Friday, August 31, 2007

Last Blog Stateside for a Bit

I may write briefly once I get to Italy, just to say I got there, but I'm going to try to avoid computers and give my wrists a break. Know that I will miss all of you at least a little, and I hope everyone has a great week!

To those who have demanded I take lots of pictures... Well, I intend to take a few, it's true, but don't be surprised if my photographic record is sparse. I'm not a fan of seeing life through a camera lens, so I may opt to simply gaze and bask and absorb and not record the unprocessed visual data. I can almost guarantee, though, that there will be a series of journal entries to blog when I get back. That will be my way of taking you there, not just letting you see through my eyes, but think with my thoughts, feel with my heart.

I'm still not quite packed. That spell Hermione does on her little beaded bag would be *so* useful. Even being minimal it looks like a lot of stuff. I think I will eat lunch, and get back to it.

I love you all! I'm so excited! If I could pack you in my luggage, I would!


Thursday, August 23, 2007

Rude Awakening, but Things Got Better

So. Interesting day.

Flew to New Orleans for a meeting. The morning did NOT go well.

Of course, no morning goes well when one has to wake up at 5:30am. I dunno, maybe some of you people are early riser morning people. Yeah. Not me.

Just as I was about to head out, it comes to my mind to check and see if my badge is in my computer bag.

Can't find it. I rummage all the pockets again. Nope.

I start pulling things off the coffee table to check beneath the clutter. Nada.

Under the couch. No.

In my backpack. No.

End table.
Other end table.
Desk drawers.


For the heck of it, I stick my hand in my shoulder bag I bought for my trip. No badge, but something soft... small... almost silky... and... crunchy... and... and... smelly...


I sort of threw the whole thing across the room and went to wash my hands.

Yeah, yeah, I'm *awake* already.

I search the car. No badge. I drive to work. No badge. Thank goodness the office is close to home, but if I put off driving to the airport much longer, I'll be late. Come back home. Look all over again. Grab some granola bars for good measure. Hurry nervously to the car. Get in, one last check in my computer bag.

After a cockroach, a drive to the office and two trips on the office's abysmally slow elevators, after adding twenty minutes to my estimated head-to-the-airport time...

There's the badge in a front pocket I hadn't checked because I never put anything in it.


Get on I-10.

Traffic skids to a halt. Nice. Now I'm *really* nervous.

Turns out there was a wreck in the dead-center lane. It cleared up after that, though, and the rest of the morning's travel was completely uneventful.

I'd just cleared the security turnstile in One Shell Square when in walked Frank. Greeted him, pointed out my colleague, was pointed out to his people. Went upstairs, got set up, worked for a while, then got an IM from Frank and went down to meet him on the 11th floor for popcorn. Now I know where to find the lounge with popcorn, free coffee and soda and water, and chairs and TV. Yay!

Meeting was a non-event. Everything as expected. Though I managed to be asked about my academic history and to thoroughly impress one of the engineers with my multi-talented-ness. W00t. Evening travels were routine. Got to fly in over Rice and see Reckling Field with the grass all gone and the new sand.

Land, drive home. Big fire just south of downtown. Drive through a bunch of smoke. Get home to see a cop talking to a guy over by building 3. I assume if it's something I should worry about, someone will tell me. Unlock the pad, grab the shoulder bag, take it outside and shake out the cockroach. It comes out in two pieces. Nice.

I call the building management. This is, after all, the second roach in 3 days.

And now I'm writing a blog! Yay!

Sunday, August 12, 2007

Thy will be done.

Lately it seems, sometimes, that the things I’ve felt most sure of are the things I seem most likely to be wrong about. The dreams that feel the most right, so many things point to them being wrong, impossible, not for me. Do I trust my heart and the feelings inside, or do I trust the outward signs that speak to my mind. I know I act with confidence. I probably look like I know what I’m doing and where I’m going. But in truth, I’m pretty much winging it. I’m doing what I’m doing and I’m exactly where I’m at. And I’m trying to trust the tides that move around me for where I’ll be and what I’ll do next.

You see, something in me is letting go, I think. Dreams I’ve cherished are fading, and other dreams are new, but they aren’t as clear and strong as what I’m letting go. I pray to God to guide me, to give me a direction, and to thank Him for at least giving me this renewed trust in His will, so that I haven’t been as frustrated lately with the dreams I want but can’t act on.

