Wisdom to Combat the Moving-Forward-And-Leaving- the-Past-Behind Blues

35015Rebekkah and I were driving from Red Rock to Austin the other day. It is about an hour drive, and we were conversing about some research she had heard about. She said anthropologists noted that whenever they arrived in the place where they would immerse themselves in a new culture, surrounding themselves with new people, new customs, new smells, new tastes…everything unfamiliar, they would experience a deep depression. But, she remarked, they also said that this black feeling would go away on average, about two weeks into the experience.

Texas isn’t a new place for me, but it has been over a decade since I cs-lewis-quote-better-things-550x320lived here for real. Last year, I was here two months, but Dad was really sick, and the wounds from losing my husband were still tender. This time, I blew up my bridges in Oklahoma. I did this on purpose. I learned a lot from my nomadic childhood, and leaving foundations in places that are, as a whole, not good for you, will leave you open to the temptation to return again and rebuild. It isn’t really necessary to go into detail why Tulsa is bad for both my kids and me. Suffice it to say, we simply should not go back and try again. But, I did not blow up bridges to people I love who were only good to me. Tulsa as a whole, is not where I should be. But I will carry a piece of her with me forever, in the shapes and memories of people who I love.

download (2)I left behind people that I will miss terribly. The Lord gave me Janice and Larry, who both taught me to stay calm, and not be so extreme all the time. Holly taught me what it looks like to walk and not faint, and walk and walk and walk, and still, not faint. Sonya and Kendra, some of my very favorite people, gave me Oliver. ‘Nuff said, right?

Stephanie made me feel like there were other eccentric souls just like me, and I 14feae356bda6cfe978afc0e40e434a3don’t have to feel alone so much. (I have every intention of using all my persuasive skills to lure her to live here in Texas among other weirdos like us!) I left behind Rob and his sweet little girls and some of my other Red & Gold friends, and my very best Oklahoma friend ever, Kim. I will miss you most of all, Kim-alicious!!

24772This move cost me something, as they all do. But most of all, I left behind Chef. I cried like the first day I realized my marriage was lost to me forever, and then I wiped away the tears, put the car in drive, and left that sadness behind with the rest of the broken hopes and dreams born, burned, and buried in Tulsa, Oklahoma. Chef is truly on his journey with the Lord alone now. No more interference from me.

Unlike a whole unfamiliar culture, Texas reminds me daily of its own c-s-lewis-quoteunchanging personality, and in a way, it welcomes me back. I recognize the smells of wildflowers and mesquite trees. I can pick out the cicadas’ songs from the choir of other nocturnal insects that sing at night. The heat is different here, and every single allergy I’ve had in Oklahoma has instantly disappeared. I was born and bred here, and my immune system is delighted.

download (2)My Oklahoma dogs, despite their rocket scientist rat poison incident, run and play like I have never seen them frolic.  They don’t know why, but they are positive they deserve this slice of heaven as a reward of some kind.

It’s been less than a week, and I’m finally emerging from the fog of a new life thatQuotes-C-S-Lewis-the-golden-trio-char-jezzi-and-anj-32352771-528-199 looks so different than any I’ve had before. This time, I’m not a freshly separated woman, wounded and still bleeding. I’m just another girl, moving to Texas to be near a family I love. The future looks hopeful, though unfocused. I’ve learned throughout my life, just because I can’t imagine what something is going to feel like, it doesn’t mean I won’t like the way it feels. I am relaxed. I am cheerful. I am hopeful. And I am excited.

17abc9dd53eb1a7f5a6a8d56132c2b18Whenever I find myself down, I like to drag out C.S. Lewis’ books, and peruse through his unearthly wisdom about being a foreigner longing for home. I thought tonight, EHAS would share a little of his timeless quotes. We are all trying to walk and not faint these days, wouldn’t you say?

I hope you have a new forest of dreams growing in your lives! Life shouldn’t be full of droughts! Yes. Sometimes, fires of life can wipe out acres and acres of hopes and dreams; but, don’t grieve too long for what once grew in your heart, and is no more. Instead, delight yourself in the new life that will begin to grow there. There is a time to weep; but remember, there is time to laugh again too.

~ Bird

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Fires, Hoarding, and Art – A Story About Chef’s Art

Today, I had to ask myself if I’m a bad person. Maybe.

Lately, with a few exceptions here and there, I’ve started to find the whole last year of my life less tragic and more funny. Is that

This is Chef's Art.
This is Chef’s Art.

weird? I’ve always believed that the opposite of love wasn’t hate, but indifference, and I think I’ve finally moved into that realm of thinking. And now, as I skim through my diaries from the last year, I’m finding things that were really traumatic and painful at the time, somewhat funny now. For instance, Chef was trying to turn into this hoarder kind of guy, and I was constantly battling him about putting his “art” around the house. There is no way to describe this stuff other than to say, wow. That is a lot of trash you glued together, buddy. I didn’t say that, of course. I didn’t want to hurt his feelings, but whatever that drug did to him, it didn’t make him artistic. His “projects” would disappear the minute he left the house. I couldn’t stand it.

Chef spent many an hour cutting extension cords and splicing random pieces of it together to make this odd, multi-colored, extra-long extension cord guaranteed to burn down the house with all of us in it. Those, too, would magically disappear when he left because I wasn’t quite ready to die. What amazes me even more is that I found none of this funny at the time, yet I’m sitting here laughing my butt off now.

Either it is really funny, or I’ve finally lost my mind. 🙂

The last time I was at his house, I finally told him that his house looks like hell. It is covered in his “art” now, and it looks just terrible. Even the dogs agreed with me, sitting on the couch with depressed looks on their faces. I could tell they were wondering why they were suddenly surrounded by the city dump. He was, of course, offended, and told me that I wouldn’t recognize good “art” if it hit me in the face. I picked up this broken vase that he had glued to some kind of rusted coffee can with holes punched into it, and a little decorative light installed inside. I noticed that the cord to the light had been spliced together with a brown cord and a white one.

“Really?” I asked him, pointing to the coffee can.

“You just don’t understand art. You see trash. I see art,” he said, defensively.

“I see a fire and potentially a spot on that show about Hoarders in your future,” I told him.

“Well, T likes it. She thinks I have a lot of talent,” he quipped.

“She also thinks you’re sober, handsome,  and just misunderstood. I’d get a second opinion if I were you, ” I told him, smarting a little from his mention of the other woman.

He made me leave.

I’m sorry, but I find this stuff hilarious now. Am I losing my mind?

— Bird