Friday, December 04, 2020

"Honor the space between the no longer and the not yet" (Or, some more liminal thoughts)

 (Nancy Levin)

It's been a while. Have you been waiting with me? I get it. 

So what was preventing me from writing? The list is boring. You probably have the same list: scaredy cat, the cat got sick, the dog got sick, someone waiting for a COVID test, someone else waiting to make a career decision, waiting, waiting, waiting...

My nails are waiting. I bought a fancy nail polish set on the Internet a month or so ago and my nails are still too long, cracked in places, and unpolished. The brown square box is underneath some mail. 

Honor the space...

I honor the space between me and my unkempt nails. 

At the moment, I can't do anything about them because I'm not at home, where the box is. (Also, could I really justify stopping a writing to do my nails?)

...Between the no longer...

I no longer want my nails to be unpolished, cracked, unkempt. 

...and the not yet. 

Writing this, I feel incredibly silly. Who cares, Sarah Louise, if your nails are pink like flesh or pink like polish? 

What does it have to do with making a career decision? 

I'll tell you why I haven't opened that box. Because painting your nails, even with the fanciest polish, requires waiting. Requires patience. Who wants to open a box just so they can wait some more? Who wants to send out a resume just to wait for the automated response, the inevitable interview, and then the phone call or letter that (it seems) never comes? 

I shift in my chair.

Let me tell you about my favorite song. It's by a Polish artist, Basia, and it's called "Time and Tide" It's all about waiting for the right moment. And waiting, and being patient. The lyrics aren't necessarily anything special, but coupled with the music, it's magic. 


And that's what waiting is. Nothing special, until it's put to music (after the waiting, after the writing, after the painting.) 

Here's your link to the countdown clock. When I'm writing this, it's 47 days till the Inauguration, 21 days till Christmas, and 28 days till 2021. People are doing their nails, making Christmas cards, writing their resumes. And maybe, as I wait, I can do some of those things too. 

Happy First Week of Advent! 

Sunday, November 22, 2020

"This year's felt like four seasons of winter..."


(Unspoken, band, song: "Reason")

I remember hearing this song last January, as I parked my car and walked to church. Boy, did I have no idea. None of us did. "Always winter, but never Christmas" (a paraphrase of C.S. Lewis' description of the reign of the White Witch in the first Narnia book The Lion the Witch and the Wardrobe.) 

And here it is, almost Thanksgiving. We're in our fourth season of winter. I wrote in a tweet last night, "Here's the thing: they are sacred days but they are different this year. We can't get stuff, so let's celebrate with what we got, let's celebrate, but it's got to be different this year. We can't insist on tradition, we have to create different magic." 

Not everyone is going to be at the table. Some have died. Some are sick. Some are sheltering in. I hope your loved ones are all in the third category. Not everything is going to be at the table: there are shortages, and sides that would have been made by the missing ones at the table. 


But if you listen to the song, it tells you that LOVE is the reason. Love keeps coming back, love goads us on to keep trying. The video I didn't show is of Evel Knievel type child, trying stunt upon stunt. I couldn't keep watching this child, as each time he tried, he left the hospital with a sling, or crutches, or worse. At some point the father gets him a helmet but it was too late for me, I thought, we'll go with the Lyrics video. 

Thursday, November 12, 2020

"All we need is just a little patience"

(Axl Rose)

*warning, the video is NSFW*

This song was popular the year I dated A.J., who idolized Slash, of Guns and Roses. (Red Flag anyone?)

It was also the year that had a lot of waiting and the results of patience:

Results of patience: The Berlin Wall Fell. (28 years!)
Results of patience: I graduated from high school and went off to college. 

Waiting: to get through on the phone to my parents, who were living in Poland, while I was schooling in Pittsburgh. I swear, this is one reason I think I have patience with technology (when I have patience with technology, which isn't always.) I would call Vienna. When I reached Vienna I would punch in the numbers to call Poland. (I know this doesn't make sense, but it's how the phone lines worked.) And invariably, I would get this recording: "The country you are trying to reach is busy right now, try again later." And I would sit in the phone booth on the 9th floor of Frances Warde Hall and pray and cry and try again, 10 times, 13 times, 17 times, until I finally got through. 

Waiting: to get to see my parents, I'd hop a plane in Pittsburgh, maybe change in New York, fly to Frankfurt, arrive in Warsaw. All told, about 13 hours, including all the layovers. Once I was waiting during some snow and instead of New York, I flew from Pittsburgh to London. Fortunately, there was a guy there (cute!) who was also going to London, so we waited together, sharing stories about places we'd lived, as he was also a TCK (Third Culture Kid, someone whose parents were working overseas). 

And isn't that what makes waiting easier? Someone to shoot the breeze with? Someone to remind you that it's not futile, all this waiting. We're going somewhere, and we're going to get there, but let me tell you a story while we're waiting. 

Is that maybe why we celebrate Advent? To help us tell stories until we get to Christmas? Not just to prepare our hearts (which is of course important) but to calm us down from all the anticipation. 

So tell me a story, in the comments. When was a time someone made waiting easier for you? 

Tuesday, November 10, 2020

"We keep waiting"

(John Mayer)

This has been a hard morning. 

I had to pay a bill late b/c I forgot to pay it online yesterday. Hello, late fee!

I ugly cried because I miss my friends, one in particular, who stopped talking to me in April. 

I had to figure out why my credit card bill was so high. Oh, hello, things I've been paying for and not realizing it. 

And my Bible study was all about how the Jews and Christians were so at odds but they finally came together. Oh, how I'm waiting on that to happen in this nation I live in (the U.S.A.)


