spending my whole life gathering grain

Wherein theatre feels the strain

Finally home after a particularly lousy dress rehearsal.

Oh it was bad. Just bad, bad, bad. And that stress. That stress, that heat in your face, that drop in your stomach when the whole theatre is dark except the lights on YOUR SCENE and everything is silent and you know they’re waiting for you and you have NO WORDS.

The past couple years I’ve started getting the early signs of panic attacks when I get up on stage. Not all the time, but often enough that the fear of the attack is as dangerous to me as the fear of actually doing something wrong. Oh God. It just sucked. And I was so nervous. And that’s just not me. Not there. The stage is my safe space. It’s always been my safe space. But tonight I just felt panicky and scared and sick.

Oh and then, THEN!! we were told we were doing PHOTO CALL so please go get into costume. Yeah. No announcement beforehand, so there I am with no makeup on, my hair flat and static-y and full of weird bends from being in a ponytail all day… getting my picture taken for the publicity shots. WHY DIDN’T THEY TELL US BEFORE?! Unreal.

And then, of course, the cool shoulder for missing rehearsal last night due to impassable, snow-covered roads. There was no way I could’ve made it to the theatre in one piece, and I know the director totally gets that. But still: stink eye.

Dammit, dammit.

Wherein nature feels the strain

The muck before the storm.

The muck before the storm.

The roads coming home tonight were slushy and icy. It’s snowing and raining outside. I can’t stop in time. I’m afraid I’ll hit something. I can’t afford to hit something. I’m scared to get behind the wheel. I can’t breathe. And it’s so dark. Outside. Inside. In-inside. It’s just darker and darker all the time.

Sometimes I feel like I’m watching a movie of myself falling out of God’s favor, except that it’s on film, and there’s no projector, just my own hands speeding the frames in front of a light bulb as fast as I can trying to get to the end so it’s just over.

I don’t want to wish my life away. I don’t want to waste away, sleep away, idle away my youth, my life. But for the life of me I can’t find a reason why I should bother. It’s just dark. Dark everywhere. I don’t even want this any more. I don’t know what to do with it, and I don’t like it, and it’s collapsing with no hint of reconstruction, no glimmer of ‘maybe tomorrow will be better.’ Why would I want that? Because it’s called a gift? Why is so much of this gift so shitty? And why has it been that way for so long? Why are my parents suffering when they are so faithful? Why are the good moments so short, so fleeting? Why do I have to be thankful for my QUEST card instead of thankful for a job and a paycheck that enable me to buy my food my own damn self? What am I supposed to be learning out of this?

I feel like I’m whining. I feel like I have no right to be upset since I have all my limbs and my house the bank’s house is still standing. This is ridiculous. I feel guilty for acknowledging my own pain!

From "Will Grayson, Will Grayson" by Green and Levithan

“Will Grayson, Will Grayson” by Green & Levithan

Wherein God

DAMMIT GOD WHERE ARE YOU? I KNOW YOU HEAR ME. I’M TRYING TO HEAR YOU. BUT EVERYTHING IS SO RICKETY AND FALLING APART AND SHITTY THAT HEARING A “STILL SMALL VOICE” JUST ISN’T HAPPENING. You know this. All of this. There’s nothing I can say that you don’t know I’m thinking. Nothing I can feel that you aren’t feeling with me. I am crying into your heart. Weeping into you. You know the state my brain is in. You know my chemical levels. You see this depression. You feel it. You built me. You rebuilt me. And I just want to know how come trying and working hard are never, ever, ever enough? Please. Please! I don’t want to come to the conclusion that there is nothing more to this life than rationing my toilet paper and wearing holes through the thighs of all my jeans, all the while watching the friendlier, happier parts of my personality get chipped off and blown away by yet another contract that doesn’t get signed, by yet another bill that must go unpaid.

Wherein Me

I liked who I was. I miss who I was. I don’t even know what to do with who I am now. I just want to tuck her into bed and tell her I’ll wake her up when this is all over. Please, God. Please. In your righteousness, rescue me and deliver me; turn your ear to me and save me.

