Tuesday, February 28, 2012

Man Hands

"You have really nice teeth."

This phrase will forever haunt me. It was a perfectly true statement as it came forth out of my genuine lips. We were running auditions for From the Heart and I wanted to sincerely compliment the talented man in front of me singing some melodious sonnet. 

In my head, I assessed his clothes, his voice, his face and searched my mind for an adequate compliment. Not wanting to sound like I was hitting on him, or that I was a creeper, I thought of the most harmless thing I could think of. Paul has fantastic teeth. And so I told him. 

Sounds of laughter erupted as Chathum, Spence and Carl looked embarrassed for me. 

"What?" I couldn't imagine what all the fuss could be about. Does he, or does he not have nice teeth? I will tell you. He does. 

Chathum and Spence never seem to let me live this down. It's fine. But what they don't know is that nice teeth doesn't do it for me. Nope. 

Do you remember in 2008, how Facebook had all those ridiculous quizzes that taught you what Disney princess you were, or which Twilight hunk was your soulmate? For the record, I was Belle, and my soulmate was Emmett. 

But one day, I came across a quiz called "What weird thing are you attracted to?" Intrigued, I began the quiz. Seven questions later, I learned that my "weird thing" was hair color. And that's when I knew that it was all a lie. 

Why, you may ask? I already know what "weird" thing I am attracted to. Hands. You heard me. I am attracted to good, strong hands. 

I have discussed this at length with my roommate, and she fully agrees. Men with girly, creepy, clammy, chubby or bony hands are not okay. 

Where did this stem from? I cannot tell you. But I do know when I first realized my oddity. In my K-12 days, (don't ask me which grade) I read a book called "Jacob Have I Loved." In it, the protagonist whose name I cannot remember is a young girl that becomes acquainted with an older man named Jacob. I don't remember the plot, but I can recall how fascinated she was with his hands. Quite frankly, it was a little disturbing. But after that, I started noticing that I also noticed men's hands. Before you start judging me, let me clear the air and say this: I am not a creeper. 

Now, in my search for love, I will have to not only keep in mind my dating potentials winning personality, charming good looks, dashing charisma, and dedicated spirituality, but he has to have good hands. Or he is out. 

Monday, February 27, 2012

I love

I love beautiful things. Beautiful people, ideas, moments and memories.
I love the way the sky becomes a palette of color as the sun slowly sets into the horizon, leaving behind the memory of the feeling of the day. 
I love the warmth of the sun on my face with my eyes close, my face wrinkled into a serene grin.
I love the openness of Montana; how the sky seems to reach from one corner of the galaxy to the next leaving only space, time and perfection in between.
I love the tender embrace of a dear friend that lingers long enough to speak their feeling for you. 
I love personification. 
I love the crashing of the waves onto the gray, rocky sand at Centerville beach.
I love the sound of the water from thirty feet above on the cliff that overlooks the vastness of forever. 
I love the winding roads of the south bordered, encompassed, trimmed with evergreens.
I love the perpetual humidity that blankets your body. 
I love the sound of keys typing, bringing new ideas, thoughts and expressions to life, teaching my mind what my heart has long felt. 
I love the lyrics that require my soul no further explanation. 
I love the laughter from moments spent in the company of a dear friend. 
I love the peace that comes from self-discovery. The quiet moments when a still, small voice whispers to my consciousness something I had long forgotten. 
I love the humble example of those I love. 
I love the moments of shared secrets in the protection of the car. 
I love the smell of home, the sight of forgotten friends, the promise of fulfilled dreams. 
I love the release of endorphins. 
I love the accomplishment of trials. The peak of the mountain that lets you finally see the light. 
I love the memory of lessons learned, life lived, loves lost. 
I love the fall breeze that rustles the fallen leaves at my feet. 
I love the struggle of growth, the pain of forgiveness, the search for meaning. 
I love the journey, the fight, the triumph. 

In short, I love all that has been, all that is, all that will be. 

Wednesday, February 8, 2012


Walls. Thick, durable, sturdy walls. Granite, stone, cement, heavy, impenetrable.

A single window, placed strategically where few can see. Those who try to look in are unsuccessful. The blinds are tilted far enough that no one can see in, and she alone can look out.

Outside this terrific structure, the rough and jagged walls are pleasantly painted, seeming welcoming and inviting. On the surface, nearly every emotion is displayed, giving the appearance of having very few secrets, and even fewer mysteries.

Around the perimeter, there are five small cracks, some deeper than others. Tokens of brave souls who tried to undertake the task of taking possession of this land.

