Tuesday, December 13, 2016

Supporting Myself

When I was growing up, I used to wander around my great-aunt's ranch house -the one she'd inherited when her parents had passed on.  It was an adobe wonder with stunning tile work through the hallways and glaring red carpet in the bedrooms.  In the living room, there was a magnificent picture window looking over the small city below, and a stone's throw to the left were two shadowy, cold bedrooms with a bathroom between them.  I crept into them one afternoon and was held captive by the pictures hanging over each bed... in one room there was a younger version of my great-grandmother, and I could see pieces of my mother in her face... her nose, her expression, it was familiar to me.  In the other room, a portrait hung of a handsome man I'd never met.  The mystery of it all kept me busy for hours.

Who was he?
Where did he come from?
Where was he now?
What did he do?  Who did he love? 

I worked up the nerve to ask my aunt.
"Who sleeps in those rooms?" I asked, knowing that she slept in the great room just off the kitchen.
"That's where my parents slept," she said, thereby increasing the mystery by a million fold.

Were they even married?
Why separate rooms?

Now that I'm older, I know a bit more about the handsome man I've never met and who passed away long, long before I was ever a thought.
But I still don't know why they didn't sleep in the same room together.
I'd ask someone about it now, but the mystery of it all still keeps me busy when my imagination needs a midnight feeding.

Lately, I've wondered if Danny and I will end up that way -sleeping separately for as long as we both shall live.  It isn't ideal, and I shake my head sometimes at just how much my marriage doesn't look like what I thought it would, even in surprising small ways.  I think I'm even more surprised at how okay I am with it, grateful even.  One thing that is coming up for me lately is how much SPACE I need, not just in marriage but in general life.  I need space for my imagination to cook up worlds without end.  I need space for rejuvenating.  I need space for safety.

The couch provides me with safety in that way, and during times where we sleep apart, I talk with God and allow myself to feel the peace that comes from the space instead of overthinking the WHY of it all.  Right now, I just need more time with God.  I'm on a slippery slope these days, and I can feel my center slipping into enemy territory.  Others are in my center, and God is on the outskirts.

The couch becomes a chapel in it's own right.
The nights are cold and just before the sun peeks in the east, the temperature drops even lower.  A few years ago, I picked up a few piles of scrap yarn and started making a scrap blanket.  I used three strands at a time, not thinking much more about it than, "I have lots I need to use up fast."
Using my favorite basket-weave stitch, I weaved for hours.  As my yarn basket lost weight, my blanket gained it.
So heavy.
Too heavy.
I couldn't keep up.  Eventually I tied it off and shoved it in my linen closet to think about later in life.  Much, much later.

But about a month ago, I pulled it out and covered myself.  The heavy blanket -though it wasn't wide, it was long -felt indulgent against my nightgown.
Every night, I pull the blanket over me and drift off.  Every morning, I sit cross legged on the couch and cover my lap with the blanket while I meditate and pray.

Yesterday after a solid prayer session, I opened my eyes and looked at my blanket.

Do you know how good it felt to cover my own arse?  To have something so protective of me MADE BY ME, standing guard every cold, dark night... the triple strands reminiscent of The Godhead that surrounds and upholds me as I plug through life's daily scraps, carefully weaving them all into one broad picture?

Soul Food.
Can I stretch and walk today?
Family members.
Wind down.

The blanket is an empowering way to start my day -a beautiful reminder that I have my back.

It's an important reminder to have. A vital one.

Maybe this blanket deserves to be stitched into a heavy finishing sooner rather than later.


  1. LOVE.
    p.s. We sleep in separate rooms. Have for a long time. I have a sleep disorder. He snores. I am a night person. He's not.

    My grandparents slept in separate rooms and it was the family thing we never talked about. I am pretty sure we were all judgey about it, but I can't remember now, because now I am living it. And I realize that there are many ways to live a life, many ways to make it work. Empower what works. That's what I have written on my fridge.

    1. Empower what works -what a beautiful mantra. I love it! Thank you for sharing that :)