Wherein user error

God, you guys. I just feel so lied to about how this operates. The fact that I even think it “operates” any particular way is probably just another sign of how misled I’ve been. I feel like I’ve been cheated out of the family farm after spending my whole life gathering grain. Useless, useless grain, rotting under all this rain and snow.

I don’t want me to be over. But the alternative is so empty and stupid and sad and disappointing and full of lies and I can’t keep up with the pace and the weight of this bullshit piling up and piling up and piling up.

Wherein Mindy makes a promise

I’m not going to do something stupid. Don’t worry.

Actually I’m probably going to do something worse. I’m going to do nothing. Just… nothing

I count the day’s successes in blog stats, in Facebook game scores, in ferret yawns. I used to be so full of hope. What remains could fit in my shoe.

What a waste.

but my brain’s all

I’m currently…

  • Rehearsing for the opening of a show written by a 6’4″, gay, ginger, Christian semi-socialist who loves and comforts my soul. It’s about a “temp agency” of sorts that helps ex-cons find work after they get out.
  • Putting off doing laundry.
  • Itching to leave town. There is a balm in Gilead, which I hear tell is just a couple thousand miles west of here.

Dinner tonight will involve tuna fish, which I love.

I should be working on my lines.

Sorry for the silence lately, but my brain’s all muzzy and tired.

Whadd’ya say, Lord? You? Me? Envelope of used greenbacks stuffed under the ladies’ room door? I’ll keep my eyes peeled.

Muzzily.

An Elegant Cake: The centerpiece to your baptism

Aw come on, Style Network. How you gonna play us like this?

No wonder people think Christians are out of touch weirdos.

I’m sorry to say this video is not satire (at least, that’s not what its creators intended it to be), and it is turning my stomach six ways from Sunday. You want a perfect example of Americanized self-glorification and missing the point? Boy if this ain’t it I don’t know what is.

Below is a transcript for How to Throw an Elegant Adult Baptism. Because, you know, it’s about elegance. And “committ[ing] to live a better life.” And not mussing your make-up.

Pastor Gayoso sharing with the congregation what baptism represents and why we do it. The exposed brown brick represents dove feet.

Hi, I’m Leslie from “Big Rich Texas,” and I am going to show you how to make an adult baptism stylish.

It really is appropriate to have a baptism anywhere. I mean, you can have it in a beautiful lake, you could actually have it in a church. I mean, sometimes that’s more traditional. But I prefer a beautiful swimming pool. It’s a little bit more controlled, and it’s a little bit cleaner.

It is appropriate for the baptee to wear white [Baptee in white, knee-length, strapless dress and cowboy boots models dress, catwalk style] because it’s a sense of purity. It is very common to actually wear your dress for the baptism. [Woman performing baptism dips baptee into water enough to get her hair wet while keeping her face dry and her makeup intact] I prefer that because I think it’s beautiful, and then afterwards you just need an after outfit [Baptee models white, floor-length dress with spaghetti halter straps] because you don’t wanna walk around at the party soaking wet.

Pastor Gayoso praying over the person he is about to baptize, as someone who has already been baptized watches from the wings– soaking wet sans after outfit!

As the godmother I can wear something as long as it’s very classic and classy and tasteful. This is not the time to be boobalicious. Not at a baptism.

And because the cake is the centerpiece of the room, we’re gonna make it simple and tasteful and elegant – and tasty too!

At any stylish event you also need to have a stylish ending. And we are going to release some beautiful doves.

The doves represent purity, and a commitment to live a better life. And it’s just a perfect way to end a beautiful baptism.

And that’s all you need to know to make your baptism a little more stylish.

For those wondering what baptism actually is, and why it matters that there are people doing this to it, Clarifying Christianity gives a solid, brief overview of baptism. Or as my dad calls it in reference to this video: Babetism. (Note: I can’t speak for all of Clarifying Christianity. I just saw this summary there and thought it did a nice, succinct job of covering the basics while including information on the historical contexts in which the tradition originated and developed.)