Monday, November 09, 2020

"Every bad situation is a blues song waiting to happen"

 (Amy Winehouse)

What do you do when all the waiting (or some of it at least) is over? Yesterday I felt bereft, so I took a long nap. It's that feeling, after you've been in a play production in high school, all the work that you put into the production and then, in two days, it's all over! 

Grief sets in. How can it not? Life hasn't changed, but all of a sudden this big thing you were striving towards, working on, praying about, HAPPENED. 

It's like watching the Awards show and yes, it's fun and glitzy but then you have to get up and go to work the next morning. 

That's what this in between feels like. Because we now know who will be president, but we haven't started Advent, and the start of the new presidency is still 72 days away [Countdown timer].

I was struck by the reality of this tweet: "Everything is quieter now...and when the world gets quieter, grief turns up its volume." (Shannon Dingle, a writer who recently lost her husband and is raising 6 kids on her own.)

I'm so behind...all the work I haven't done because I've been too distracted. Not a very exciting blues song, but a blues song nonetheless. "I got so much to do bum bum...I don't know what to do, bum bum."

What's the blues song in your life?


Three things:

  • Sleep: Discombobulated due to the nap.
  • Walk: upcoming
  • Work: I'm "teleworking" today, and have so much to catch up on. Thankfully I have a holiday on Wednesday. 

Final thought: I keep thinking about the author of It is well with my soul, because I heard the story again in my online Bible Study. 

When peace like a river attendeth my way
When sorrows like sea billows roll
Whatever my lot, Thou hast taught me to say
It is well, it is well with my soul

Comment prompt: What is the blues song in your life?

Sunday, November 08, 2020

“I grew up with six brothers. That’s how I learned to dance — waiting for the bathroom.”


(Bob Hope)

Oh my blesseds. Well, one waiting is over. [Reuters]. I have to say, click the link, it's so satisfying to watch the numbers go from 0 to WON! The pictures above: these graced my desk at my old job 4 years ago, when my life fell apart from depression and then I decided to move to Virginia to live with my folks. Today marks 4 years of when I voted for a woman for President [Wikipedia] for the first time. I packed my car, I went to the dermatologist, and I voted. No line, just a cupcake from the bake sale at Dilworth Elementary. 

Can we laugh a minute? Four Seasons Landscaping????!! As the story goes, and I'm sure it will either become a myth from now on, 45 announced it would be at the Four Seasons and when it was confirmed, the Four Seasons Hotel said, no, it will be at Four Seasons Total Landscaping. I will never not laugh, and I'm planning to buy a T-shirt. I just bought a mask from Victory Masks DC, because I can't wear anything political at work.

I was all prepared to write something pithy and memorable but all that T-shirt and mask buying really killed my creativity. A LESSON IS IN THERE. (Today, I don't care.) 


Three things:

  • TV: Watched A LOT of news yesterday. 
  • Sunrise: today's was beautiful
  • Something else: I can't think of anything. (Seriously, don't write and shop.) (It's like drinking and driving. DON'T DO IT.) 

Saturday, November 07, 2020

Waiting...for wings and things

So we as a nation are still waiting for an answer. Waiting for votes to be counted, [Reuters] to be declared.

As we wait, a title keeps coming back to me: Waiting for Wings, which I think is a Lois Ehlert title. Lemme check. Ooh, I found a YouTube video!

Let's see if I can embed it: 

I'm a children's librarian by day and a network marketer by night. I also write, walk, and watch lots of Jane the Virgin on Netflix.

But we're talking about waiting here. I like this book and video because it continues to go back to the life cycle again and again--waiting isn't a one time deal, it's something we all do, again and again. 

Three things:

  • Video I watched this morning: Joe Biden being patient and calm.
  • What I ate for breakfast: Raisins with Grape Nuts and Oat Squares
  • Thankful for: a day to dig in. I have a lot of work to do to get ready for Christmas in my network marketing business with Mary Kay

Friday, November 06, 2020

Liminal places and waiting

I think it was Nadia Bolz-Weber who said we are in a liminal time right now. It sounds like something she would say, but I can't confirm.

Liminal:  Of, relating to, or being in an intermediate state, phase, or condition. 

We're actually in the threshold of three different stages of waiting, at least. The three that I am identifying with are:

  1. Waiting for a Presidential Candidate to be declared President Elect [Reuters] (from now until ??)
  2. Advent [Wikipedia] (the time that Christians designate to "wait for Christ" and Christmas)
  3. Waiting for the Inaguration [Countdown timer] (because if Biden is President Elect, there will be all kinds of nonsense from #45)
There are other things we are waiting for, of course, like the Winter Solstice (when the days stop getting shorter and start gettting longer), Friday (which happens to be today, woo hoo!) and...(fill in the blank). 

That's a good comment prompt. What are you waiting for in this season? 

I thought of creating an "advent" calendar using toilet paper rolls and tissue paper and chocolate and verses about justice and waiting but I don't think I have that kind of time and patience. And I do need a writing project right now. 

So I'm going to show up here every day from now until January 20, 2021 (within reasonable limits). And I'm going to talk about waiting in some way/shape/form.I don't know what it will be like, but come along, if you dare. 


Podcast I listened to this morning: Food and Faith Podcast: "Conversations on Hope and Lament"

Book I'm reading: The Off Season by Catherine Gilbert Murdock

What I saw along my walk: Zinnias in various stages of living and dying, and roses, same. 

This is a fall picture that was previously published to this blog, a look out on my back yard from my third floor walk-up in Pittsburgh. I currently live in Falls Church, Virginia. 

I love comments! So just to recap: what are you waiting for in this season? (Or anything else you want to put in the comment box that is PG-13). I reserve the right to police the comments.