And I’ve prayed to God that if the dream is not to be, that He will take away my longing for it. That He will gift me with resignation and acceptance, and finally, peace. I think it might be happening. I think I might be learning to let go. And there’s something comforting in that, but there’s also something so sad. Am I growing and accepting and moving on, or am I giving up?

There are still many things that I know are right, even when they seem wrong. Even when there are signs that might have made me refuse the path years ago, before I grew in some of the ways that I’ve grown, I see them, and I accept that they change my path a bit, but they aren’t road blocks, and while I have a road open before me, I will take it to see where it leads, and trust the feeling in my soul that here, at least, is where I need to be. That there’s some meaning to my presence on this path at this time. I have something to learn. I have something to teach. There’s a reason.

But other things that seemed so certain once… That still seem right to my mind, I feel gently leaving my soul. Maybe I’ll never be married again. Maybe I’ll never have the family that I know I could love and nurture with all my heart. I don’t feel like I’m giving up. I’m trying in the ways that I see to meet the person that will make that possible. But for the most part, it’s completely out of my hands, and I feel like I have to be prepared for the worst.

More than prepared. The worst will need to become the best. The path I never thought I’d be able to bear taking could become the road I take with more than resignation. With joy and with triumph, with more giving and sharing than seem possible right now.

I still want so badly to be a mother. I’d be such a good mother. And I’ve been reminded that technically I don’t need to meet someone to love and spend my life with for that to happen. I’m keeping an open mind about that, I guess, but all the same, my children deserve the absolute best, in my opinion, and that includes me making the choice to give them the very best father I can find for them. I want that for them as much as for myself.

Everyone says he’s out there somewhere. I trust God that when the time is right, if he is, I will find him. And if I haven’t found him yet, that simply means the time isn’t right.

But there’s a still small voice inside me saying he might not be out there. That I might have been born to stand alone, and in the strength that will take, and that God’s Spirit will surely give me when I need it, in that strength I will be able to become most fully who I am supposed to be, and give the gift of myself most fully to this life and this world.

There is comfort in that. But the dreams I’d have to give up are so beautiful. To watch them fade… It’s a grief just like the grief of slowly losing a friend to time and change and distance. More than that, it’s the grief of watching someone I love die by inches.

The two constant prayers in my heart and mind and soul, the words that well up from within me daily are, with a burning longing, “Please, God,” and then, with sorrow and with trust, “Thy will be done.”

Sunday, August 05, 2007

Proving Herrick Right the Hard Way

Gather ye rosebuds while ye may,
I left one rosebud on the vine.
Old Time is still a-flying;
I thought we had world enough, and time.
And this same flower that smiles today
I wasted today in fear and pride.
Tomorrow will be dying.
I waited too long and my rosebud died.

My Day in the Sun: Thought without Analysis

Clear the wide belt of stop-and-stop traffic surrounding Houston. Wind through small town coastal flat Texas as the sun sets. Is the Navidad River is supposed to be that wide. Fields of cotton and sorghum, green and scarlet under a blue sky as far as eye can see.

Sleep and then sand and sun. Watching the waves skim around my ankles, mesmerized by the glimmering ripples and the small fish darting in and out. Digging my toes into the sand to unearth the clams under their little sand-blowing stacks. Sinking to my ankles as I gaze over the blue waves to the horizon. Wading into green swells half-hiding golden sands and fish and rich brown seaweed. Catching my breath as an incoming wave splashes to my waist. Large pipers and small pipers huddle apart from each other on a stretch of empty sand.

Rinsing off and floating in the pool surrounded by the voices of people I love. Drip drying on the edge, then curling under a towel on a chaise-lounge to read a book under palm shade. Wandering souvenir shop shelves that hold the same shells and plastic animals and cheap picture frames they’ve held every year I come. Carrying corn on the cob and potatoes and fajita steaks up from the barbecue pits to the suite. Eating and laughing and eating and laughing.

Sleep and sun and the smell of bacon. Breakfast and packing and waiting for the ferry. A long drive home through bright skies into a storm and back out again. Drop the bags on the apartment floor, call Mom to say I got home safe, and back to laundry, housework, and life as usual.