Wednesday, April 30, 2008

The Creator's pallet

This is what I call color for the soul. Look hard. Drink deep. Know that God is.

Tuesday, April 29, 2008

"Well, if you looked at me, you'd never know... that I come from a trailer park with meth and a tornado"

I broke my sacred code of the internet last night. I did IT. I passed on a chain letter... to my beloved friends and family.
THEN, I received the letter back today (as requested in the instructions), from the person I least likely expected. And I allowed him to marry my beautiful sister!!!
I was "ROTF" half way through reading it.
Here IT is in all its glory:

If you opened it, you have to do it.Then, send it back to the person who sent it and you and the rest of your friends!
Two Names You Go By:
1. Denver
2. the big D
Two Things You are Wearing Right Now:
1. Muddy Jeans
2. t-shirt
Two things you expect in a relationship
1. willingness to argue
2. money for beer
Two of Your Favorite Things to do
1. drink beer
2. Argue
Two Things You Want Very Badly at the Moment: - and always
1. beer
2. cheetos
Two pets you had/have:
1. chucky the cat - the only cat that would ever drink beer with me
2. all the other cats
Two people you know will fill this out
1. I don't know anybody who fills these out, except J, and she already did
2. I almost never fill these out, so I'm not sure
Two Things You Did Last Night
1. Said I was going to bed early
2. Stayed up until 1 am drinking beer
Two Things You Ate Last Night:
1. beer
2. Raisins
Two People you Talked With Last Night
1. chucky the beer drinking cat
2. Chelsea, my wife
Two Things You're Doing Tomorrow:
1. drinking beer
2. taking to chucky
Two Longest Car Rides:
1. K-falls to anchorage
2. back to K-falls
Two Favorite Holidays:
1. Easter
2. Thanksgiving
Favorite Beverages:
1. at this point, are you even curious? beer.
2. Hot Chocolate or a Latte
Now, here's what you're supposed to do....And Please do not spoil the fun. Hit forward, delete my answers and type in your answers. Then send this to as many friends you can think of, INCLUDLING the person who sent it to you.
The theory is that you will learn a lot of little known facts about those whom you "know" or thought you knew. JUST TWO THINGS....

The things listed that resemble normalcy, like "Hot Chocolate or a Latte," "Raisins," "Said I was going to bed early"... those are mine. Yeah...

Friday, April 25, 2008

The free t-shirt challenge

I'm a sucker for free "event" t-shirts -the kind that you get for your participation in some sort of activity.
People talk of love languages, this is one of mine. If you want to make me feel really loved, give me a t-shirt that you somehow obtained without paying more then three dollars.

Last December, I was able to visit my darling Fan Base in Anchorage, Alaska for a 10 days. One of the main draws of Anchorage was the Skinny Raven's pull-up challenge.

It went something like this:

Chelsea: You think you can really do 7 pull-ups?

Me: Yeah. I'm sure you can too, you just haven't tried.

Chelsea: No. I know I can't. You're sure you can?

Me: I know I can do seven... maybe ten, but definitely not more than that. They only asked for seven, right?

Chelsea: Yeah. Guys had to do seventeen, or something like that, and girls had to seven.

Me: Yeah, I can totally do that many.

We finally worked out a time when Chelsea and I could go down-town for a bit, shop around, complete the pull-up challenge, and get the long sought after FREE Skinny Raven t-shirt.

We walk in; I look around, trying to pretend interest in random articles of clothing; my fingers tracing the fabric on this jacket, commenting on these shoes, flipping over price tags, etc. My conversation with Chelsea is strained. Every muscle in my body is tense, like a fighter about to go in the ring. I couldn't wait to feel the cool fabric of my "tee".

We finally spot the chin-up bar. It's set in a doorway towards the back of the store. Chelsea and I look at each other.

Chelsea: You can do that many, Jocelyn?

Me: Yeah. (shrug) Its only seven. Not that many. I'm sure if I was more in shape I could do ten or twelve. But I haven't practiced at all... So who do you talk to about doing the chin-ups?

I find someone who is only semi-busy. I tell him I want to attempt the pull-up challenge. We walk over to the doorway with the bar overhead. It looms taller then it had when we first walked in. He brings me a chair. I climb up, grasp the bar. It's cold. And strong. I pull myself up, away from the chair. He pulls it away, so it won't impede my action. Everyone in the store stops shopping and gather their faces in my direction.

I'm like a fish on string. Only less tasty. I wiggle a bit and flop, but no matter how much distance I get between the floor and my feet, the bar doesn't get any closer to my chin.

Semi-busy guy: You want to try again?

I do. Several times. But the picture of the fish keeps returning.

Chelsea: I thought you said you could do pull-ups?

Me: Yeah. Me too.

Next time, Skinny Raven, I will get my t-shirt. I've been practicing my fishing skills.

