I finished Dicey's Song yesterday. I'm now working on A Solitary Blue, and I'll follow that up with Elie Wiesel's Night.
The shoulder is feeling better although I am still in a bit of pain, depending on how I place my arm.
I've been having withdrawals from my shows this last week. Gene Simmons wasn't on on Sunday night, and Jon & Kate wasn't on on Monday either.
I've been working on a 500 piece puzzle and don't have much left, but stupidly, I left the hardest part for last. This will be the first one I actually finish, so I'm determined!
Just as a note, my playlist on my blog (and Facebook, and MySpace, haha) changes a lot. I usually will put songs on that either I am really into at the moment, or (currently) that represent certain feelings and chapters in my life. Sometimes my songs are even directed at/dedicated to people. So if you ever care to pay attention and check out my actual blog, I thought I'd let you all know.
I've been wanting to talk a little bit about nature lately. I'm not a hiker, and I don't get outdoors much. This isn't because I don't like to be outside. I love it, but I am always pulled away by the things that are vital to my stability (watching movies, reading, etc.).
I've noticed on my walk to and from work (I still have to park in the Y lots), that I am frequently overwhelmed by the smell of flowers. I am not sure what kind. I just know it smells amazing and sweet, and it makes the Utah heat much more bearable. These daily smells are my daily tender mercies.
My favorite thing is when I walk out of my cold, fluorescent and somewhat dark church building to my car. UVU apparently has the same kinds of local flowers. But I also get overwhelmed by the smell of jasmine. This is my favorite scent for a couple of reasons, half of them nostalgic. I inhale as deeply as I can, and I hold my breath and close my eyes for a couple of steps. I let myself feel totally overwhelmed by sunlight, warmth, and amazing scents. These are my Sunday tender mercies.
When I left work around 12:10 AM on July 4th (or Friday night), the sky was getting lit up by huge, bright flashes of lightning. I was overcome by my smallness in the world. I don't care too much for storms. Normally they make me sad and a little bit scared. But this time I was in awe of the darkness being cut out by the lightning.
I saw more lightning on my short, short drive home. I got out of my car and gathered my things slowly, hoping to see more as I walked to my apartment.
I got home and wasn't very sleepy. I was pretty lonely, too. So I decided around 1 AM that I was going to enjoy the storm. I put on a shirt and some slip-ons and walked outside.
I stood in the hallway of my apartment building and just paused, looking at the sky, waiting for more lightning. I started walking slowly to the east, toward the mountains. The rain was coming down lightly, wetting my arms and my hair. I walked through the Crestwood parking lot, trying to take my time and to enjoy the storm.
I walked north on Carterville, one foot in front of the other. I didn't want to concentrate on walking, I wanted to concentrate on every other sense. I heard the rain slapping the ground. It was so, so loud--louder because of the silence. As I kept on, it started coming down in bigger, heavier drops--colder drops. I felt goosebumps on my skin--probably the most welcome kind of cold I could imagine.
I turned my face up to the sky while I walked. I wondered where that water had come from, how far it had traveled to land on my face.
I held my phone under my shirt so it wouldn't get ruined by the merciless nature to which I was subjecting it. After just a couple of minutes, I was soaked. My khaki pants from work were covered with streaks of water. My white shirt was getting a little transparent (at 1 AM, that's OK). My shoes started to squeak.
I moved over to the east side of Carterville where the hill starts and trees take over, to see what things would feel like over there. A car pulled over to the right, asking if I wanted a ride. I told them no thanks, I'm good. A ride? That's silly. Where would I ask for a ride to, if I said yes? I'm not going anywhere.
It was liberating not going anywhere.
I paused for a couple minutes by the trees, wondering if I would find anyone someday who would have taken this walk with me, who would have enjoyed kissing me in the rain. That's what I wanted--to be taken over by the rain, the darkness, the cold, and the rush of intense romance. Every sense amplified.
The lightning had calmed during my walk, which was unfortunate since I wanted to see more. It was OK with me though. I was perfectly content getting soaked in nature's shower. I turned down 1850 north, reluctantly heading back to my apartment.
Thunder sounded, causing me to pick up my pace for a brief, startled second. The sky lit up, but the lightning was behind me. Everything was totally out of my control. I couldn't command the lightning, but was in awe of the One who could. I wondered while I headed home who came up with the idea that you'd "catch a cold" by walking out in the rain. What a terrible thing--to have been discouraged from taking walks like this by a silly idea like that.
A phone call interrupted the last 30 seconds of my walk or so. I became completely disconnected from everything I had just tuned into. This lets me know the unfortunate place I am in most of the time. Disconnected from real things, the things that make you feel so insignificant, and deceived by the impression of control and power you have over your life.
I can't do justice to the magic of my walk. All I can say is that I let myself feel everything I could. I didn't care about the mascara that would be on my face. I didn't care about the wetness of my hair. My clothes getting soaked was expected and invited. I was heading nowhere and somewhere at the same time. What else is there to say?
The rain put me in my place. And it took me away.