rots in the forest.

When there is no opportune to share, why bother with the writing. At last love of my own music has left me. In fact not long ago, we burned all but a hand full of the discs that held my failed attempt at the music industry.

Almost the same in it’s gradual death is the joy of my crocheted creations. One person says something negative about one shawl and the happiness I had while making it goes “poof” like a popped balloon. Amazing what the power of words have over us.

My whole being-ness seems to be a finite breath of air that someone has determined to deflate. Rather than being a beautiful flower or grass I have become a small breath. A little peep of a chickadee that has been drowned by a deluge of rain water.

Dense fog advisory

No, the subsistence of self preservation has not boiled over. Self awareness has not rendered me completely speechless. However, the reality of my de-valued life is beginning to rub raw. There are times when it seems people “tell” me what kind of day to have while at the same time stealing all joy in the moment at hand. And the negative comments of others roll through my daily empty hours like freight trains. When one has onle four to twelve hours weekly with outside of the walls world, any little look, comment or other connection cam seem like an overwhelming flood of damnation.

How do I traverse the dense fog?

How do I find value in basic existence? When my life really is nothing more than taking out the weekly garbage and shredding all this junk mail?

This past week it came to my attention that life has been de-valued in several state legislatures. The Old Testament mantra that “Life is in the blood” has not been considered in half a century in our country,. The unborn have no more value that the dollar amount of their tissues for scientific research. What is sickening to me, is that I never heard one ward about it on the radio or in my media feeds on my highly intellectual device. Life no longer has the value it once did. Who ever though that the world would return to the ancient practice of sacrificing human babies to selfishness.

The dense fog of this value system will not be overlooked by the One who designed this breath-filled being. The vapor of a life so snuffed out by such unbelievable cruelty surely will not be overlooked by the Make of such weather patterns. While man thinks that he can control so much by taking life, he still has no power to create life. Life. The heartbeat of a being that will one day choose his or her own doings on an hourly, minutely decision making process.

The oppression of this decision by so many to devalue the human life in it’s existence from the moment of conception to the moment of first breath. How can one person go to jail for the rest of their life for wanting to quiet a screaming infant at a day care and another person has the right to silence the infant before he or she has the chance to cry out?

I do not understand this thinking.

Once upon a time I too had a voice. Once upon a time I made the choice to listen to the voice telling me to do… shall I sit in silence for the rest of my subsistence and never mention my own need to breath clean air? Shall I give up all rights to being someone who loves to do certain things? Or do I let the dense fog fill in every space of my surroundings until I am no longer heard, and no longer seen?

And this is all at the work of someone’s hands. How can this be?

Psalm 139: 2 “oh, Lord, you know my thoughts even when I am far away” even when I siet in my own dark corner and dwell on things too difficult for me and I have traveled into the deep unknown You know what I am thinking about.

Wall flower

Silent, quiet, death

There you hang

Silent

No one notieces

Quiet

Drying

No longer fragrant

Death

But not defining

You were once soft

Silent

You were once fragrant

Crying your pain

Sharing your dying petals

Searching for water

Drinking emptiness

Silent

Quiet

You hang there in defiance

“Remember” you say

“Remember when” you say

“Remember when the day”

You say “the day”

As if one silent, death defining moment

The wall flower wants to live on

The dead, hanging petals cling

Cling to the once vibrant stem

Upside down they cling

Death defying

Silent

Quiet

Wall flower

–written by yours truly this difficult day

The past month has been hard. While the world buzzes around me with activity in preparation. I feel more like a plucked flower. Everyone is busy with something. Trying to stay busy, but never accomplishing any thing, well, just does not amount to anything.

Doing instead of being.

Being instead of doing.

Struggling to write something. I have nearly half a dozen blog drafts and nothing o show for them. The finishing feels like grasping thorny rose bushes. My mind just cannot seem to wrap itself around a complete thought.

Tonight my decision not to cry myself to sleep, resulted in returning to the living room where these hanging flowers on the wall greeted me as I sat in my chair.

In the olden days, a “wall flower” was the girl at the dances that no one ever danced with. I can relate somewhat, as I have not danced with someone on a dance floor more than a hand full of times. I relate to the one sitting in the corner watching the whole world go on dancing having a great time and never really noticing the wall flower.

This “feeling” has happened to me so many times that seeing myself tied up with a ribbon and hanging from some nail on the wall… yeah, you get the picture.

Going blind has it’s defining moments.

Today was one of them for me.

Sitting in a crowded room full of gathered bouquets, who would chose the dried petals over all of the one’s in the vases, or on the bushes, or in the planters? Yet here I am in the world of fragrant flowers, drying up. Clinging to the stem, yet receiving no water. No more life giving, fragrant potions.

The feelings are hard to explain. They are difficult to grasp. The tears come way to easily sometimes. Recognizing the death of a certain way of doing things. Defining myself as that blind lady over there. Some things are best put into poetry.

