Monday, October 29, 2012


When I was a very little girl we lived in a two-family house in north New Jersey.
It looked alot like this house.
For me between the ages of 3 and 9, my family lived in the upstairs unit above an unmarried, elderly church organist whom we affectionately nicknamed "Aunt"Alice. 

In her downstairs unit,  "Aunt"Alice kept almost entirely to herself. 
My siblings and I scampered down the sole flight of stairs to her normally-silent and 
intruigingly similar home
as often as my mother would allow, which was not often enough for social kids like us.
"Aunt" Alice tolerted us and even knitted us slippers with knobby tassels every year at Christmas
but now I know from my mother that she also called upstairs on the telephone to ask my mom 
to retrieve us. 
This, in addition to the fact that she always had those pastel, melty mints handy which I loved
is all I remember of her. 

Except for her brilliantly serene piano playing on Sunday afternoons. 

In our upstairs unit of the two-family home, we were required to doff our Sunday best clothes 
and climb back into our beds for a mandatory Sunday afternoon nap.

As a kid, this was a loathed practice. 
I wasn't tired.
I didn't wanna nap.
(*whine, whine*)
I obeyed, however and always reluctantly fell asleep....and most Sunday afternoons my mind was caressed back to reality from dreams
by "Aunt"Alice's piano playing downstairs.

The notes lifted above "Aunt"Alice's painted ceilings below us, through our creaky wooden floors and wafted up to the exposed, burnished beams of our unit,
lilting invisibly around our house even though we were merely the Listeners of Pirated Notes.

This music was sacred to us, as none of our family played an instrument 
and we tiptoed gratefully all afternoon as "Aunt"Alice's ancient hymnal came to life downstairs
accidentally raining on us gifts of sweet melodies and triumphant choruses and poignant refrains.

When there came a pause in the music.............
................we waited, listening.......
.........since none of us could elicit more music ourselves.
We could not ask "Aunt"Alice to continue - there wasn't an iPhone to text her downstairs
and after all, just talking about her piano playing might make her realize how we were filtering her talent to our own unit upstairs and maybe she would decide our ears weren't fit for such songs.

No, we had to wait it out. We had to patiently strain to catch what might be the next notes
 from the piano.
The musical pause might mean no more music till next Sunday afternoon, after naptime.

The pause....that was the agonizing bit.

The pause. In music, it's called a rest.
It's a hard thing to teach to a new musician: the rest.

Pausing and resting is not easy....not for a musician, not for an antsy child,
not for a passionate woman.

THIS is where God has had me. In the pausing. 
He has asked me to pause and rest....
not "rest" like the sleep of a mandatory Sunday afternoon naptime
 but "rest" like a comma in a sentence. 
God has placed a great, big, unexpected PAUSE in my path and asked me to REST.
It's a "rest" and not a "stop" - 
 just a tune 
which wants resolution.
 I expect that the song will be beautiful after the break.
But the's still squirmy for me.
I'm still no good at waiting it out.
I still linger on the last note, trying to catch it without letting it burst like a bubble on a wand
and I still expectantly strain to hear the next note ringing audaciously.
I still want to get up out of my seat and meander during the intermission till the
house lights are blinking again
and are excitedly dimmed for the Feature Presentation to continue.

I have to learn to be intentional here - in the pausing.
It's not as harmonious. But so supremely important a lesson.
Without rests you will run clean out of air.

So I agree to pause. Reluctantly. Intentionally. Obediently. Hopefully.

Sunday, October 21, 2012

How Life Goes

Some days you celebrate.
Some days your heart breaks.
Some days you dance.

Some days you shine.
Some days it's the "Before" picture...
...some days it's the "After" picture.

Some days you sparkle.

Some days you reflect someone else's light.

Some  days there are sweet friends who love you by showing up.

Some days it's celebrating REAL family.
Some days you reflect.

...some days there is joy...

Some days it's appreciating just being together...

...some days that sweetness can break you open...

...some days you grasp how deep love is...

...and some days it's sorrow at parting. 

Some days it's the science of seedlings...
...some days it's frustration and work...

...some days they grow before your very eyes.

Some days it's perfect.

Some days you need the reminders to just keep going.

Some days it's infuriating.
Some days it's painful...

...some days it's worrisome...

...some days it's regrettable.

Some days it's exciting!
Some days it's comforting. 

Some days there are friends galore...

...some days you only want your Very Best Friend.

Some days there's a sunrise.

Some days there are wildflowers.

Some days you are fierce.

Some days you are part of the gang.

Some days you learn...

...some days you are too exhausted to keep your eyes open.

Some days you are a goofball...

...some days a ham.

Some days you're the joker...

...some days you're not laughing.

Some days you find what's important.

Some days you laugh...

...some days you pout.

Some days it's a buffet...

...some days a single slice.

Some days bring satisfaction...

...some days bring testing.

Some days are wild...

...some days are chill.

Some days are lightweight...

...some days are challenging...

...and some days are downright sour.

Some days you explore...

...some days you greet gently.

Some days you are part of a crowd...

...while some days you feel left out.

Some days you need a lift.

Some days you seek to learn...

...some days you are taught.

Some days are gifts. 

Some days are adventures.

Some days are sweet...

...some are pure magic.

Some days you build...

...some days you relish.

Some days you need a cool, comfy cave...

...some days you need searing, spirited sunshine.

Some days you need food...

...Lots and Lots...

...and Lots of food.

Some days you dissect carefully...

...some days you devour...

...some days  you savor.

Some days you share...

and every single day you dream.

But SOME days: some days are simple...

...and those days enchant us all.