Tag Archives: feelings

Five years later …

or nearly so, I am still sorting through my late husband’s things.

I should be past overpowering sadness by now.

I suppose I am, mostly.

But being a writer and photographer hinders that absolution.

Just when I begin to ascertain peace in my life, words intervene; I write about him and tear those nearly closed wounds open again.

It is as though he died this day, this moment, this hour.

Sadness seeps through the crevices the words carve.

Normal humans move forward, live their lives, make something of themselves from the shattered remains.

I want that, too.

But I’m a writer.

I’m a photographer.

I keep tearing those wounds, just as they’re healing, open.

I love writing about everything and photographing God’s perfect beauty; but it has a price.

I pay dearly through my words for they rip open wounds I’ve desperately attempted to close.

I bleed, painfully, and use photography to heal me.

Each image I capture stitches the brokenness and, simultaneously, pours remembrance on not quite yet healed hurts.

If one is not an artist of some kind, time will ease your pain.

For the rest of us, those with creative pieces in our soul, time simply laughs.

When the words, melodies and images are in our head and heart, there is little time can do.

What it can do is soon undone by what we are.

Sadness is my destiny, peace my hope.

And yet I write.

I photograph.

My hope is great.

My healing never really comes.

I have to ask myself if I would be willing to sacrifice my writing and photography for peace.

No, I answer.

I can live without peace.

To live without words and images would truly and altruistically destroy me.

That which brings me sadness will fuel my hope.

I am a writer and photographer.

Therein lies my hope.

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Sometimes, at Christmas …

people are sad.

They are lonely and grieving and sorrowful for things they can’t change.

Even happy people get sad during this time of year.  They start thinking about what they have or haven’t done.

Things they’ve said or left unsaid.

They look away from the homeless on the street and the hungry in their own hometown.

The look for friends where there aren’t any and find reasons to feel sorry for themselves.

I can say this because I live it.  I experience it.  I understand it.

I am an optimist, but sometimes, my smile is painted on and my heart is heavier than I think I can carry.

I look around at my life and take stock as Christmas looms on the horizon, as the New Year stares me in the face and I think “what do I have to offer anybody?”

And then, like the soft light rising out of a foggy Spring morning, I am reminded that Christmas isn’t about me.

It isn’t about trees or gifts or money or family or friends.

It is about something so magnificent, so profound, so incredibly huge that it leaves little room to be sad.

It is about a child that was born of a virgin.

Not just any child.

The child.

The Christ child.

Think about that for a minute.

In this sex-crazed world, think about a young girl who had never given herself to a man and yet found that she was pregnant.

If you feel crazy, imagine what she was feeling.  Imagine what was going through her mind when she told the man she loved that, although she had never been with anyone, including him, that she was pregnant and that God had told her that it was ok.

How insane would that sound?

How could Joseph possibly trust her?

He trusted her because he trusted God and God trusted Mary with His son.

It sounds complicated and weird and yet it is so beautifully simple.

Who among us would not want to be chosen to carry the Savior of the world and who among us would not want to care for and love the one carrying that child?

Who among us would not want to be an integral part in raising that child, in cherishing Him, wiping His tears, telling Him bedtime stories, hearing Him say “I love you” as He wrapped His little boy arms around our neck?

I find that, when I think of the reason that we celebrate, the joy and inexplicable magnificence of it all, it is difficult to be completely sad.

Not impossible, for we are human and as humans, we can always find things to complain about, be sad about, be mad about.

We can always find ways that people hurt us or make us feel unworthy, who leave us wishing for more and hoping that tomorrow will bring the fulfillment of our dreams.

But if we let all the human emotions crowd our minds and hearts, we will forget why we celebrate to begin with and if we remember why we celebrate, then there will Joy unspeakable.

Yes, there will still be sadness and loneliness and melancholy … There will be loss, grief and memories that threaten our sanity … but they will, if we put them in perspective, be in their rightful place.

Behind joy.

Behind thankfulness and awe.

Behind beauty and love that surpasses anything we will ever find if we only see with our human eyes.

And because the feelings that threaten to destroy us are behind the Joy of remembering why we celebrate to begin with, we will live through them, move past them, learn from them and be stronger and more resilient because we have hope in something bigger than who we are and what we feel.

With hope, there is nothing impossible.