There is not one single statement in that video that doesn’t make me feel both sad and embarrassed. And in the words of my friend Caitlin: “I love that not a bit of it mentions what a baptism IS. Just how to throw a great party where the theme color is white and there may or may not be doves.” Right?! I mean, I get it that the point of the video isn’t to explain the purpose of baptism, it’s to explain how to throw a baptism. But that’s kind of everything that’s wrong with it, which is why I can’t understand why the Style Network would even bother adding this shoot to their budget unless they also think these people are vapid and out of touch and want to expose their uselessness to the worl– Hmmm…

I’m not sure it’s even possible to miss the whole point of Christian baptism any more entirely and completely than the people in that video just did. After wading through that craziness, stories like this one are particularly heart-warming.

Your Messiah was a poor nomad with dirty feet, Leslie & Co. Christianity isn’t a country club that needs you to come in and show everybody a better way to fold communion napkins into swans. Get it together.

It makes good toast

“It’s what you sow that multiplies, not what you keep in the barn.”
Adrian Rogers

That has nothing to do with anything. I just saw it and liked it.

Quotes aside, I’m glad you stopped by today because boy have I just stumbled across a great entry for your “Why People Think Christians Are Crazy” power point and– well I don’t mean to oversell it, but truly: It’s a Monday Must-See.

(Careful when hitting play, though, folks. It’s aware.)

“When all is said and done, it makes good toast.”

The winning comment: “After scratching that message into the toast, I’d wager that Satan left a horrible mess of burnt toast crumbs on the laminate counter top…cause that’s the kind of thing Satan would do.” -radiodork

Playground gravel

I know I must be stressed out if the ol’  Texidor Twinge acts up. I spent my morning  sneezing buckets, and every time- POW! Stuck right in the ribs with the invisible knitting needle of Precordial Catch Syndrome.

Holy crap! I can get it ON A MUG!

I used to get it all the time back when I was living in Los Angeles. I’ll never forget looking at talking Darth Vader masks in the toy aisle of Target with my boyfriend, when all of a sudden a helluva bout kicked in and he just held me there, real quiet like, while I cried for several minutes until it went away.

It’s not some big, bad thing, you understand. It’s just that it comes on so suddenly, and hurts so awful bad — like getting a piece of playground gravel stuck between your ribs — that it can really get in the way on things one might want to get done during the day… like sneeze. Or breathe.

The dog is sitting here with me. She’s licking her front paws, except it sounds like she’s trying to use the part of her tongue where it’s attached at the back of her mouth. Sounds like rhythmic vomiting. Good grief, dog. Have some manners! You’re like to make a girl sick over here! These people don’t want to hear about your barfy grooming noises! Mercy…

Tuna casserole makin’ time. I shall endeavor to not sneeze on the dish.

Not that I’d tell you if I did. I’d just let you wonder.

Forever.

I guess this is normal

Getting dressed is a fine idea.

Except when it’s not because you needn’t have bothered.

I put on a dark blue shirt. A form-fitting cotton thing with a v-neck. I love the way it frames my favorite necklace; soapstone looking material carved into a large, flat pendant I wear on a thin black cord. When the only light was from the far window, I looked good in the mirror, all things considered. I tucked the shirt into my jeans, which I pulled up over the best part of the muffin. But I don’t have the core strength to maintain the posture necessary to pull off fitted cotton tops, so I buttoned over it a long-sleeved yellow shirt flecked with tiny blue flowers. And over that: A faded, dark blue cardigan.

I wasn’t trying to hide. I just like blue.

And green.

And sometimes orange and purple, but rarely to wear.

Dressed, I went back into my living room (a converted bedroom at my parents’ house). It was 8 am. I’d been up since 7:20. Getting dressed was my only planned activity for the day. Well, besides showering. I showered. I didn’t brush my teeth, though. I’m almost out of toothpaste and when I tried using a Target gift card on my smart phone the other day to buy more, the app wouldn’t load, so I left without buying anything.

