Recognition 

Yesterday I nearly ran a red light. No biggie, right? 

Well… 

Getting behind the wheel is beginning to feel a bit like Russian roulette. 

I learned to drive in Dallas, Texas in my twenties in the early 1990s. It was do or die. 

I’ve been a confident, competent driver for many years. I’ve loved the sense of freedom and independence. 

In the last five years disability has become an official label on my life. Things have incrementally changed and sometimes those changes have been almost imperceptible to me. 

Occasional zoning out and random forgetfulness have made for some entertaining milk in the cabinet, cereal in the fridge type of stories.

But then there’s the whole driving thing.

Over the past five years my skills have noticeably declined. I’ve found myself increasingly reluctant to be in the driver’s seat.

Yesterday I had our vehicle to go to an appointment. I had just made a familiar turn at the light to cross the freeway.

I crushed the brakes hard when I snapped to and realized what what was happening.

My brain simply did not register the next light at all until the last minute as if it tuned out for a few seconds. 

The week before that I turned at another familiar intersection, became confused and stopped at a light that wasn’t intended for me in the middle of the lane.

Other drivers shot me some very strange looks, but there was no one behind me. It could have been a lot worse.

I believe God protected me, but I’m seeing a pattern. Although I feel a sense of loss and frustration, driving just doesn’t seem like an option anymore.

I mean, what else can a conscionable person do?

 

Escape Artist

StockSnap_PWPQ86XSZ6.jpgThe game is afoot…or should I say a paw.

My clever chihuahua has a yearly summer obsession that she pursues at the opportune moment each day with gusto.

She waits until she thinks I’m otherwise engaged inside, digs a nice little hole under the fence and slips out of the backyard to explore the neighborhood.

She’s a stealthy one. Very persistent.

Dogs aren’t allowed to roam free where we live and Precious is an inside family pet for the most part. I’ve made several efforts to dissuade her.

Pretty sure she laughs at each of my ploys and enjoys the challenge of finding a work around.

So we play the game. Until I find her kryptonite…  or the season changes.

Pesky boundaries.

I doubt Precious has a clue that in thwarting her excursions into Land-beyond-the-fence I’m trying to protect her.

Sure. I could let her run wild and risk someone calling animal control, dog napping her or other darker fates, but my desire is for her safety as well her fun quota.

All she can see is that I’m keeping her from what she wants.

Oddly familiar.

If I had seen boundaries in my own life as protective instead of as annoying obstacles to get around I would have saved myself oodles of messes and mishaps.

Like my chihuahua I was lured by the unknown and a thirst for adventure & new experiences for many years.

Did it pay off? Occasionally.

More often than not it lead to a sort of bankrupt state of being. A lost-ness and numbness that could have been avoided by recognizing that someone bigger than me was not out to ruin my party.

The goal was my protection and well being.

The aim was love.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

A pruning storm

pexels-photo-211882108° weather in June is a little odd even for West Texas.

It was oppressive. It seemed neverending.

Then a storm blew in.

Temperatures fell from 106° to 66° in a few moments. Winds reaching about 70mph wreaked all kinds of havoc on roofs, fences & trees.

Sirens wailed, the power went out and people prayed.

I’m no meteorologist, but I’m pretty sure two opposing, natural forces met head on in the atmosphere with a tremendous clash.

Our town came out of it relatively unscathed. The trees were pruned and somebody made good money clearing lawns.

Sometimes things need to be shaken up and loosed and cleared out.

Hopefully it’s obvious that I’m not praising destructive weather that has catastrophic detrimental effects on life and property.

But I do believe God takes advantage of circumstantial storms in my life. Maybe yours too?

Yep. This is where I’m going with this.

Things like ideas and mindsets that are just barely hanging on and serving little purpose might need to fly away with the winds. Good riddence! Forget trying to repair them.

If that’s what it takes I’m willing to trust that my anchor holds.

I don’t like stagnation. Nope. I have no desire to set up camp in a swamp full of regrets, unrealized potential and swarming hoards of what-if-I’d-onlys.

Storms be what you are. Please. If the outcome produces life in me it’s worth the temporary pain and discomfort.

Frozen zone

Things in a deep freeze tend to stay that way until you thaw them out or the electricity fails.

Choice in the matter is desirable.

The frozen zone comes to me in a few fairly unpalatable varieties.

Frozen in time.

A past version of myself collides with present tense reality.

There’s my awkward 6th grader self in uncomfortable jeans with a killer sense of not belonging trapped in current social settings with my peers.

Frozen in action.

I usually know what I need to do, but cannot seem to move without a lot of encouragement.

Like this guy.

Your welcome for that glimpse into my childhood.

Frozen in perspective.

I’ve finally found some momentum, but can only envision a bleak or meager outcome to my actions.

I might be working on a painting, but can’t seem to banish the notion that it’s a waste of time and energy.

Frozen in heart.

Cliché or not, it’s a thing.

If my heart is like a block of ice then the creative process and pretty much all of life is frozen solid. It doesn’t yield much.

Living in the frozen zone for years with some intermittent defrosting is getting old. I don’t want to wait for the personal power outage that life inevitably brings to spark the change.

It’s time to heat things up.

 

9 years

This piece is an escape artist.

I’ve thought about setting it on the side of the road or throwing it in a dumpster many times over the past nine years.

In 2009 I took home an old pin board and covered it in primer and waited for something to be born.

And I waited.

I wish I could have called it a work in progress, but it was a work in limbo.

That blank canvas sat for years in our car port challenging me with reproach every time I walked in the back door. I don’t know what kept me from ditching it.

I hated that board and myself. What kind of artist was I?

The kind that marries a dynamic guy who is a real human just like me. The kind that becomes a stepmother to two great girls, also fully human and of the teen persuasion. Yep we were all really human and I was a real mess.

Let’s say I had trouble adapting to all that realness.

The pursuit of art became a cat and mouse game. I didn’t know how to balance it with family. Frankly I battled to be prolific solo.

One morning early this year I looked at that board and determined it was either trash or art. I had to choose to give it value.

Instead of aiming for some intangible perfection I just started slapping paint down. Eventually it became whatever it is. To me it feels like inner mental space meets outer space.

My husband, Tiggi (our cat) and the elements have collaborated with me on this piece. Each has left a mark of sorts.

The board itself is fragile, but it has value to me finally.

 

 

 

 

 

 

A dog’s life

Precious sleeps most of the day, begs for treats, plays a bit, and follows me around like I might vanish at any moment. She gives me blatant chihuahua adoration that I really don’t deserve.

What a waste, huh?

It might be, but she’s wired that way.

Dogs tend to trust & give themselves all out. They risk the waste.

Why start a blog? What’s the point? Doing and saying nothing at all is my default.

It’s certainly safer than being vulnerable.

What is an unwasted life?

Maybe it depends on perspective.

Just before Jesus was crucified his friend Mary poured very expensive perfume on his feet and wiped them with her hair. A desciple of Jesus accused her of carelessly spending a years wages that could have been given to the poor.

What a waste.

Then Jesus told the guy that Mary was preparing his body for burial. The poor would still be there but Jesus would not.

Perspective matters.

I don’t really know where I’m going with this blog, but I’m taking a cue from my chihuahua.