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I Love the Face of Christ I See

A while back my friend Annie shared this story with me:

At their recent meeting, the bishops of the Episcopal Church were joined by the Primates of Papua New Guinea and Central Africa. After participating in the Holy Eucharist, Archbishop Bernard Malango of Central Africa said that he was interested in the way we in the American Church pass the Peace: "The Peace of the Lord be always with you." He found this meaningful, but also shared with the other bishops something that happens in his country. There, he told them, the custom is to take the hand of the person next to you, to look in that person's eyes, and say, "I love the face of Christ I see."

It's from this sermon -by the Rev. Barbara Beam. I take no credit for the words. However, I will say we used this on a youth event and I can guarantee that the young people who were there, remember it every time they pass the peace in their churches. :)

Many days at my job we get frustrated by 'the system'. Take that as you will, but it is a collective term for nursing being difficult, aides not wanting to do their jobs, phlebotomists that come in and wake residents by poking their arms, corporate nonsense, and the mass amounts of paperwork we have to do. This is true of every job (in different ways) and in no way do I claim that I have it worse than elsewhere in dealing with said system. It is always difficult in every job where you deal with many people on a daily basis. I'm aware of this.

Bridget (my twin because we share a birthday) frequently is heard to say 'You're doing God's work'. She's right. We are. We are trying desperately to do as best we can for every person who we treat. It is hard sometimes because of that system. It makes us feel badly and worn down. But her reminder, it gives me a boost whenever I hear her say it.

I'm making her a CD with a lot of songs on it. Lots of MJ and 80's tunes and also a couple of songs that I think echo the words of loving each other. Love each other or perish. (-Wystan Hugh Auden). No other way. Live love. Be love.


My poor pup has had so many names and songs since she came home, it truly is a wonder she looks at all when I say Tanka.
Tanka Jane
Punky Brewster
Chunky Monkey
Snuggery (where I go to get my snuggles)
You can see much of it is based on the fact that she is a snuggley pup. She used to be more than she is now, and hence all the names.
Oh and the songs.
I wish I could recreate them here, but without my delightful voice, it's just not the same. Suffice it to say, this dog is amazing because she responds to anything I say. :)


Where am I at with all the shoes- ones that fit, ones that don't, some that are pretty, others that are hand-me-downs, that are just there... ? Good question. All this 'shoe' business was started in an effort to explore myself and how I've ended up as the mess that I am. Also, it was begun with the hope that I would not only learn about that process but change me, become less of a mess, grow into something else a little bit.

And where am I?

No idea. I don't know that I can see where I am any better or how to change. I see a bit more how I ended up with the fears and worries and all that. ...But I don't think it's given me any direction on how to change what I am doing currently.

**More really honest stuff coming up**

D and I have been having the same fight pretty much monthly, sometimes more than once a month. Its about where we are, how I'm feeling, how I need... ...I don't know, more I guess. And how really, when it comes down to it, when I wipe away my whiny-ness, its about me being unable to accept him as he is.

And until I wrote those words I didn't really realize how much I wasn't just taking him for who he is. Huh. Somehow when I think about that, I'm not shocked. I am really a fussbudget, I want things just so, even though I try to be calm and laid back. I'm not that woman. I can't live with piles of clothes everywhere, I can't accept his past, I can't just be where we are and then move forward. I have pulled a bunch of no-no's in this relationship. I wish I could say I was all well behaved and unselfish and smart about everything. But nothing could be further from the truth. I've looked at his phone. I've looked in D's computer. (he knows this and while I am more than a little certain he was pissed, he's forgiven me... which I should take a lesson from). I'm one who when I find one little thing, I hold onto it, and dig deeper, looking for crap that shouldn't be dredged up because its not really there for me to do anything with.


I spent a lot of my life on a lake in central NY, and it's a clean, spring-fed lake with none of that seaweedy stuff you find in the Finger Lakes or other lakes. We would paddle that lake in canoes, swim in it for hours, play waterball with the dads, look for salamanders, fish, find the ever-haunting stump, and generally LIVE on and in that water for a month of our lives as kids. We would paddle in canoes to the end of the lake which we called Sandy Beach. There the twigs and acorns, grass clippings and dead fish would sometimes collect. Sometimes. We went there looking for salamanders because it was the shallowest part of the lake and warmer for the little guys. Not all the flotsam/jetsam would be there. But sometimes there was a lot of it, icky-ness you didn't want to wander through looking for salamanders. This clean, beautiful, memory-filled place even had it.

