My hope is to offer encouragement to writers as well as those who simply love to read. You will find eclectic snippets here—news of projects I’m working on, comments regarding books I enjoy, favorite authors, quotes, and reflections regarding my own experiences. I especially like to write about my dreams—those parables in the night seasons. Symbols and metaphors delight and intrigue me. You will find them here.
Oz never gave nothin' to the tin man that he didn't already have.~Lyrics from Tin Man by America
"This is my last day at work," he said. "Really? What's going on for you? Do you have another job?" I asked. Andrew swiped the bangs from his forehead and looked at me directly. His blue eyes glittered with excitement. "Well, Priscilla, I guess you could say I'm going to another job. I'm moving to Houston to play with my band full-time. I leave tomorrow. We've got quite a few gigs. We're going on tour, and I'm totally psyched about it--a little scared too." "Wow," I answered. "Congratulations. I'll miss you. All best, Andrew. I've enjoyed working with you. I had no idea you were part of a band." "I know," he said. "I had to take a 'real job' to pay bills. I'm taking a risk, but it's now or never."
I couldn't stop thinking about my encounter with Andrew. Part of me was envious--jealous of his bold decision to follow his heart. I wanted to get up and leave my frantic pace behind as well--find a more relaxed rhythm for my life. "Oh, Priscilla. Stop it. That's something you can't do. That's not realistic." That statement didn't ring quite true. The more accurate statement: "Your heart already tells you many of the things you want. Simple things that you only allow yourself in measure. What could you do each day to increase delight? You don't need to move anywhere to begin doing this."
That very afternoon, on my way to the bank, I rolled down all my windows in the car and cranked up seventies music. That's my decade. I love the music of Carole King, The Bee Gees, The Carpenters. America. The cool air washed over my face, the freedom of singing in the car seemed to release the tension of the day. I was back in my brown 1977 Camaro again belting out Tin Man, my heart revived. Something as simple as a fresh breeze and a song conjured the beauty of youth. I wasn't young anymore, but that carefree girl was still a part of me. What else, I wondered. What else could I do to increase my delight in life withough picking up and moving to Houston?
The conference room was too small--all of us sitting just slightly too close together. My introverted self rebelled at not having enough personal space. I gripped my coffee cup, thankful for its comforting warmth. I attended a development day with my colleagues to determine how we would handle changes coming our way with the expansion of our program. I looked down at the day's agenda outlined on the handout devised by the program manager. Small print. Thin margins. My anxiety increased. How would we ever get through all the details? How would I ever be able to cope with the work set before me? These changes appeared to imply longer work hours. Increased stress. I was a tight rope walker looking down at a yawning canyon with no net in sight.
The day ended, and I breathed a sigh relief, grateful to be released from the small enclosure, and left wondering how I would ever be able to accomplish the tasks expected of me. I wanted to give up. I wanted to quit. I wanted to explore how I might retire earlier than planned. The work load seemed too much. It was too much. Impossible.
There is a slight lifting of the air so I can smell the earth for the first time, and yesterday I took possession of my life here.~May Sarton
In tenth grade I felt my way through geometry. I made a B in that class, but I don't know how I passed. I'd learn a concept, but then the construct would fly from my head. Angles. Points. Lines. They all simultaneously perplexed and intrigued me. I had a light bulb moment when I finally caught on to geometric sequencing...2, 6, 18, 54...a geometric progression with a common ratio of 3. This concept makes me think of my life sequencing now, my life's progression.
I pulled the string on the blinds, like unzipping the day, the sky milky, a few raindrops falling on the windowpane. A lone bird sang--its melody piercing the dreary day. I wanted to be that bird--to have a song on my lips. Yet inside all I could think about was all I had to do. Get to the filing stacked in the corner, falling over and spilling onto the floor. Wasn't staying organized on the computer supposed to stop the paper pile up? My mind raced...laundry, take a walk, help my husband with yardwork, write emails, devise menus for the week, clean the bathroom, sign up for conference, work on taxes, practice language, verb drills, banking. I had the day off. Surely the time didn't have to consist solely of "to-dos." Surely there could be something more appealing than the list I'd stored up in my mind. I snapped the blind shut and whispered, "Stop. Don't do this to yourself. Surely, this non-stop flurry in your brain is not what God would have for you this day." I asked a question then. "God, what would you have for me today?" Then He posed this question to me: "What part of your kingdom inheritance do you want most this day?" "I want to be unpressured. I want peace. I want to feel unhurried," I said. "You possess those things in me. Take them. Sit down. Rest."
I opened the blinds again. I could see the little bird now. He perched on a thin tree branch, gusts of wind making the limb bob up and down. But still he sang, his eyes shiny black beads. He seemed to be encouraging me to come outside with his sweet warbling. I donned my rain jacket and headed out to the tidal creek. I prayed as I walked. "God I want to learn to rest, let go, inside this beautiful, chaotic world, but sometimes I don't know what this means for me--what would you have me do?"
...tell us what the world has been to you in the dark places and in the light...~Toni Morrison, Nobel Prize Lecture, 1993
They sat in the front of the conference room. A panel of transgender individuals telling their stories to a group of therapists, social workers and the like. The panel consisted of an attorney, several advocates who organized support groups in the community, and an individual who worked for the police department. We sat listening, absorbed by what they shared. I leaned forward in my chair. In all of their stories, I got the impression that they experienced a sense of being unmasked when they felt heard. Seen.
I thought about the impact of their narratives for me. I have transgender persons on my caseload. Sometimes I have felt terrified in working with them, knowing I was ignorant regarding so many of the issues they struggled with. Using the wrong pronouns. Being overly clinical, trying to hide my discomfort. And I'm the one with privilige. I am white. I have a car and don't have to worry about transportation. I have an ID with "F". I've never questioned my gender. I have an education. I have money to buy organic foods. I have good credit. I have a family who supports me. I can use the women's restroom without a second thought.