Friday, January 21, 2011

Happy Ending

          Daphne tiptoed through the darkness across a sleeping field of daisies. The silent stars sprinkled across the night sky saw what the flowers did not. The wood nymph danced with delight as she sped from her laurel abode, through the flowery field, and into a thick oak grove. She silently snuck between the dense trees of the forbidden forest. Tucked deep within the ancient trees she was told she would find a silver pond of happy endings. She skipped about in the darkness being careful not the touch the trees. Before long Daphne stumbled upon the source she was searching for. She saw the faint glow between two trees and slowed her pace as she reached the edge of the pool. Daphne gasped in wonder as she stepped in front of the final trees.
            The silver water glowed of its own accord. In the daytime, little sunlight could reach this tiny pool due to the thick branches which grew from trees exceptionally close to the water; there was no chance of starlight illuminating the ground. Still, Daphne could clearly see the foreign formation of rocks piled at one end of the water and the frighteningly thick trees lit by the glow of the silver water. The curious nymph cautiously knelt by the water's edge to peer into the depths of the pool; instead she saw her own face reflected perfectly back to her. Too perfectly reflected back: every facial flaw was corrected in the reflection.
            Daphne's eyes grew wide with delight; the legends must be true that the water created happy endings for those who drank it. She reached her hand longingly to the water and softly caressed the silky surface. It was a strange water, indeed, and it reacted slowly to her dainty touch, sending smooth ripples across the pond. As her fingers continued to lazily stir the water, she wondered what happy ending she would wish for.
            Endless possibilities of momentary improvements rushed through her head. She could be the most beautiful nymph ever; she could have the world at her command; she could forever avoid the hurtful comments of her family. Her thoughts increasingly turned to manipulation of the people in her life. All her relational problems could be solved with a sip of this silver liquid. Daphne released a long, contented sigh as she stood. There were too many happy beginnings running through her head. Until tonight she hadn't been sure that there was an actual pool of shining silver water that would fulfill her wildest dreams. (More precisely the pool promised to provide a happy ending.) With her mind lost in wonder at the happy ending she would wish into existence, Daphne left the forbidden forest to ponder what the most poetic end could be.
            Birds chirped, bees buzzed, and nymphs danced across the sunny glade as Daphne awoke the next morning. She yawned and stretched and lazily strolled to see what everyone was up to. She could hardly be offended that they excluded her this morning; she'd never be lonely again. Daphne stood off to the side as her family and friends busied themselves with preparations for some sort of a feast. There was no point in asking what was going on; she hadn't been invited.
            "Hey, Daph," a friendly voice interrupted her pity party, "Want to come join us?"
            "Corbin, have you ever heard of a pond of silver water that gives happy endings to those who drink it?"
            Corbin laughed, "Daph, that stuff's just poison."
            "That's why it's hidden in a forbidden forest. Haven't you heard the whole story? The pool provides happy endings. People die peacefully when the drink it. You can't really expect to receive a happy ending before the end of your life. You have to put pain into life to discover a happy ending. Don't go looking for that silly pool, Daph; it's a waste of time. If you want a happy ending eventually, look no further than this sometimes happy life."

Wednesday, January 12, 2011

Road Trip

I was trapped in a moving minivan. The world was speeding by me, accented by the streetlights sliding by my window, and I had no way out. Seat belted in to insanity, I stripped my soul apart from my physical body. I couldn't take my body with me because it had been sequestered into the seat by my mom, my dad, and my sister. Family.
They say that friends are the family you choose for yourself. What about your family family, then? The actual unchosen few who you're stuck with for life because you can't change your DNA and are too lazy to run away and change your name? So long, relations, my soul can take no more. I seeped through the window and jumped from the hood of the car to the roof. Then a quick leap onto the quickly approaching overpass and I'd reach freedom.
Oops… the overpass didn't catch me. I slammed under the car and was repeatedly run over by the heavy traffic in the middle of the night. Where was everyone going at 1am? Nowhere. No one is going anywhere, but my family is repeatedly running over me. My mom, my dad, my sister. Each one tramples me as the cars wheels return to my battered soul.
They discovered the empty body. It angered them. They aren't inhuman. I am. I am the one who separated my body and my soul. I wasn't supposed to do that.

I awoke with a sneeze. I was still here in my body. The minivan carried on; the streetlights slid by. Family road trips may not be all fun, but important relationships are still developed in the tiny moving vehicle. These people love me unconditionally, and I love them the same. (Sometimes I have a hard time liking them though.)  

Saturday, January 8, 2011


I have no home; I'm the wind.
Home is where the heart is.
What other cliche sayings would you like to throw in?

I'm not fond of any of them because they're all too true. And disturbingly petty. You see, I have no house to call a home, but that doesn't make me homeless. It's petty, really, to think that I don't have a home. There are starving orphans in India who really know what it means to be without a home, but they have a joy that surpasses any roof over their heads. Why can't losing my home make my spirit soar to the skies without a roof to restrain it? Maybe in some ways it does.

My amazing friend Angela blessed me with a beautiful poem by Ruth Bell Graham that helped me to recognize my real home address.

My home address?
In Him I dwell,
wherever else I be.
As Bird in the air,
as branch in the vine,
as tree in the soil,
as fish in the sea.
He is my home.
My business address?
Little piney cove,
or London,
or Rome,
or Paris.
My business address?
Wherever He puts me,
but He is my home.
Why then do I put so much faith in a place that isn't my home? I have been raised to believe that a specific location with my belongings inside would always be a safe place to come and cry. It just ain't so at this point in my life. I'm going through a lot of transitions and I don't really know where I'll end up in the future, but I know that wherever He puts me, he is my home. That faithfulness is unchanging despite my changing living situations. 
This house isn't mine, and this room with brown and green walls isn't my own. It's borrowed space, someone else's place. My place is between two outstretched arms scarred with love unmeasurable. There will always be room for me there. Safety, solitude, and sanctuary from my sorrow and strife.
However, also in this special place is a command for community. This space in my Savior's arms is all my own, and all my family's. It's meant to be shared with others, you see, and I can't keep myself from them. I'm supposed to share me. I've been given a voice, and although I sing to an audience of One, I sing to an audience of many of the One who has given me this voice. 
Here I go: test, one, two, three...

Tuesday, January 4, 2011

Room 42

Why Room 42? Well, this blog had to have some name, and that seemed as good as any.

Okay, so there's some significance. You see, Virginia Woolf told me in A Room of One's Own that a woman needs money and space in order to write. Actually, that's a gross reduction of what she says in that work, but she does place importance on having personal space to write and create. Well, I have yet to find a private place which I can call my own, but I have this cyber nook to call my own. For lack of a physical space, this becomes my creative space. I'll call it A Room of My Own.

Why 42 then? Well, it's the answer to life, the universe, and everything. According to Douglas Adams and Google at least. (I'm serious - google "the answer to life, the universe and everything." What did I tell you?) I don't claim to have the answers to life, the universe, and everything, but I am in pursuit of the One who does. I am in pursuit of truth, and one of the ways in which I pursue truth is through literature. (I love to read.) Part of literature is responding to the truth you find in it. Here are some of my written responses to life. As Annie Dillard may put it, the change to discoveries of nickels and dimes in life.

So that is where the title Room 42 comes from. I timidly invite you into my private place to respond with me to truth and life. I only ask that we respect the truth, and subsequently one another. You may not realize it, but in sharing my responses with you, I'm handing you a piece of my heart. Please be gentle with it.