There.

Now I’ll go cry myself to sleep.

I’ll crush some old rose petals hanging on some nail on the wall. And be mad at myself for not remembering where they came from.

Open, Empty, Ready

“Open arms are empty arms”

Isaiah 65:24 “Before they call out to Me, I will answer them. Before they even begin speaking, I will hear”

These days when I go to visit my young daughter and my infant granddaughter, I am reminded of this verse. The little infant barely begins to whimper and her mother is there to tend her need. Before Isabelle can even cry out in hunger her mother is there to feed her. The idea that God answers us quicker than a breastfeeding mother came to me as I heard this verse in a book I was listening too.

God, the Deliver.

The one who is so ready to come to our aid. To fill our hungering hearts with his supply. There are days when my heart aches incredibly with thirst for something. I imagine myself as an infant ready to cry out for filling with sustenance of faith, or hope and God gives me just what my longing spirit needs even before I begin to cry.

At the beginning of this year 2018, I made a plan to write a blog each week. To get into the habit of writing. By the time I had reached March, my planner in my notepad was filled for the first half of the year. As more ideas came rushing in, some of those plans got pushed into the second half of the year. I finished June with 29 blogs for the year so far. The plan had been for 26. Half the year, and the cup of inspiration had overflowed. My cup of ideas “overfloweth.” The second half of the year has plans-a-plenty. The idea was that July would begin with the cup half full or the cup half empty. The decision would be made at the beginning of the second half of my blogging schedule.

Half full or half empty?

When people ask for just a half cup of coffee, we often want to tease them and say bottom half or top half? I always want the top half filled. That way I can have a whole cup more! But when years ago God brought me to a an “open arms versus empty arms” decision, my thoughts were not very humorous at all

Open or empty?

Once upon a time I was a young mother with dreams to fill my home with the laughter of children. Many children. My husband said after the first, “one is good.” After the second came along, I told him “two is better.” Then I began praying for a chord, a third strand. It never happened.

For years, after the secondary barrenness arrived, I felt God had responded to my plea with empty arms. My arms had been so open to more children, to more than two. God answered my pleas with a number of early first trimester miscarriages. What was a mother to do? I focused all my attention on the two girls that I was blessed with. Never believing that any stage was something to get through, but enjoying even the teenage years. Our daughters were nothing typical. There was nothing normal to our family years.

Sometimes silence is deafening.

The quiet days that follow a home school mother’s retirement was nearly enough to deafen my heart to any sound that my Lord might try to whisper to me. What…? The days that came after the girls left for college became so empty and quiet. Sometimes I turn the television up just to drown out my own screaming thoughts.

The days that I longed for their company soon turned into challenges to my eyesight. Not long after I got used to nothing ever changing in my environment, then the things that they brought home became stumbling blocks. Finally I became to frustrated that I just sit down and watch then do the cooking when they come to visit. Otherwise, because of my eyesight, I spend all my time looking at the food, the table, the laundry, or the floor for things that could trip me. I soon realized, I didn’t get to see my daughters at all when they came home. I spent the whole time seeing things. These “face-less” visits left me feeling like my arms were empty rather than open to their visits.

How can I move from having that empty arms feeling to an Open Ams attitude?

This same empty feeling hit me one day hard when my emotional emptiness made me throw up verbally on unannounced guests. Explaining the idea of surprise being more like running into a brick wall than being a Christmas present is hard. Having a visual impairment like mine is difficult to explain to others. Another difficult, Christmas presents. But that’s a whole other topic.

Having open arms while walking blindfolded is not the best option. So having retinitis pigmentosa teaches one to put hands out in front (it is a saving face kind=of=move). Lately however, my darkroom expiences have exposed my tired brain’s lack of thinking. I am reminded of one of the favorite lines in one of our family’s favorite movies. ” We’ll just have to use our brains then.” Learning to concentrate on my dance moves while I step away from the sink isn’t easy. Especially since I was never a dancer.

One of the songs that I wrote years ago before the schooling days was titled “Are you ready?” In it the verse from Jeremiah is quoted “When you seek Me then you will find Me.”

Jeremiah 29:13 “You will seek Me and find Me when you search for Me with all of your heart.”

Searching…

That’s something I find myself doing far too frequently. I look for lost bottle caps. I hunt for dropped silverware. I find more that what I am looking for and quite frequently I find nothing at all. Looking down the center of a wrapping paper tube was once an imaginary game as a child. Now it is my daily lot.

With all…

With my whole being I long for a different outcome to my plight. But alas, I already know the end of the movie. The last chapter has already been written for the lives of those with RP. The epilogue is the whole story. The rest of the experience once the days turn to “after.” Right now i am still in the “before.”