One lone door located on the east side of the building is the only sign that someone dwells here. But no one may enter. The door has no handle. They must be let in by the keeper of the house.

Inside this house there are many different rooms, each bearing the memory of years gone by. Moments of gladness, moments of sorrow. Days of laughter, days of tears. Hours of heartache, hours of happiness. Minutes of fear, minutes of triumph. In short, inside those impenetrable walls is a portion of a life lived.

There are three floors inside the house that are unfilled. Empty, bare, yet occupied by a deafening silence, they threaten to mirror exactly the lowest level. No change, no alteration, no difference. This would not be the end all, but it would be painfully monotonous.

One woman lives alone in this fortress. She is a great, mighty, experienced builder of walls.

Sunday, February 5, 2012

The Carpenter

The carpenter's hands were rough and calloused. The scars, the lines, the marks all showing the years of experience this man had undergone crafting the home of thousands of others, shaping and framing countless lives. His eyes, wrinkled with wisdom and compassion were piercing and penetrating. The carpenter had a way of seeing into a person's heart, and picking out the very best details. In fact, it wasn't just the details of a soul that he could spot. The carpenter had the gift of seeing the details in everything, making him the top in his craft.

I've been acquainted with the carpenter for almost 24 years. Over the years, I have worked with him on numerous occasions. He carefully and flawlessly lays out each plan with exactness. No detail has he over overlooked, no aspect he has not ascertained. His methods are unique; he never shows the full plan until the construction is complete.

"Trust me," he says. That is not easily offered. But to gain it, the carpenter will show me bit by bit, what my magnificent structure could look like upon completion.

With the small portions I am privileged to see, I instantly begin reconstructing his plans.

"Add an extra staircase here, and take out that wall there. Don't you think a bay window would look nice there? I have always loved silver appliances, and I want five walk-in closets." The carpenter, looks at me then looks down and his feet, chuckling softly to himself.

"No, I think we'll stick with the plan," he says knowingly. Frustrated, angry, childish, I wonder why it can't go my way, the way I had planned and envisioned. I have no control. The carpenter will do as he sees best. He reminds me of our contract, which states that I would give him all license to complete the project as he sees fit.

My pride keeps me from the carpenter for a short while. But it's my curiosity to see what will happen next that propels my humility. I finally find some, and return to the carpenter. In my absence, he has been busy at work. The framing is starting to come together, and for the first time I begin to see what the carpenter must see. This increases my humility, and strengthens my trust.

Time continues to pass, the carpenter continues construction carefully and meticulously. One day, I look up at the site that has become my life. It is complete. But what's more, the structure is more magnificent than anything I could have ever imagined using my own limited and short-sighted vision. Every piece is carefully constructed into another. Nothing is left unfinished, unperfected.

I look to my faithful, unchanging carpenter. My stalwart, constant friend; my trusted companion. Love and gratitude fill my heart, as well as an unworthy, undeserving feeling. Why should I receive something so perfectly beautiful? I fought, and opposed his plans the whole way.

But before I can utter my meager thanks, the carpenter turns to me for a final time.

"Well done," he tells me. "Welcome home."

Wednesday, February 1, 2012


Light up, light up
As if you have a choice
Even if you cannot hear my voice
I'll be right beside you dear

Louder louder
And we'll run for our lives
I can hardly speak I understand
Why you can't raise your voice to say

I cannot explain why, but these words speak to me. It brings my soul relief like a cool glass of water on a swelteringly hot day. My life is blessed, but it has taken a stressful turn here lately, and I seem to always be falling a few paces behind. The different portions of my life are running a marathon together, but they can never keep up at the same speed. Sometimes it's my energy that is lagging, some days it is my social life. Often times it's my job, sometimes it's my calling. Sadly, recently it seems it is my spirituality. 

I believe in God like I believe in the sun. I know that someone far wiser and faithful than I spoke those words, but the attribution escapes me. I believe in His plan, His love, His Son. But I also believe that if we remove ourselves from God, it seems that he has left as well. Deep in my heart, I know that he is always there; it's me that has pushed him away. But it's hard to climb my way back up the steep cliff of frustration to catch a glimpse of the blinding sunlight again. 

I realized tonight that I have become a builder of walls. Strong, sturdy walls that block my self, my soul, my heart from those that surround me. It's a game of control. If I let myself get too attached, I might lose. It's a fear that can lead to paralysis. A fears that threatens to consume. A fear that I must conquer. 

Though at times like this my faith seems to wane, I know that as long as I hold on to that small glimmer, the rest will come and slowly and surely, like a sunrise illuminating my own valley of despair. The light will come, it's me that has to hold on.