Thursday, April 24, 2008

...and my hands smell like horses

Once again, my inside cowgirl reminds me that her time is not over. I'm not a horse-lover, but I do love so much about them.

I've been pony-shopping for Kayce and Garrett. And today I rode my first four-legged creature since September. To be simple: it's been a while. A long while.

I was "bucked off."

Well, it was actually more of a fall, or a somersault, and I did imagine it ending up rather graceful. Sure. The pony tipped just a bit forward, and oops! off I go.

Please pray and be open to God leading you to donate to my "bronc-riding lessons" fund. I feel He is calling me to sharpen my riding skills, but at this point I'm simply trying to pay my Starbucks bill, let alone groceries, gas, and riding lessons. Another lesson in faith, right?

The adorable pony, Kades' Princess, that did my number:

*If anyone is interested she is still for sale: a beautiful little Welsh Cob, Section B mare

Girl meets God

I was recently asked to share "my testimony" in a small group of girls that I meet with every Sunday night. My curiosity about testimonies was pricked and for the past couple of weeks, I've been praying and fasting about it. Yeah, okay, so I wasn't fasting, and my prayer didn't involve any sack cloth... it was, however, sincere. I realized that it isn't my testimony at all, but God's (something my mind had been aware for a long time, but my heart had yet to grasp.)
So here it is, in all it's classic form:

Girl meets God. Knows little about God, but falls in love anyways. Makes a commitment. Tells everyone. Lets time go by. Realizes she also let God go by.
Girl wants to be with God.
Girl is angry at herself for ignoring God. Tries to punish herself, by letting more time go by. Is really sad.
God loves girl. Comforts girl. Girl loves God more then before. Tells God. They are happy.
Girl lets time go by. Realizes she also let God go by.
Girl wants to be with God.
Girl is angry at herself for ignoring God. Tries to punish herself, by letting more time go by. Is really sad.
God loves girl. God teaches girl about His love. Girl lets God forgive her. Girl loves God more then before. Tells God. They are happy.
Girl lets time go by...
God loves girl... Girl loves God more then before...
Girl lets time go by....
God loves girl...

Tuesday, April 22, 2008

They go where no one dares to go

I'm infatuated with the garbage man. Any garbage man.

It began Monday. I had woken up early for my first rotation at the VA Medical Center's OR . Dawn flooded the valley and garbage man #1 had just finished his first round. He did a few stretches, then hopped in his truck.

I thought about him all that day, and night, and today.

I crave the manual labor. The alone time. The excitement of snatching things out of dark, back alleys and returning them before anyone notices.

I saw another garbage man. Garbage man #2 was picking through his dust pan, before dumping it in the trash. Probably looking for gum wrappers for his collection. I decided he must not be a real garbage man.

Garbage man #3, enter: he was doing something like putting garbage in his truck.

They inspire me, to say the least.

Saturday, April 19, 2008

God and life

I think I'm growing up. No, I think I really am (maybe that I think I am growing up, or that I pay a close enough attention to think that I am, is sign of how self-centered and immature I really am).

You see, though, I have moments, when all those little me-oriented things don't matter. Those worries are blown off by the wind of the Spirit, and I can honestly say that all I desire is my Lord, my Jesus. It's like the proverbial veil lifts and what I struggled to see before, is now bright before me.

And those times are becoming more frequent and last a little longer... like that veil is being snagged on something... perhaps it's getting a little frayed from all the use, and one day, will fall to the ground in a heap (and I will know as I am known!).

And yet, even grown-ups are given sweet earthy things to enjoy... such as ginger cookies and Orange-spice tea on a snowy April day in Portland... without the ginger cookies.

Friday, April 18, 2008

Officer Postlewait

I should have thanked him. I should have thanked him, but I turned my back to him and walked away. Just as the two people before me did, and just as the people after me would do -the people who were now shuffling into the room with shame in their faces and defiance in their backs. We plead and wine, just as everyone before has done since the first cinder block was layed in the foundation of this courtroom, hoping his "honor" will scrape a few tens off our ticket.

I stood. "Yes?" I thought I had a deep voice, where did that come from?
"Please have a seat."
I sat. His honor mumbled through the customary formalities.
"Do you have any witnesses?"
"No." I glanced at the officer. He gave a short nod of his head, eyes downcast. He was fingering the edges of his papers. Nervous?
He spoke, "... conditions were dry and sunny... A silver model of Jeep that I later found out to be a Liberty"
Yep, that's me.
" laser clocked her at 75 mph... when I asked her if she knew how fast she was going, she stated 75 mph"
Yep, that's me.

