October 26, 2010

Building Up The Temple

My Mommal used to sing that to me, with the hand motions fist upon fist. I love when she does it with Ivy now. Grandmother hands shaky and beautiful.

Working hands

There's a windstorm coming. Our house crackles and the kids think squirrels got in our walls. I worry about the spider and her web on the front porch. I hope she can hang on.

Building up the temple

We go to a parade in my hometown on the fourth of July. And we always park on the same street in front of my cousins' grandmother's house. Then we pile up all our candy-catching bags and bottled waters and camp chairs and walk around the corner to find a good spot on the street to watch the parade.

And every year, the man that lives in the house on the corner ropes off his yard and the road on each side, and he sits cross-armed and brooding. He guards his grass and I guess the city street that might bring a car or festive passerby to walk too closely to his property.

We walk around the barrier and holding breath look at our feet, our hands firm with grip on the children, keeping them in line.

That man will train his eyes on the lawn, a piece of land that in months will be covered with leaves, and then dead under snow. That man will sit justified, and he will miss the parade.

We go on, every year, and we think huffy-judgy thoughts as he must the same of us.


Who do I want to be am I created to be in this life?

A man, guarding his lawn and missing out on the whole parade? His treasure, he can not take it with him.

A parade-goer that keeps her glance averted, moving along to her party without incident, pretending he's not there? Shuffle, avoid. Repeat as necessary.

Cast another character,

who meets his grump-eye and compliments his beautiful yard. Wishes him well, offers him a drink? A wave? A smile?

An even though you don't get me I'm going to try to understand your heart from now on nod?


I want to be that one next year.

And every moment until then.




I sweep ten times a day and yet

am still guaranteed a renegade crumb will stick to the bottom of my foot

every time.



39 comments:

  1. yes! i'll like to audition for the new character, please! maybe if i keep rehearsing long enough, it will be.

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  2. Wow. Steph, this is something. I got the chills reading it.

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  3. (And an impressive piece of writing, at that.)

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  4. This is a beautiful post. Wow!

    PS - I'm in Milwaukee and we're under the same windstorm. Good luck!

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  5. Wow this post got me thinking! I mean really thinking.

    I have to say thanks for writing it, and might share my taught later, but for now I just feel the urge to pray!
    Renee

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  6. We can never be reminded too often that we can't take it with us. We can never stop too often and wonder what character we're playing.

    Love this. Thanks for helping me keep it in perspective.

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  7. this is amazing...that's all there is to say.

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  8. Smiles to you. (: I love the line, Who do you want to be changed to who are you created to be- beautiful.

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  9. Wow. I want to be (was created to be) that kind of person too. Gorgeous piece of writing.

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  10. Glory to goodness, this is amazing. Beautiful, Steph, and yes, that's who I want to be, too.

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  11. What an insightful reflection. Thank you for sharing.

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  12. Thank you for this. When we get our eyes off of ourselves, the perspective becomes so much greater and more meaningful. I want to be the person that truly loves and cares.

    Thank you again!

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  13. I think this is my favorite thing you've written.

    I get it.

    Love you.

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  14. I really really love this.

    A lot.

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  15. Wow, very poetic and philosophical as well as oh so true. Maybe even invite the man on the corner to go to the parade with you and/or share your candy on the way back. Your kids have such great big smiles - who could resist.

    For those crumbs, get a dog that loves kids and crumbs.

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  16. I used to hate it when ppl stopped me to talk or ask questions. I'd go in shops do my shopping and go out with hardly a smile. Recently I realised how silly I've been acting... so I say good day to every employee I meet in the shops and smile at ppl in the street and talk to anyone who talks to me :)

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  17. Oh Steph... this was good. That crumb always sticks... the trick is looking at it and not cursing its existence... :)

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  18. Stephanie, I needed to read this today. I so desperately want to be the new character. So, so much. Thank you for making me think about it today.

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  19. I love this. I'm going through that "audition phase" with myself, too. I want to be someone new, someone better, someone who isn't a puddle of tears all the time instead of a strong mom for my kids.

    And? Our kitchen rituals are identical. I swear our crumbs multiply even if no one's there. I'm like the princess and the pea, I canNOT stand crumbs underneath my feet!

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  20. So. Awesome.

    You've inspired me. :)

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  21. I have been trying to be that person and to see their face light up and the shock in their eyes and then the gratitude when they realize you truly care is priceless and worth all the arguments with myself I have had that nobody cares.

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  22. What a great post!!! ANd what is it about those renegade crumbs... what is it!!! AND for all the sweeping and the "you may only eat in the kitchen rule" there are always one or ten million renegades in my bed - euch!!! Just saying, crumbs aren't my best!!! Though I wouldn't change the presence of little people for all the world!!!

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  23. I feel like you're finding it. That thing you're looking for.

    Embracing being upside down and seeing what God wants to do with *that*.

    I've missed you.

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  24. So beautiful and honest. I love honest.

    Oh.

    And my feet are covered in crumbs.

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  25. Wow Steph, this gave me goosebumps. I'm happy for you.

    And I swear the crumbs are out to get us! But oh well, one day we'll look back and wish they were there again.

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  26. this might be my favorite post yet!! Beautiful, challenging and chilling!

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  27. I love that song. And this makes me miss my Grannie her angel day is tomorrow. Also how much would you charge me to make Ian a pair of socks.

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  28. I am back to read and re-read. I am so moved by all of your imagery. The shaky hands building, building...that mama spider trying to hold on to her web, the man, you, us, and those crumbs we can't rid ourselves of no matter how we sweep and scrub.

    I love this - your heart in words.

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  29. This is....wow. You always speak such truths into the depths of my mommy soul.

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  30. I am brought to tears almost every time that I read one of your posts. Your words are so beautifully, truly crafted. I cannot tell you how they strike me. How I suspect they strike everyone who clicks over. You are so very gifted. An inspiration. A storyteller. An extraordinary human being. I wonder...if that plays a part in who you were created to be?

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  31. This is beautiful. I'e read and re-read your post, but don't have the right words to write in response. You have a gift and you are in inspiration to many. Thank you.

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  32. Smile and say hi next time...wonder what his response will be...

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  33. I almost cannot wait for you to tell us what happens when you interact with him next year. Please share?

    I wish my Grandma was still around to sing to my babies... *sigh*

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  34. I don't know if it's just because of where I am right now or what, but this is maybe one of my all-time favorite AiB posts. And I've had a lot of favorites.

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  35. I find it strange and wonderful that you worry about your spider. Reminds me a bit of "Charlotte's Web." :)

    stephanie@metropolitanmama.net

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  36. here via Amber

    this is piercing and magnificent

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