Monday, August 17, 2009

journal, journal...

i've been told/that there are those/who will learn how to fly/and i've been told that there are those/who will never die/and i've been told that there are stars/ that will never lose their shine/ and that there is a morning star /who knows my mind/so why should i worry? why should i fret?/ cause i've got a mansion builder /who ain't through with me yet /why should i worry? why should i fret?/ cause i've got a mansion builder /who ain't through with me yet/ and i've been told /that there's a crystal lake in the sky/ and every tear from my eyes /are saved when i cry/ and i've been told there'll come a time/ when the sun will cease to shine/ and that there is a morning star /who knows my mind /so why should i worry? why should i fret?/ cause i've got a mansion builder who ain't through with me yet.. 2nd Chapter of Acts (band)

permit me to write without capitalizing today-- and forgive me-- lately, all of my blog entries seem to read like journal entries :)

sometimes i wish i could teach my students how to live without worry, and then i remind my heart that i need to learn this lesson as well. sometimes i wish that i could just tell them, children, it's all going to be okay. these "light and momentary troubles" you wrestle with in the hallways of your future dreams...they're nothing. they're just nothing.

but when you're fourteen, the hallway is anything but nothing.

do you know that some of them live in abject horror of transitions between classes? and i can tell you that the freshman hallways of our school are packed tight and they look like salmon fighting to get upstream from my desk inside the classroom, and i guess that's exactly what they are right now. fighting to get to safety, to the next level, to mating season, to open water... they are fighting to matter. they are fighting to be heard. they are fighting for a smile or a nod or a laugh or just to be looked at for goodness' sake... sometimes i think they'll do anything to be looked at.

i want to tell them, he's looking at you kiddo. he sees you. he sees me, i know it, and you're in the same room with me, so i know he sees you, too.

sometimes it feels like,

he sees me, kiddo. he sees me. he sees me, i know it, because you're in the room with me and his word says that you have angels watching over you, so i know he sees me, too, because i'm here with you...

i miss my son. and i'm ready to look at the possibility of another child. and i feel so good about being in that place, and i feel so on the very verge of panic over it because already my memories of the days in the hospital are fuzzy (um, the morphine haze didn't hurt in that department...). i feel like i'm looking through the bottom of a heavy green glass goblet when i look at those days in my memory. wavy. i see elizabeth, my midwife and dear friend, and i see dr. c, a precious and good man who will deliver my next child via c-section, and i see my husband holding my son and telling God that we will serve him and i think,

yes, i can do this again. i can.

but i want to build an altar. i want to create some testament to ben's life. the drowsy artist in me wants to build and i am thinking things over in my mind and heart. what to do, what to make....

and i want to do it now, while his loss is still in its infancy.

and i need to do it, because already i can tell that my wound, bruised and scarring, is still painful for others, too, in a different way, and it's easier on them if i don't talk about it. so i hold him, not forgotten, in my heart and i know that this child will never not have lived. his entire life was entertwined with mine, part of my bloodstream, held and cradled and nourished by me and the scar across my tummy is a memorial that i love-- his mark. he was here. he was there. he came forth and went ahead of me. he beat me to eternity but he was here.

but...oh, how can i explain it? the loss sometimes feels so lonely. like a spanish guitar, intense and intricate, filled with long silences, followed by complicated runs of notes and notes and notes.... my husband mourns with me, as do friends and family, but the scar stretches across my body and i think of him morning, noon, and night.

always thinking of you, dear baby ben.

so it's hard to describe the deep hope that i feel being born again in me. the sense that, while everything is changed for me-- even the way the light looks against the trees after a storm is not the same--something new is pushing forth. it's hard to describe the newly twinned nature of my heart: i'm both sad and serene. the part of me that had never known loss, was the uncolored page in the coloring book that was my heart, is colored with red and flesh and strawberry blonde hair, while the old me is waking up again. i am both old and new. i am here and there.

sometimes i leave.
sometimes i'm not in my eyes. sometimes i leave and i sigh. sometimes this blank heaviness is too much and i am sitting with you and then i am not. sometimes it is like this. sometimes i sink into remembrance that looks like forgetfulness to you and i am grateful when you let me go... i will remember myself again and come back again, but i'm always both here and there. lately i'm more here than there, but i guess i'm always both places anymore...

i wonder if anyone else sees it. that i'm older and different. don and i have done this together-- i think it's hard for us to see the changes sometimes. we had such a good relationship before-- i had no idea how powerfully tragedy would strengthen us.

i love him in a way and to a depth that i did not know what possible. i need him. i am so grateful for him.

and God?

this relationship is so complicated.

here is one thing i know:

in the beginning i never knew/just how much i really needed you/more than a friend/someone i could talk to/ you've changed me in so many ways/nobody knows me like you/ you put your arms around me and bring me through/there's many times i don't know what to do/ though some know me well /still nobody knows me like you/all of my secrets to you i tell/you saw each time that i slipped and fell/all of my faults, yes you know them well/but you've never turned me away, no no no/nobody knows me like you... walking in your presence is where i wanna be/ you said in you word/ you said you would lead me /yes i love you, oh i really love you/ i'll go anywhere as long as i know that you'll be there.... all of those nights that i was afraid/ i stood on the promises that you have made/ the way that i act sometimes i am ashamed/but you never turned me away, no no no... nobody knows me like you... (benny hester)

sometimes i think, you know, if i can still love -- me, a woman whose righteousness is as dirty rags-- if i can still love him after all of this... how much better than me, how much higher than me, is he? if MY puny love can survive this heartache that everything inside of me insists he could have STOPPED, then how much deeper and more trustworthy is HIS goodness? how much more amazing and trustworthy is His love if my flaky self can still follow?

friends, our hope is built on nothing less than Jesus blood and righteousness. it's all him.

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