Before…

Before I die I want to… This sort of thing is called a bucket list. There was a whole movie written about that. One fellow lives each day like it’s the last, the other like it is the first. One has a mindset of half-full, the other like it is half-empty. One person stands with open arms, another stands with empty arms. Or is it both…?

Are you ready?

Are you ready? / Are you ready to do My will?

Are you ready? / Are you ready to do My will?

When you seek Me, you will find Me, you will know My will.

Search for Me, / Watch for Me, / And be still…

Search for Me / Watch for Me / And be still.

(Song and poem copyright 1999 by Yvonne Annette)

So while I sit and listen to this old CD recorded in my “early years” at the fresh age of 30, I think about all that has happened in the last twenty years. Musically, my life has changed dramatically. Family wise well, a son-in-law and a grand-daughter have been added to our lives. Others have answered the call of the Creator to “come home.” What a change.

Have I really changed though? While I sit here, with open, empty, and ready arms I wonder what God will fill my hands with next. At the moment, it is an IPad tablet.

The year indeed has half-passed like the clock at half past the hour, the minutes, moments and years have been filled. Sometimes with what God planned for me and sometimes wasted away in my own lack of planning. Yet our Lord has always been faithful, filling even the lack with abundance. The year has been half-filled with memories and many more await to fill the top half of the cup. Or is it the bottom?

God is no respecter of persons and gives to all liberally (James 1:5). I have learned that to be ready with open arms means that they must be empty arms. I ask that God gives me a half-full attitude, and open heart, and hands filled with His purpose.

When Day Dawns Dimly

The looking glass IV

When one hears a train whistle-there is a train.

When one hears “see-Bob white!” Ther is a quail

When thunder rolls, rain follows.

Warning signs are usually obvious. Like the flickering lights just before the symphony begins. What concert is about to begin in my life?

This morning the sky was ominously dark off to the northwest. The radio repeated its emergency weather signal twice already. The summer storm season has been here for a few weeks now. If my county is not on the list, it can be easy to ignore the signals. But there obnoxious blasts is still there.

While we enjoyed taking Honey for an evening outing with people a week ago, this week visitors kept us preoccupied. We also needed to prop up those wild tomato plants that the rain has so amply helped grow. One plant was already loaded with lots of little fruit. The visiting evening of the night before, got me to considering the path ahead.

There are signs for construction and signs for weather in abundance these days. But what about those dreaded signs of aging?

No one enjoys the hunt for grey threads in the upper levels. But the light seems to be gleaming off the top more these days than it use to. Would they be some platinum strands I detect , or can I just blame it on bad eyesight?

When the days dawn with darkened skies, finding humor in the mirror is more difficult than ever. Recently a relative of ours was pictured grasping for a good view of the television screen. Like a five year old trying to block out distractions from his favorite cartoon show, the man was seen less than five feet from the large picture visual. Remembering my grandma and grandpa with their television wars soon followed in my brains bunny trails. Grandma was always trying to get him to turn the volume down. The phone would ring and she had to yell over the sound to get the entertainments box sound reduced. I am always fascinated when an elderly person whispers something, when if you whisper back they respond with “what?”

A friend of mine use to respond to every catastrophic event with the declaration “The end times are coming!” The days of Noah… have they really returned?

When a child wears shades, we tell them: Your future is so bright. When an adult wears shades, we assume they have a hangover. When I wear shades, it is to keep what is left of my eyesight. Wearing orange shaded lens as a teenager gained me the nickname “pumpkin face.” I still don’t really care for anything Halloween related because of their taunts and jeers. There are multiple other reasons to avoid the candy shrine, but I will just try to keep mine mummified.

When Praise band Sunday rolls around these days, I am suffering from anxiety more frequently. This past weekend there were some major panic attacks that I dealt with even during the service as I attempted to play piano. It made me think that the day had dawned dimly, in-spite of the sunshine and the days’ celebration plans. The music/eyesight stress has clouded the morning over for me. Rather than enjoying the time to play piano, it begun causing me stress. Reminded me of the days I use to play for choir and left the events in tears and complete exhaustion. I am so not ready to quit playing piano. Something giant print could be ôdone, perhaps?

Knowing that God sees my plight does not always bring me comfort. Sometimes I just want to see what I used to be able to see. Like others who mourn the grievous plight of their bodies downward spiral I long for the good old days. God knows. He knows e more than I can know myself. He sees beyond the surface of the water and it’s dim reflection. God sees deep into the darkest places of my soul. And yet-he still longs for the day when I shall behold Him. Face to face, I will stand with my Maker. With My Savior in beloved embrace, we shall one day be face to face. No more dim whitted guessing of the things which I shall never know this side of the looking glass of eternity.

“For now we see in a mirror dimly, but then face to face. Now I know in part; then I shall know fully, even as I have been fully known.”

‭‭1 Corinthians‬ ‭13:12‬ ‭ESV‬‬

http://bible.com/59/1co.13.12.esv