Nov 15, 2007

Puzzle Pieces

My original intent was to write a book at the suggestion of my friend who loved his desert experience. But, my thoughts are more random than creative and writing a book feels too much like a big juicy steak when all I'm hungry for are a few sweet seedless grapes.

So it's been weeks now. I didn't have anything to write about, but I didn't care. I was just enjoying this place outside the american cultural church. There's a lot of freedom out here. There seems to be more color, more texture, more creativity. For instance I found a name for the weird way my daughter's brain works, did some research and discovered that I have this 'disorder' too, as does my 14 year old son. We're synesthetes. Its so cool! For Jordan and Sam letters and numbers have colors and personalities. Names have colors. For me, a spatial synesthete, time is located in space. Days, weeks, months, years, decades are located in concrete places in space. Of course they are. So I joined a facebook group of synesthetes from all over the world, made a bumper sticker for my car "My Synesthete pwns your Honor Student" and I get excited knowing my brain works in funny ways.

I've discovered, through a test I took, that I'm pretty creative and I'm a fairly good match for the job of sculptor. Unbelievable, really. That has opened up my world in ways I would have never dreamed three months ago. So I'm taking over the design of our house remodeling. I'm picking colors and I have a million ideas. I'm going to take a pottery class because I absolutely love pottery. I want to take a stained glass class because I love that too. I can't wait to get my new shop in the garage fitted out to start creating beautiful things or maybe not so beautiful, but they'll be things I made.

With the discovery of this creativity came the memories of all the time my Dad spent with me before he left for good. How he taught me to play chess, introduced Sci-fi novels to me, let me hang out in the garage while he built cabinets, tables, sculptures and chess sets. He taught me as he created. I realize now that so much of who I am is because of his influence on me. I didn't get him for very long, but this very broken man, who oozed untutored creativity, loved me enough to pour what little he had into me, before his brokenness led him out of my life. I am very grateful to God for that and for letting me remember.

The pain of my high school years is being healed, as well. My daughter and her friend are co-presidents of the Regents' Student Section and my brilliant and beautiful daughter has rewritten the words to the school fight song, made up cheers for many of the players and her involvement has invited my involvement. She has even appointed me Parent Rep on her facebook group. All this is healing that place in me long ago hurt by a very sad high school experience at my own small private school in Wichita. Coincidently, with the same colors as this school my children are very much a part of. I've even gotten in touch with friends I haven't seen in 30 years and I've been invited to the reunion of my class I didn't graduate with.

I've learned that my gift for grammar and spelling are because I see elements of writing as pieces of a puzzle and if the pieces are out of place then the universe is out of place. I realize that this particular insight might surprise you, since my writing is filled with errors, but I honestly don't see it as well with my own writing. Such is life. I also see elements of life as a puzzle.

I can't go to my church anymore because the puzzle is out of wack. The pieces seem to be in the right place to those who are there, but from the outside I see the larger pieces have been put in the wrong place, which makes all the other pieces fit in the wrong place, leaving the Universe completely out of alignment in that particular quadrant of space, and leaving no space for my piece.

I tried going to church. I really did. I went a few weeks here and there sporadically. Feeling like an outsider. Feeling loved by most, but not needed, not really wanted. It was at some point in the worship that I realized how much I just wanted to get out of there and sit in a quiet, alone place where I could think or not think. A place where I could feel the breeze on my face, see the beauty of God's world, watch the lizards crawl on the sand and the eagles play on the warm winds. I wanted to be in the desert, alone. I wanted to be there! Really wanted it. Way more than being in this room where the universe seemed out of alignment and my skin ached. My piece doesn't fit.

So my friend's words have started to make sense. Enjoy the desert, he said. You're crazy, I said. Now, I guess I'm crazy too. It's really beautiful, the desert. I never thought so before. I thought my Mom was nuts when she retired to Prescott, Arizona. We were the only house in Wichita with a rock garden in the front yard. My mom had tons of small river rocks hauled in, placed them around the front of the house, then planted cactus, broom grass and yucca. This was in '68. Our neighbors thought she was crazy. I would pretend I was an Indian or Laura Ingells Wilder in that rock garden. My Mom loved the desert. But, I hated the desert. I mean it has some interesting elements, some fascinating structures, but to live there?! Nuts. Now, I get it. The rustic beauty, the colors,the textures and the hidden life that can only be seen if you're still and quiet.

The lengthy hours of being alone here have taught me to really like me. To really like who God has made me to be. Really. With all my quirks, flaws, mistakes, goofs, I love the creative way my brain is wired, the way I see the world, the way I'm connected to more than just the 3 or 4 dimensions that we know, but into the 7th or 8th or even 15th dimension.

I am actually loving my life. In spite of the fact that Sam broke his left hand in a football game and became unbearable to live with because he couldn't play for two weeks. In spite of the fact that my oldest son has another atypical mole that will require more surgery. In spite of the fact that I'm taking happy pills, our house wont' be done in time for Christmas, my daughter had another car crash, and my dog stinks. In spite of the fact that my daughter has a tumor in her left jaw that will be removed next week and hopefully (beyond hope straight into desperately crying out) that it's not cancer. In spite of the fact that she's a senior and college applications are in and she'll be leaving in 9 months. The right side of my body and brain will be moving away to start their own life. I hope I'm a little like those lizards and my missing parts will grow back.

Right now. Today. I love my life.

No comments: