Friday, August 21, 2009


One year this month!

This month a year ago, I started a new blog, this blog, and started a new life in Salt Lake City. It still feels very new, and I’m horrified at how fast the time has gone.

I perused the first few postings and smiled at some of the things I wrote. I am grateful. See kids, this is why we blog: we need to document the discovery process, the subtle-moving shifts, and we relish in the experience of reading ourselves in times prior. We see how our selves are shaped. You read what you hoped for then, how those hopes either were met, not met, or evolved over a season or two. You recall what your prayers were, have been, and continue to be, and witness how incredibly true it is that God hears you, and you noticed it not. Not then. We write to notice. I’ll give you an example.

On August 18, 2008, one year and three days ago as of this post, I was becoming more aware of the feelings I would not allow myself to acknowledge, privately or publicly. One effect of this was how it prevented me from feeling more real in my relationships. I wanted to change this:

“Finally, I've reached a place where my need to connect overrides my need to be safe and sound.”
Reading this again, I pictured the exact spot where I wrote that sentence. Sitting at a gate in the Las Vegas airport, adjacent to the slot machines with their relentless bells and flashing lights, dodging the smell of stale beer emanating from the guy sitting to my right, I was waiting for my flight home. I was starting a new life. And while I felt lonely, I felt the excitement of new possibilities:

“I'm hoping this will be the place where I try all this stuff out, all my new
and improved life skills. Push back the temptation to stand alone and
independent, soften, and reach out in openness. Oh man, I really hope I can do
this. “
It makes me laugh reading it! Not in a mean way, just in a pitiful way. And then I ask myself, did I do it? Was I softer, more honest, willing to forego safety for being truer to what I feel and want? Well, I’d have to say yes. This year, the chances at bat were plentiful, and I took way more swings than ever before. I suffered more strikeouts, yes. But I didn’t watch the ball whiz past me as often either. The idea is to act, and not be acted upon. I’m getting better at this, by the grace of God, and it feels pretty good.

Also included in last year’s posts for August was a self-portrait. I’m lying on my back on the twin bed I didn’t end up having to pay for. I held the camera straight above my face and clicked. I looked at the photo again today. My hair is so long! I’m smiling, but there’s something off about it. The captions reads: tired but happy. Really? I’m not buying that. I know this sounds insane, but there seems to be one emotion capture in my right eye, and a different one in my left. My right eye looks pretty hopeful. It’s open and ready. My left eye, I hate to say it, gives away a sadness I was keeping locked down as tight as I could. It’s an old, rather woeful looking eye. But that smile cannot be ripped off my face, not even with fly paper. I look old in this photo, at least that’s the first thing I notice. But when I looked a little deeper, I find a little more. And it pretty much sums up all that was inside, I think.

I’m starting to feel narcissistic, so I better close it up. I just get excited when I think of how it all works out with such astonishing beauty. I’m grateful. I’m glad I blog, because that’s when I notice it.


Nat Attack said...

Mary. This is lovely. And a perfect sentiment.

And why I didn't know you had a new blog is beyond me. What a waste of a year.