My insides are rustling in breezes making the scratching music of dry leaves on dead twigs.
It is a lonely, little song. Not much of a song at all. Just the skittering whispers of my spirit. The wind blowing through the holes, my experiences and knowledge and beliefs all scattered like garden detritus at my feet.
Barren. Bare twig. Dead leaf.
And I make a decision.
I’d rather the wind howl in my soul full of holes. At least the hollow moan is real. Undressed, unfilled, naked, waiting.
“He brought me out into a spacious place;
he rescued me because he delighted in me.” Psalm 18:19 It might have been 1975. My dress was navy blue with full, white sleeves. It’s hem rested above my knee and my new, white stockings looked sharp and fresh (although a bit wrinkly at the knees) all the way down to my Mary-Jane shoes. I was proud to stand beside my three older sisters for the pre-church photo. To match, to look like, to be like them was my highest aspiration. The sun made our eyes squint as we smiled for Daddy to snap the picture of us colored in blue and white and ready for church. My new dress, sewn by my mom, was also 100% wool. I itched. I squirmed. I scratched. I wriggled. All through Sunday School. By the end of the hymn-singing in Big Church, I was about insane. My fair, sensitive skin became inflamed and I had raw, red abrasions at all the seam lines, under my arms, along my torso and back. …
He called my story a sob story. That would make me the “sob-ber” –not really attractive. He then proceeded to call my story and how I told it –dumb. Three times dumb, said he. And it cut a little, like a strip of stray wood cuts the soft flesh of a palm, digging into the cutaneous layers, unwelcome. And my first response was to flush pink in a rush of hurt and anger. After all, I am my story and my story is I. And yours is you, is it not?
The frost lays thickly on branch and windowpane where the sun’s rays cannot reach. It is winter but the days are lengthening by a minute with each rotation of the earth. New Year’s Day may land on January 1st, when we collectively turn the fresh pages of our recently shrink-wrapped calendars, but the new season began its slow unfolding on December 22nd after winter solstice. It went by largely unnoticed, as most of us were in a flurry of holiday preparations, but the earth had already begun it’s slow change without aplomb. Things remained mostly the same: it was still December, still winter, still dark before dinner preparations began. This morning, familiar clatter interrupted my dreams. Back to school, back to work. I pulled my arm, tingling still with sleep, and tossed it over the side of the bed, hoping to aid circulation and drifted back to sleep. As always, my corgi’s wet nose nudged my hand and pulled me to wakefulness. Familiar hunger gnawed and hollowed my insides, and I thought of the eggs …