Monday, October 17, 2011

Declutter (part 3)

I started to write a series about decluttering my heart. I wish the ideas would roll out comfortably, into a clear, neatly spaced list (perhaps in a cool font).

But my heart is much more complicated than I planned. The phrase "pure in heart" weaves in my thoughts, conscious at times. Sometimes it is the inconvenient heaviness at the back of my head as life crams out contemplation. Is purity possible?

So much of my life is all about maintaining. Making sure the need-tos happen each day - food, clean clothes, and, let's face it, TVs don't watch themselves. Conversations get caught in details and I run out of time to share dreams.

I read bits in wide-ranging places and respond to the beauty of phrases that make pictures. I see glimpses of others drinking in the intimacy of living the grunge of life side-by-side. It is liquid down a dry throat. It clicks that I had ignored my thirst, perhaps so I would not be overwhelmed by it.

My heart is buried deep beneath skin, muscles, ribs and lungs. Absorbed in its task of relentless beating. Much of the clutter is actually around it rather than in it. Briars grew over many years around a sleeping princess's castle and this is what we do to our hearts. It's protection - so that we hurt and bleed less. An unbriared heart can be cut and bruised by debris.

I cannot have a pure heart, until I begin to dismantle the fences I've built around it. My heart cannot do it's task properly until it can connect more directly with pain and joy. Because when my heart is engaged, then I listen, then I pray, then I puzzle out how best to love.

Tuesday, October 11, 2011

Light glancing off a blossom

Because some things exist purely to delight the eye.

Saturday, October 1, 2011

Grace is an ocean

Walking over the headland to the beach, we string out. Beads scattered along a draped necklace. I linger with the shortest-legged, absorbing his natter and his delight. Looking down, the sand stretches flat and wide from rocks to frothing white, like a six-lane highway.

We take off our shoes and the sand exfoliates our winter feet. He sits, patiently peeling oranges, and they are hastily divided between hungry hands. Apples follow and a packet of rice crackers. Water bottles empty. Paddling at the edge turns into wading. Getting wet is the funniest thing ever.

I stand ankle deep as the waves push on up the sand. Lines of gold light are drawn across the ripples in the water, and the sand holds them gently. Things I long to say lump at the base of my throat. Are they stuck because I should not say them or because they need to be said? I can never tell.

I think about grace, unceasing and repeating, rolling in again and again like waves. God's grace, a mighty ocean. An immensity that can stretch to fill any emptiness. Cover any indignity.

I am smothered. I long to escape because I don't want to have to reach inside myself to find more grace. I want it known that I am right, that I am misunderstood, that I sacrifice and don't get heard. I hesitate to let my resentment trickle away. Dwarfed by the ocean, I'm scared of being swallowed.

It takes at least two more days to immerse beyond my ankles. Another walk across the sand, my ears filled with pounding. I need reminding that grace makes all fresh and new. That the ocean will carry away the mess that clings to me, the meanness I cannot shed.