It’s 9:27 pm. I can’t go to bed yet or I’ll wake up even earlier tomorrow than I did today, and tomorrow has even fewer plans.

Coffee break at 30′

I “work” with my dad during the day. I help him write reports for his business. I make calls. I fill out paperwork. I create systems. I connect with people. We finished a job last week. Early mornings and a world still covered with frost. We watched our breath and worked with pressure washers and Hudson sprayers and ladders and boom lifts. We had coffee breaks. We warmed caulk inside our coats. One time, we spit. But it was just for show because mom had come to visit with leftover pumpkin bars she made for the school where she is a learning facilitator.

And now that job is over, and there is nothing new on its way in. Emails have been sent, past connections connectedly connected, but nothing has turned into anything yet, so I make plans like “Get up. Get dressed. Set new Zuma Blitz high score.”

It’s nice, “working” like this with my dad. But it doesn’t pay. By which I mean: At all. It’s such a long story, and it involves The Economy, so I won’t get into it. All I know is: I live rent free, direction free, goal free, income free. I float.

I am a fish, so I guess this is normal.

Except for the getting dressed part.

And maybe the tooth brushing.

Mom just came in for a visit. We’re driving to grandma’s tomorrow. No rivers. No woods. I’m making a tuna casserole. It’s my only casserole.

[[Paragraph redacted, because anonymity rarely lasts.]]

We will listen to music and talk and laugh and love each other. This is the day the Lord has made. The day [[when redacted happens]] will be His day, too.

Float float float.

I ask God for wisdom. Every time I talk with Him, it comes up. I’ve soured myself for discipline, though, so I have a hard time sitting down and focusing on the 1,383 pages of chain referenced wisdom on my nightstand.

Joyce Meyer just tweeted “One of the best gifts we can give ourselves is time alone with God.”

So. God. This is not our call. This is not our timing. So.

“But you will not leave in haste or go in flight; for the Lord will go before you, the God of Israel will be your rear guard.” (Is. 52: 12)

I read that tonight. Am I allowed to apply it here? Does that work? He is in this place, and He is in the place where we will go. Wherever that will be. Reading that- it’s like honey filling in every pore in my toast.

Last night I read this:

“Though the mountains be shaken and the hills removed, yet my unfailing love for you will not be shaken nor my covenant of peace be removed,” says the Lord who has compassion on you.” (Is. 54:10)

Honey filling every pore and dripping over the edges, running over my fingers so no matter what I do I cannot keep it from spreading everywhere, touching everything. This truth is sweet. This Lord has compassion on me. Though the economy be shaken and the house removed, His unfailing love for me will not be shaken nor his covenant of peace be removed.

“For my thoughts are not your thoughts, neither are your ways my ways,” declares the Lord. “As the heavens are higher than the earth, so are my ways higher than your ways and my thoughts than your thoughts.” (Is. 55: 8-9)

Yesterday Joyce tweeted “As believers, we are supposed to believe. Otherwise we’d be called achievers. We must first learn how to “be” instead of “do.”

I believe. Because I want to. And because I just do. And because even when I have doubts I find it is still God I am telling them to.

“But the man who makes me his refuge will inherit the land and possess my holy mountain.” (Is. 57:13b)

God: You are great. You are enormous and great and wise. You created. You create. You are compassionate and just. I love you. Do you love me? (Circle one: Yes | No) Will you be my refuge? You have guided me to your Word. Will you hold me in it and teach me through it and use it to show me how to believe anew every day, and how to love you more, and how to love others more? Even when they are a bit awful?

I’ve stayed up long enough. I can sleep now, and get up at 7, and shower, and dress again because tomorrow my grandma will see that I’ve done so. I will brush my teeth. I will make a casserole. I will make it to Isaiah 60.

But I will not shave my legs, because that shit is just ridiculous.