Monday, December 3, 2007

orange sticky-note philosophy


The book is called Relentless, a trilogy that now has me addicted as a Robin Parrish fan. I started reading it last week, on an ordinary day, on an inconsequential afternoon, in the midst of a dying hope.
I read always. Only complete darkness and damaged arms could hinder me. Even still, cast and all, I'd find a way to turn the page. If broken bones can't stop me, broken dreams are guileless.
So even on that day, the day long in the making, the day of my last shred of possibility, I opened that book and read. I lost myself in the unfolding tale of Dominion rings and mental acuity.
I, thankfully, used it to check out. Ignoring reality makes it go away. Everyone knows this.
I wrote a book last year. It isn't the next great American novel. It couldn't possibly be. It isn't a novel. It's a collection of short, humorous stories about the average life of an average Joe. Or Joette, since I'm a girl. Nothing more. But thankfully, not much less.
It wasn't what I wanted to write. It wasn't even a speck on my imagination. But God sometimes has plans for us we just downright don't want. Learn to adapt. He doesn't always give you a choice.
That day last week, the day I cracked the binding on Parrish's book, was the last day on a long timetable of finding funding for it's publication. Much like waiting for a hot pizza to arrive on your doorstep you never ordered. Don't plan dinner around it. Have a contingency plan.
When a contingency plan doesn't happen, don't bemoan your empty belly. The universe is not ours for the dictatorship. Dang it.
That night, wallowing in self-pity I had thawed, kneaded, baked, and ingested, my roommate and I began talking about Moses, about that moment he stood at the cusp of history, at the day of reckoning, at the edge of the Red Sea.
What had it felt like? Reeeeaaally felt like? Not the Charlton Heston confident Moses. The other one. The stuttering one. The one that ran in fear after committing murder. The one that led his people out of city, only to be sandwich meat between roaring nature and thundering soldiers.
What crossed his mind?
"God, hello? We're about to die here. Did I take a wrong turn? Can you do something about those charging soldiers? If everyone gets killed, they are going to hate me."
Instead, God, like only God can, provided a miracle. At the flick of his wrist, at the mere thought, water separated from it's sister molecules, taking the fish and crawdads with it, and provided a dry bridge.
The children of Israel walked between walls of water. They saw the impossible, and then faced the mountains in the distance, what must have looked insurmountable.
Impossible. Insurmountable.
As we talked, I grabbed an orange sticky note, and in the most legible handwriting available to me, scribbled the words "impossible/insurmountable." I opened the book jacket in front of me, slapped it on the cover page, and shut the book again.
There is has remained. An orange sticky note with my scratchings, speaking to me everytime I sit down to read.
A few days later, for no explainable reason, for no big purpose, for no mighty valiant act, my neck snapped. It sounded a bit like rice crispies. One minute it's just hanging out on my shoulders, the next minute it seems to want off.
I want it to stay. I'm hoping it'll reconsider.
There isn't much I can do right now. The chiropractor said it isn't permanent, just something that happens sometimes. Just life. Another week or so of selling myself to my head, it'll probably stick around and straighten up.
What have I been doing with my time? You should get this.
I've been reading.
And after each painful movement, each gasping pillow adjustment, each time my head starts talking Christmas in the Virgin Islands (I'm not invited), I've opened that book to see those two words: "impossible/insurmountable"
I don't have this faith thing completely figured out. I'd like to believe once I've got it, I've got it. It's mine. All aboard. Full throttle. Wave to the people at the dock, everyone, because we're casting off.
Instead, it's more like a journey, less like a possession. I can't click my heals together, squeeze my rabbits foot, or rub Aladdin's lamp.
I wait. With that elusive hope. I wait. With the promise of God's goodness. I wait. With belief in something greater. I wait. Though the challenges seem impossible, the journey insurmountable.
I wait.
God will deliver. I'm not counting on the pizza boy.