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Posts Tagged ‘Miranda July quote’

All I ever really want to know is how other people are making it through life—where do they put their body, hour by hour, and how do they cope inside of it. (Miranda July)

Snow falls and covers bushes, grass, streets, and parked cars. My tiny church community cancels services for the third week in a row. We had decided on a Lenten theme, “Be Still and Know I am God,” based on the psalm. That phrase repeats in a song I wrote for my community. My guitar remains in its gig bag; I imagine the instrument telling me it wants to stay in a thermal-underwear environment. The stillness in the verse feels held under snow, the next moment frozen, hidden without discernible answers about what to do next, or the nature of the whole of life. A plow or shovel touches only the surface of the issue.

I find myself wanting to adjust and re-adjust the day’s plans as if they were mismatched place settings at a large table. Since my mother-in-law’s memorial service was yesterday, out-of-town family is visiting. I have a few promised projects to complete. Moreover, my oldest granddaughter has a basketball tournament this afternoon. My growing frenzy lets me know choosing option-all is not going to work, especially with March bursting in like a frosty albino lion.

Pause, I tell myself. Be mindful of what you are doing. I have been working at the computer for a minute or two, and then stopping to do a household chore, talking on the phone, looking for items I don’t need until next week…trimming a sharp-edged fingernail. I behave like a moth following a flashlight with weak batteries.

I think about my mother-in-law, about the impact she made on everyone she met, how she cared about how other people made it through life, day by day, hour by hour. And I decide that perhaps that is the key. How do other people live? What are their stories? If I am involved in caring about someone else, my concerns find edges that take shape, unlike my shaggy, broken fingernail. And so does my writing. Most of the time I discover that other folk and I share the same core feelings. Everyone doesn’t necessarily express them in the same way. But inside the individual, when the self-protection and personal issues are stripped away, identical needs remain.

The day my mother-in-law died I remember feeling a sudden, inexplicable moment of peace. It was followed by the sense that she had a message for me although it did not come in her voice or have any other-world tones. It did appear to be direct, which was her style: You have never been confident, but you will be now. You have the strength you need to succeed. Something good is about to happen and you will be ready for the challenge.

The next day I was offered a book contract for a fictional work. Since this is a new development I will simply reveal that the tale is fantasy about an eleven-year-old boy. The book was written for kids about that age. The premise, however, is universal enough to engage an adult. (At least I hope it will.) Chase, the main character, thinks he isn’t even good enough to be ordinary. Yet, he has gifts he doesn’t know about that include magic. None of those gifts appear at the touch of a magic wand. First, he needs to break a curse…when he has a broken leg and his best-and-only friend was just killed in an accident.*

I’m not sure anyone is ordinary, or that anything great happens without effort.

*further info about publisher and publication to come

early morning view from our back window, my learning center until the snow stops…

contrast plant with snow

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