17 September 2010

To Myself on my 28th Birthday

I woke up a few times from bad dreams... scary dreams... and each time I'd pray that God wouldn't allow those dreams to come true.  That's the way that God assures me I'm doing God's will <<I might have written "his will" or "her will", but I'll be honest.  I'm not certain the Nature of God is, in fact, gender specific.  I tend to think that both of our genders have strengths and weaknesses, and that God in God's infinite wisdom would surely cherry pick the best of both natures and apply the most appropriate characteristic in the context in which God finds Godself. >>.  I'll have a moment in reality that I can most easily liken to deja vous, where God whispers, "See love, I showed you before and now you're here, and I'm pleased.  It it My Will."  I'll expand on this in a separate post (because it's pretty cool).

Back to my 10,220th morning of drawing breath.  So I woke up to a few bad dreams... I also woke up to the coffee grinder going off << Thank you Cuisinart! >>... The last time I woke up, i.e. when I dragged my sleepy self out of bed, it was to the news of Hillary hanging out in Sharm in the middle of peace talks between Israel and Palestine.  They must think Egypt is a neutral ground.  Kind of cool that the hubs and I were in the same town just a couple weeks ago.

Hey Hil, go see Adam in his perfume shop- tell him we sent ya.  And be sure to try the apple shisha at the bar out front of Adam's shop- the dude who works there is cool (but I think he sells drugs).

The Rolo Puppy kept me company while I got ready for work, and from the moment I was coherent upon waking up until the end of the day, my phone, email, and Facebook were blowing up.  Talk about feeling the love. Upon arriving to the office, it was off to the races: meetings from 11 a to 7 p, with exactly one chance to swing back by the office to check email/ voicemail for precisely 20 minutes.  All of said meetings were low-key and quite lovely, actually.

The night before my birthday I wanted to read a poem before going to bed.  My stepmother, Stellasue Lee (Hansen), just so happens to have a book of poetry that was just published, Firecracker Red.  So I picked it up, flipped it open, and next thing I knew it was 1:30 am. I had just finished reading all of the contents of her latest body of work.  Wow!

Poetry takes on a whole new dimension when the poet is family, you know. And to boot, the cover artist is also family... imagine that.
Some of the poems articulated stories that I'd heard before while others were ones being shared with me in a both tender and intimate way for the first time.  What an amazing gift.

Speaking of gifts, Stellasue Lee writes about a spontaneous gift that her husband gave her.  In her poem "Daily Special," she says...

... Today's sweetness
came over the phone, my husband's voice

from 2200 miles away. He sang
a few notes from a song in French

that reminded me all manner of gifts
can bring warmth to an open heart.

So back to my birthday.  I found myself resonating with and reflecting on this particular part of the poem throughout the day.  And then I actually received 2 of these gifts she talks about- the kind that warm your heart when you leave it open.  The first one came at 6:18 pm in the courtyard of Guy B. Love Towers. I was there with a film student who needed to get a little bit of footage for the video he's compiling to explain just exactly what is Compassion Coalition (where I work).

While Stephen was filming the group having a picnic, I was able to spend a few minutes with our mentors Gramps and Nan, and our neighbors G & D...  I was overwhelmed by the tenderness shared among them, coupled with a sweet, gentle spirit abounding.  They've been matched for about 2 months. It's extremely rare that I am able to observe mentors and neighbors interacting like they do on a regular basis << I'll explain the inner-workings of my job in a later post >>, so the chance to see them together on such a beautiful almost-fall evening was a gift  that warmed my heart in a deep, deep way.  The laughter and quick smiles made my heart just fill to over-flowing.  

The other time this similar sensation came to me was when I was finishing up dinner with 23 of my most favorite Knoxville people. We were filled with all manner of chip, salsa, quesadilla, fajita, burrito, chimichanga, nachos, and cake.  Lots of delicious lemon cake.
My friend Alex and his son- let's be honest, my nephew- Dino came over to sing Happy Birthday to me.  Dino is 3, and he is a handsome cat.  He's got big, beautiful brown eyes, long eyelashes, a mischievous grin, and this perfect little-boy mouth.  So he sings me the whole song in his precious little boy voice, and then he turns to his daddy and says, "Can we sing it again?"  Of course they sang it again.  The first round my heart melted.  The second round was warm chocolate being poured in.  Okay, so maybe that simile is a little awkward- but if we're honest, could it get any better than that?

So here's to remembering always that... all manner of gifts
can bring warmth to an open heart.

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