His papers fluttered again.
His honor looked at me. "Do you have any questions?"
If there was an audible clock, it would have ticked.
"No your honor." Officer Postlewait looked at me. His honor looked at me.
"Do you have anything you would like to say?"
"Uh, yes, your honor." Another tick or tock. "As the officer stated," Did that sound professional? "the conditions were dry and sunny." They both nodded.
"I understand that I was going too fast, however, the conditions were safe, and I was aware of traffic, and keeping clear of other vehicles." "I was driving what I considered reasonable for the conditions." Ooh. Should have left that one out.
"The speed limit is 55 mph..."
"The flow of traffic..." Losing battle.
"...would you like to pay today or later?"
"Today, sir... your honor."
I glanced again at the officer, he hadn't moved. I closed the door behind me.

I forgot all about my ravings over it being "unfair" that he had given a "first time offender" a full-blown speeding ticket, and on such a sunny day too. I left out the part about him hiding behind a bridge, with his laser pointed at oncoming traffic, setting all of us sunny-day-drive-enjoyers up for failure. Because I saw that he wasn't that type of officer. (Not that I didn't deserve that ticket, even if he was that type.)

He wasn't the type of officer who enjoyed having his integrity put on the block and whipped again and again and again... by people who were colored by their guilt. There was no power-trip going on inside the courtroom that day. He was the type of officer who endured our montage so that we could walk out of the courtroom, climb into our vehicles and drive home... and arrive home -with our limbs still entact, our skin still covering our body, and our brain matter safely inside our skull.

So, I didn't say it then, but I say it now:

Thank you, Officer Postlewait.

Wednesday, April 16, 2008

When the sun breaks the rain

For brief moments, I understand everything they have been compacting in my cranium. And I smile; for God has just blessed my brain with a day where the temperature rises above 70 F and the skys are see-through blue.

(If you are ever in the Salem area, Springton Falls National Park is a must -you won't be disappointed.)

Tuesday, April 15, 2008

When you call 911

There are three of them. Jerry, slouched in his high back, technically designed, $3000, office chair to my right. Nameless, his back squarely to my face, in the middle. William, arranged in a "casual" position around a stuffy, little, blue, cubical chair, on my left. They each have three or more computer screens in front of them. The computers occasionally beep or blurp or make some other technical sound, at which the men in front of the computers will press a button, adjust his head phone or pick up the phone.

These men are dispatchers. Emergency dispatchers. And they are hardcore.

I'm sure the fresh, blond, professional with her perfect posture and white pressed uniform resides somewhere under these men's fingertips. In the phone? Between the keys on the keyboard? Or in their matching Mardi Gra necklesses they dawned for national dispatcher week?

Jerry has a sharp, skinny nose, a perfect match for the rest of his body. He slouches even when he walks. His hair never grew out of the "bowl cut" his mama gave him when he was six years old; the only thing different between now and when he was six is the addition of a six o'clock shadow (which I'm guessing he added somewhere in his late twenties). Whatever Jerry says, walks the "should I laugh?" line, and he never does laugh... until you do, then he smiles.

He cares.

Nameless could be any classic stereotype that you make him. Or was it just the stereotypes that he threw over his shoulder, or swiveled in his chair to emphasize? Ask him about Boston someday (he won't talk about the fall colors). Nameless sported a pony-tail and worker boots with blue-jeans. He hunts, feeds his "long-necked pigs" (aka horses), and works hard organizing the emergency world.

He cares.

William talked. A lot. He kept his chair facing me, turning only to answer the crackle of the radio, only to turn back again and pick up in mid-sentence. I could cut him out of the dispatch center and glue him onto a golf-course with a beer in hand. He would fit perfectly -without any photoshopping. William is leaving the dispatch world to become a full-time wedding photographer. He was anxious to leave.

But, he cares.

These men answered each phone call with grace, integrity and respect. I wanted to laugh at the 18 year-old boy who wrecked his mini cooper and was wandering the street in his bathrobe, and the little old lady with amnesia who kept reporting that her son had taken her car and she wanted it back, and the man who was chasing down a low-riding, tented honda, full of men, who he saw swipe his neighbors gas can. Their eyes would twinkle, but they never gossiped or trash-talked the callers.

Here's to Snuff, Rough and Guff. The heroes on the other side of your phone. They know what they are doing.

*I meant it to laugh *with* these guys, but... once I started writing... well? I couldn't hold it back.

Monday, April 14, 2008

Saturday, April 12, 2008

Back by popular demand

Due to the repeated and endearing requests of my fan base, I'm happy to announce that Mind Traverse is back! Drum roll, please... Welcome, Mind Traverse 2 -the sequel!

I started my first blog last February on a whim, and this April, I reinstate it... on a whim. This whim, however, follows a long debate within myself and between bloggers and non-bloggers, on whether or not personal journaling for the online world is healthy for relationships, spiritual development and life in general. The details of the debate we will not go into. The result, however, is here, the return of Mind Traverse.

If, by chance, Mind Traverse 2 disappears one day, you will know what to report to the police.