Every one I know has flotsam and jetsam in their lives. Its impossible to live a life without it. (Even my perfect Bubbs has it I bet). :) But point is it's there. And you don't need to look far to find it. But IF you look for it, you will find it. And you won't want to muddle through it because it is icky and it isn't your crap. (the definition of flotsam and jetsam is pretty much debris ...and well, debris usually equals crap in my book (side note, ask any of the VanD kids what crap is and they'll tell you its the stuff on the side of the road)). The crap of our lives, mistakes we've made, things we've survived, things we wish we hadn't lived through...

Losing Gary at 16
Losing Aunt Susan at 23
Losing my Grandma B at 24
My parents divorce
Ex boyfriends
Fears coming true
Friends who betrayed
Friends who abandoned
A job I left
A job I was fired from
Weight gain
Bad decisions
Good decisions that ended up with bad results
Plan A's that really weren't well thought out
Plan B's that didn't have a chance
Going back to school
Starting a new career

You get the idea. Emotional and spiritual and physical baggage that we've all got and wish we could just wipe away and walk away from and forget and be cleansed from. But there's no bleach strong enough, no place it can all go to, and no do-over. This is all we get. And our past lives are our lives. Good and bad, sickness and health, love and loss. You get what I'm saying. When you look at someone, you see one part of them. But there's always that crap trailing behind them because we all have pasts.


So digging up D's past stuff that has nothing to do with us... My own fault. My own doing. And my own stupidity. (add that to my own flotsam and jetsam that's all over the pretty shoes that are too tight and are killing my feet- I might as well throw all the analogies I've been making in one thing together right?- and you end up with a really huge mess) I did stupid things. And now its time for me to either let it all go and accept him or get the hell out of Dodge.

I hope he'll stick with me while I work on accepting myself so I can accept him.

(and while I'm typing I've listened to "Far From Here" by Alissa Moreno about 20 times. You should go listen to it on her MySpace. She's pretty awesome.)

Stupid Shoes

Sometimes shoes look real pretty but they're too small, too narrow, or too big and they really make you hurt. Because its just the wrong fit. And there is nothing like your feet hurting to make a day go down hill fast. (I know it for a fact- Ask any woman who really loved a pair of heels and thought, I can handle it, wore them to some fancy thing for too many hours and wanted to chop her feet off for the next 3 days).

Relationships can do the same things. You see other people's relationships, it looks nice and comforting and good. You meet someone and they're pretty (yes I use this term to mean both women and men, I say 'oh he's pretty' fairly often- Hello Orlando Bloom!!) and so you think, it would be so great to be involved with said pretty person in said nice, comforting, good relationship. (I've been there done this too. With enough of those pretty people to know when its the wrong fit and will hurt for likely more than 3 days).

I'm not about to delve into past relationships because 1) that just isn't fair to the pretty people and 2) because that isn't healthy. But there have been some really pretty people who have done some damage and caused me to wait for that pretty shoe to drop- hard.

I started posts about this but decided a few things- its not about them. Its about me and my reaction to the situation. While it may be that enough of these wrong fits have resulted in my anticipation of hurt and self-sabotage, it is still my response to the situation that needs work.

(Hence the very long hiatus from posts).

What I will say is that relationships take effort, and when things don't work out the way I think they should, or there's some disagreement of some kind, I have a tendancy to say enough, and work at getting out without just ending it. I sabotage it and make myself hurt in the process. Far from healthy I know. I am working on this now. A very long time ago I posted a letter to my 10 year old self- and I wrote about not finding the knight in shining armor- that he doesn't exist. Which in many ways is good because its hard to breath in corsetted dresses and I can only drink so much tea. :P But I seem to keep looking for it anyway. I keep hoping that somehow I live in this magical world or in some kind of movie where the characters do just what you want or hope them to do and people fall in love and live happily ever after. And it isn't that love lasting a lifetime isn't real- I know it is -and it will always take effort to make a relationship work. Sometimes you just need to find the right fit to begin with...

(Breaking them in will be so much easier then :) lol -sorry, terrible joke, but it was begging to be said).

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