Tuesday, April 21, 2015

Cuts Like A Knife ...

Jessica recently found herself with a tidy sum of "extra" money.  Enough money that some consideration needed to be made on how to spend it.

She wasn't allowed to use it on gifts for others.  She had to spend it on things for herself.

In the past there has been a great deal of communication with me about how Jessica spends her money at such times.  This time not so much.

A new couch ... because the one she brought when she moved in was ... ahem ... a "danger" to her. It was not but that's a another story.  A nightstand sized dresser to replace a broken down shelf thingy that was there when she moved in. A mop.

And ... a set of steak knives.

That's the list that was come up with on her behalf.

Steak knives.  It was an interesting choice.  Jessi is living independently. Her cooking primarily involves frozen dinners and entrees that she can heat in the microwave.  Pretty much nothing that would require more than an ordinary butter knife to cut up.

I was told that she specifically asked for the steak knives.  That she was adamant that it was something that she wanted and needed. Sometimes she gets something in her head and than she fixates on it until she gets it.  Jessi is funny like that at times.

I figured this must be one of those times.

Sometime last week all of her purchases had been made and I went over to see her new things.  She showed me the new couch and the new nightstand.  The old broken down shelf thingy was still there ... as well as the broken television shoved in a corner that was replaced almost a year ago.

The old couch is at my house.  After a cursory inspection , it was discovered that there wasn't a thing wrong with it after all. As I said, that's a different story.

"Did you get your steak knives?" I asked.
Yes was the prompt reply.

"Why did you want steak knives, Jessi?" I pressed.
 "I don't know. I didn't ask for steak knives, Mom," she replied. "She told me that's what I should say I wanted ... so I did."

I went into the kitchen and began opening drawers.  There were no steak knives to be found.
"Where are they?" I asked.
"In the cookie jar." she replied.

I lifted the lid of her sweet cookie jar ... a house-warming gift from someone who wanted her to feel special every day ... sure enough ... there were the steak knives ... handles down ... sharp pointed ends up.

"Why are they in your cookie jar?" I asked.
"I don't know," said Jessi. "She said to put them there so I wouldn't cut myself by accident when I reached into the drawer."


Wonder what happens to the friend who wanders into Jessi's kitchen and reaches into the cookie jar ... in anticipation of a treat?!?

In a different conversation with a different loved one ... it was said ...

"I don't ever mean to hurt you, MaryJane.  I guess ... I just don't consider you."

It took a minute to recognize the wound ... much like a paper cut ... only bigger  ... surprisingly painful ... it's not a fresh cut ... just one that seems to be taking forever ... to heal.

Truth is, it had been explained that way to me once before. I wasn't quite ready to ... get it ... the first time. You see, it's one thing to be deliberately left out for whatever reason ... when it's a conscious choice.  It's something entirely different ... to simply not be considered at all.

Now that it's been said to me twice, I believe it.  It was said to me with such kindness, after all.

On the way home, I laughed into the wind at the irony of it.

You see ... that's what happens when you reach an unsuspecting hand into a cookie jar ... full of steak knives ... hoping to find something sweet.

“Most scars are invisible. Damn transparent knives. Does anything cut deeper than love? 
 ~Jarod Kintz 

(c) www.lifelessons-mj.blogspot.com
April 2015

Friday, February 27, 2015

Time ... Timing ...

Woke up this morning with a little tinge of worry ... about my day ... about the weird thing going on with my tire ... and the realization that I will be driving right by the scene of my wreck last June ... for the very first time.

It made me pause.  Actually, it stopped me dead in my tracks.

There was a moment of panic as I processed the thought.

"Ok, God.  So it's the end of the month ... just like before ... and I am rushing to get all of these things done ... and my tire is doing that weird thing ... AND ... I am going to be driving right by THAT spot ... where I took the plunge into the ravine ... the one that
I shouldn't have walked out of?!?"

And the whisper came ... "I am in control of YOUR time, MaryJane."

Reassuring at first ... but as the morning moves forward ... I find myself ... a little uneasy ... still.

My tires are brand new ... less than 60 days old. So there's no reason I should be having a tire issue.  But I am.

Shimmy and shake ... whenever I accelerate.  At times earlier this week, it has felt as if the rear left tire was going to simply fly off.

Slipped into a local tire place yesterday and was told they couldn't find any of the normal suspects for such a problem ... other than the tire on the left rear was worn badly along the edges ... causing a cupping effect ... that could definitely cause the vibrations.

 When I asked what would cause such a thing to happen with a brand new tire, he shook his head slowly and said he really didn't know.  Could be alignment but when he drove it, he didn't feel any pull.  Could be the tire wasn't balanced properly when it was put onto the car. He really wasn't sure. Anyway you slice it, it seems that the only fix is ... ANOTHER ... new tire.

He said that it wasn't hurting anything to drive on it ... except that it would just keep wearing ... and the shimmy-shaking would get worse.  He said he'd really like to help me but that he thought I should go back to where the tires came from ... since they were so new.

Made a call to that place. Plan to take it in on Monday ... after two long days of driving this weekend ... to catch up on all of the places I didn't get to go to over the last two weeks due to the snow.

