Monday, August 10, 2009


Twice a month I make my way to Target to browse and usually end up spending no less than $50. I love that store and all of it's worthless crap.

Did I really need that candle holder? Probably not, but it was calling my name and wouldn't let me leave without it.

Besides, where else can you buy milk, zip-lock bags, and underwear?

Last week I went there by myself late in the evening and looked around for almost an hour. I was feeling a little down about some things, and if there is anything more therapeutic to mild depression than shopping, I'm not sure what it is.

If you know, can you please share? My bank account would love you for it.

There are times I find myself thinking about the past and what I would like to change. There are some memories that look somewhat unattractive and choices made that lack wisdom and thought. The truth is, trying to change the past is like trying to grab a fist full of water. The efforts are futile and the results are always the same.

I've always seen myself as a "fixer". To say my family had dysfunctional moments would be an understatement, but nevertheless, as a kid I would always try to find the right things to say, or the right things to do to make everything right.

Things would be so much easier if you could wrap up all hurts in a tidy box with a neat little bow. Or maybe it would just look better from the outside. It may be more work to gather, comfort, and try to mend, then it is to sit back and watch the storm blow through. But sometimes watching the storm blow through while your hands are tied requires a greater strength: being weak. Sometimes the pain has to wash over you before you can find new growth in the ashes. I know I'm being vauge, but if you have been in the hole you will understand where I am coming from.

The year I turned 4 my parents put together a birthday party for me and invited over 7 or 8 little girls my age from the neighborhood to celebrate. They celebrated the way most 4 year olds do with lots of "mine!" and "no!". It wasn't exactly smooth and there was quite a bit of quarrelling. My dad got a lot of it on film and there is one part where we are all gathered around the kitchen table for birthday cake. You can see me observing two of the girls very closely who were in mid-fight over who got the better paper plate. I had the handle of my fork in my mouth, brow furrowed, staring. I piped up in an attempt to intervene and fix by saying "STOP ahh-guing (arguing) you guys!"

I didn't even see the cake in front of me with 4 flickering flames waiting for me to extinguish with whatever a 4 year old wishes for.

I was sidetracked. Mending.

Life isn't free of pain. It isn't free of loss, confusion, despair, or hurt. Tears fall. Hearts break. But it is these pieces, these tiny pieces that make up the whole picture. And there is freedom in making the holes whole.

And sometimes if you look deep enough, you will find beauty in the cracks.

Back to the Target trip.

I was wandering through the kitchen gadget aisles in an attempt to find a Cupcake Courier (which I have since determined is elusive an next to impossible to locate) when I stumbled upon a perfectly white porcelain pitcher. I have a lot of pitchers in my house and really didn't see any need for another one. But I started thinking about a post I read awhile back on another blog. The writer had just lost her daughter, and shattered a pitcher as a form of therapy. She wrote a beautiful entry about it and it has stuck with me ever since. I haven't lost child, but some hurts have certain common denomiators and it's easy to identify with similar aspects of suffering. To be honest, haven't we all suffered in some way?

As I stood in aisle 17b next to the slow cookers and toasters, something clicked. I had to have that pitcher. I need to throw it against the wall and shatter it.

Imperfectly perfect.

We are all shattered, and those pieces aren't always beautiful and some of the edges are still sharp, but there is grace in the gaps and perfection in the brokeness. It is the broken pieces that have gotten me here, now. I am made of cracks and chips. I am not perfect, nor am I smooth or flawless. But it is those pieces that make the bigger picture. From struggles grow strength; wisdom from changes.

Each piece has contributed to who you are, now.

I plan on rebuilding the shattered pieces to serve as a reminder to where I have been and how that has contributed to my whole.

There is strength in the brokeness.

Saturday, August 8, 2009

Cue The Circus Tunes

I've been absent from the blog again. I'm really good at this neglect thing and I'm thinking that it may be a sign that I shouldn't reproduce for two reasons. The first being that the children probably wouldn't survive because I'm good at neglecting things (I walk by the flower department of a grocery store and the roses immediately turn's actually quite impressive), and the second reason being that I honestly don't think I should continue these genes. I have some pretty strange phobias, I lack rationality at times, and innate objects sometimes scare the crap out of me.

When I was a kid I had close to 100 dolls. Dolls of every variety from stuffed rabbits, porcelain, QP dolls, Cabbage patch kids, to Ice Cream Dolls and lots of basic Baby Dolls. I had a wall of Dolls that hereby shall be called "The Wall of Dolls".

The Wall of Dolls is the reason I learned how to sleep completely under the covers with no ventilation whatsoever. I'm fairly certain the increased levels of CO2 have caused some sort of permanent brain damage...or maybe it's just the weird genes.

These dolls would stare me down all during the night. It didn't help matters that the shelves where built into the wall across the room from the foot of my bed in perfect position for me to stare at The Wall of Dolls and for them to stare back. It made for a few really awesome sleepless nights.

Perhaps the most prominent doll would be a clown doll that originally belonged to my sister. If you took one look at this creepy little bastard you would fully understand why he was left behind when she moved out. I can't imagine what parent would buy him in the first place (oh wait, my mom did - that 'splains it). He had a stuffed body with stuffed arms and legs and a hard plastic painted face. His hair was stop-light red and stuck out in all directions that perfectly complimented the crazed look in his eye. I tried to google search for this doll and was unable to turn up anything that could remotely compare to the demented level of fear that this doll could conjure up in a child's brain. This is as close as I could find.

As a delightful bonus, my room was sprinkled with the sand-bag clowns that were so popular in the early 90's at Hallmark. Eample A:

I would have much preferred 500 sandbag clown dolls over the Hellish figure that sat high atop The Wall of Dolls. There he sat, each night, staring and waiting. All rationality tells me I am wrong, but I am certain he came to life after 9:30 and stood at the foot of my bed casting a demonic gaze my way. I'm also fairly certain he likes to snack on small children with a side order of infant baby.
One night in the middle of summer, I could no longer sleep cocooned under the blankets. I threw my covers back, grabbed a chair out of the guest room and climbed up to the top shelf of The Wall of Dolls. Grabbing the clown by the arm, I yanked him from his lair and threw him so hard into the closet he may have sustained some blunt force trauma to the head.
The next day I dug him back out of the closet and returned him high atop his evil little perch. This cycle went on nightly for probably 4 years. For some reason, my mom was pretty fond of that clown and would have belted me if she knew I threw him, nightly, into the depths of my clothes closet.
Some things are better left unknown.
Besides, it's not easy growing up in a room full of glass, button, and painted eyes. To this day I refuse to have anything hanging on my wall that has a face. The Mona Lisa gives me the creeps. It's almost phobic.
Now, if I ever saw a clown version of the Mona Lisa, I'd probably freak out screaming.
I have some good genes for that, t00.