With hope, there is always the possibility of another day.

With hope, there is the image of Heaven.

Sadness can’t hold a candle to that.

My hope is that each one I know, each person I come into contact with, each spirit that crosses my own will know joy and that, even for a moment, the sadness will become obsolete.

Merry Christmas, my friends.

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Luke 2: 7-14

And she brought forth her firstborn son, and wrapped him in swaddling clothes, and laid him in a manger; because there was no room for them in the inn.

And there were in the same country shepherds abiding in the field, keeping watch over their flock by night.

And, lo, the angel of the Lord came upon them, and the glory of the Lord shone round about them: and they were sore afraid.

10 And the angel said unto them, Fear not: for, behold, I bring you good tidings of great joy, which shall be to all people.

11 For unto you is born this day in the city of David a Saviour, which is Christ the Lord.

12 And this shall be a sign unto you; Ye shall find the babe wrapped in swaddling clothes, lying in a manger.

13 And suddenly there was with the angel a multitude of the heavenly host praising God, and saying,

14 Glory to God in the highest, and on earth peace, good will toward men.

Here, lately …

I’ve felt like singing most of the time.  I have to admit, while I really like the way I feel, I am perplexed by it.  I can’t say, for certain, that I have ever felt as I do now.  Happy, but in a normal way.  Exuberant, but in a normal way.  I have the ability to keep a thought in my head and to make sense when I’m talking; even if it is only to myself.

I find myself smiling for no particular reason and being excited over simple things; like coming home at the end of a long day.  I find that irritations come less frequently and the ability to reason and converse like a human being is functioning properly.  It feels pretty good, actually.  The joyous feeling of contentment that I didn’t have to work for; a quietness within myself that I didn’t expect.

I prayed for a peace in my mind.  It is so difficult sometimes, to focus on the most basic of tasks, but complex and comprehensive ones come easy.  I don’t feel that way tonight.  In a way, I feel like I am seeing my life, with few responsibilities and much freedom, for the first time.  I don’t know how long this feeling will last or if it will ever come again … but I am hopeful.

There has been a change of some kind, though at the moment, I can’t put my finger on it.  Something uprooted?  Something planted?  I don’t know.  What I do know is that I am not the same as I was a few days ago; I am less fearful and that in itself makes me stronger than I was before.  I don’t know what happened, but whatever it was, I prayed for it.  I thank God for His faithfulness.

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For the first time in years …

a Christmas tree is in my home.  I don’t really  know what to feel about it.  There are so many emotions swirling through my mind and heart that I find it nearly impossible to separate them.  There is, first and foremost, the pure joy of having a lighted tree in my house that I am moved to tears, over and over, moved to tears.  The smell of cedar permeates the very existence that I know.  The lights blink, fade and flash, making me wonder if perhaps I am having a spell of some sort.  I have only lights on the tree as anything else seems to take away from the beauty. I am enamored and find myself staring, nearly hypnotized by the purity of that which is before me.

I hadn’t really planned on having a Christmas tree.  It has been so long and the thought made me feel sad and anxious along with a myriad of other emotions  and to be perfectly honest, I was afraid.  Afraid of the thoughts it would provoke and the memories it would invoke … but as I look at and dream with the lights, I realize that it is not made of things past or memories best left unearthed, but perfect beauty.  I am  awed by what I see and know that the memories I am making are my own, not those that are carried over from time past, but mine.  I don’t know that I have, before now, had memories that didn’t include someone else, memories that, in my heart, belonged only to me.  But now I do, and so I will cherish them.  I can’t say for certain that when Christmas comes around next year, I will have a tree, but I hope I will.  I hope for many things and hope is a good thing … maybe the best of things.  As long as hope is alive, no good thing ever dies.  I am grateful.  I am thankful.  I am content.  I find that being content is, without doubt, one of the greatest feelings ever.  Yes, there are people I am missing in my life, friends that I seem to have lost touch with, loved ones who are far away, but contentment is something that comes from within.  It has little to do with the outside world and everything to do with how I feel when I am alone.  Being alone does not have to be coexistent with being lonely. I am not lonely.  I am, at times, confused, and possibly discombobulated, but not lonely.  I have everything I need right here.  Yes, I am content; a beautiful thing indeed.

CHRISTMAS