Opened my email and my horoscope said ... Thankfully, you will have a good shot at reaching your goals as long as you take whatever extra time you need. You will only make yourself more frustrated if you push too hard because you could inadvertently agitate a hornet's nest of unwarranted worries. Be patient; it's smarter to chill out now and try again once the energy settles down. Timing is everything. 
Yes. I smiled.  It was a reminder from my best friend, God, Creator of the Universe, that He is always with me.  My Balstovitch ... he jumped off his pin back last night ... and landed somewhere in Heber Springs.  It seems that he doesn't want to come along for the ride ... today.

My God ... He will go before me ... He is always with me.

Timing. Is. Everything.

(c) February 2015

Monday, February 23, 2015

Replacing Light Bulbs

Driving.  All around.  From place to place to place.

And at every stop ... there was only one thing to do.  Look for the lights ... that weren't turned on.  Then check out the bulbs.

It was important that they ... the lights ... be turned on.  Very, very important.
There was a sense of urgency ... to the task.

Light ... after all ... is a form of energy that makes it possible to ... see things.

Sometime the lights were in the ceiling.  And other times they were lamps. On tables.
On the floor. On the wall.  Inside lights. Outside lights.  Lights to read by.  Lights to work by.  Lights to illuminate a path from one place to the next.

Each time I would encounter a light ... unlit ... I would frantically attempt to discover why ...
it wasn't shining.

Was it as simple as flipping the switch?  Could it be a cord unplugged?  Or was it the bulb?

That was my mission.  To locate the ... burned out ... bulbs.
And replace them.

If there was no beam ... no radiance ... I would unscrew the bulb and gently shake it.  Listening for the rattling sound of the broken filament against the glass.

Once identified ... I would quickly reach into my back pack ... and find a replacement bulb.

As I traveled from place to place ... in and out ... checking the lights, I was totally unaware of the backpack.  But as soon as I would discover the loss of light, the backpack brimming with bulbs
was readily at hand.

No matter the size, wattage or design, the exact one needed was there.  

Incandescent are the most common and are what traditionally comes to mind when one thinks of a light bulb.  They begin to glow when electrical current passes through a filament ... not really energy efficient ... but the best for high levels of brightness.

The government has now mandated that ALL incandescent bulbs must produce the same amount of brightness using less energy. ( US Energy and Independence Act of 2007). So instead of 100 watt bulbs ... they are 72 watt bulbs ... only they are now to be called 1500 lumen bulbs.
Guess that's to give the false impressions that there are no lapses in ... brightness.

Interesting ... to me ... that the government thinks it can regulate ... how bright my light shines.

Anyway ... in my dream ... all of the bulbs are old-fashion incandescent bulbs.
The ones that burn the brightest.

So I am driving about ... checking out the lights ...

Spot lights. Night lights. Plant lights. Lights beside sofas. Stake lights. Strings of lights. Globes. Lights on coffee tables.  Plain ole lights in the ceiling.

Some bulbs were tiny like Christmas lights ... others were big orbs found over bathroom mirrors ... occasionally they were decorative tear drop and flame shapes ... but most were those common ... every day ... ordinary light bulbs ... in that shape most often used to symbolize a ... great idea.

So what causes light bulbs to burn out?

Some common reasons include heat & humidity, changes in temperature, vibration,
rapid on-and-off switching, and not leaving the light on long enough when put into use.

In other words ... light bulbs ...burn out ... due to the normal wear-and-tear & demands
of every day life.

The dream was one of those that is intense in the moment.  I would wake up frantic ... and exhausted ... then rolling back over to continue the quest for the outages.  It was ... as if ... time was running out.  Like a video game, of sorts ... where my worth would be evaluated by the number of bulbs I replaced ... by the lights that were replenished ... not so much by anything I had to offer ... but simply because I took notice.

A few minutes and a new bulb ... from which the existing light would once again shine ...
that was all that was required of me.

It wasn't really obvious to me whether I was winning or losing.  I just knew that I had no choice but to take action ... to search for the missing lights.

To dream of a light bulb indicates movement into a new direction.

That was a week or so ago.

More recent nights ... have had me running through a tunnel ... in total darkness.  Something is chasing me ... but I can't see it ... due to the burned out lights. And I have no idea where the beginning or end is ... to the tunnel.

How deep is the dark?

I can hear IT following behind me .. it's pace always the same as mine.

If I am moving slowly ... it's moving slowly.  If I speed up, it speeds up.  When I am running and feeling out of breath, I can hear the thuds of steps and the panting ... the heavy breathing ... from it's exertion as well.

One night, I was awakened by the scary sounds I was making aloud ... even as I was sleeping.  Sounds like muffled screams.  I knew the moment I was awake and alert that I had been trying to scream ... but nothing would come out.

An unexplained scratch ... appeared behind my right ear.  Two thin red lines ... scabbing just enough to let me know that the wound is real.

I am wondering ... did the backpack somehow get lost in the chase?  Or will the bulbs be there .. within easy reach ... to restore the light ... should I allow myself to stop and make a stand ...
in the dark?

Do not be afraid, MJ!
The light isn't at the end of the tunnel ... it's wherever you are ... right now. 

(c) February 2015