Help.Thanks.Wow This the title of a book by author Anne Lamott. I viewed two short video clips of Oprah interviewing this author. Left an impression on my mind and heart. So much that I posted these to fb. Got me thinking.
Thinking most of the time is a good thing. This is what teachers and administrators want more and more of in their students. At times thinking is painful. Science shows that the brain grows itself in constructing neural pathways in this struggling. Thinking occassionally becomes a threat, a smoking gun requiring a disclaimer.
Some thinking turns to action, or writing. Some of which is glorious yielding good fruit. Some questionable. Some thinking and actions less desirable, demanding intervention, requiring a change, an ammendment, retraction, or even a refiner’s fire. A burning as in the case of some of Abraham Lincoln’s anti-Christian writings in his New Salem years. His dear friend, Samuel Hill, (don’t know if he is any relation of mine and my paternal family line) snatched this draft and tossed it to the fire, which likely spared Lincoln later political problems. Still, it was not completely forgotten by a portion of public conscious. Wonder if it was forgotten by Lincoln. I have yet to listen to the remaining audio cds to find this answer.
Just the other afternoon, I was thinking on past things I’d like to forget. In reviewing a school loan rejection letter, and an email from a Utah of Education viceroy explaining the cause of rejection. Here I found a powerful metaphor. I kind of verbalized this in part. In opening the email I was hoping the loan “forgiveness lady” would dose out much desired relief and forgiveness. Monitarily of course, perhaps saving me the remaining loan balance. But I was thinking of another forgiveness.
Allowing me to save this money for a future trip to Italy would be most desirable. Likely no such luck. Only possibility now….to try again in a year. Sad, because I will likely have the sum paid off within this time. Try to wrap my head around the satisfaction of paying off a great debt. This scenario leaves little room for much else other than deferment in the event I re-enroll in college courses. This sure to cost me tuition and fees upwards of what is owed on the school loan. A wash. A lose lose shellfish game which leads me to thoughts of pursuing a math endorsement. Wish the district would offer this at no cost to employees. This I would do.
Reality says I must pay what I owe in retribution for the next year. Reality says I will repay what I owe a friend for a career and life time. Who knows how long? In thinking of other debts owed I am wondering how to forsake and forget something I am not sure I fully understand about myself, but want to.
Realize I need help. Don’t know who or how to ask. Know that if I ask, and believe, I will receive. Another truth is…. I scare myself now. The fact that I can do such harm to another being, and to one whom I love cuts to the core in feeling I can not completely trust myself as I had begun to do.
Last night, just before the dinner hour I witnessed a miracle though that brought me to me knees in sobbings. I thought I had heard from another “forgiveness lady.” A mysterious e-mail delivered to my inbox affording me a “tender mercy” and glimpse into a dear soul’s heart givings. I could not believe, nor explain this phenomena as I peered in awe at the screen.
I clicked in disbelief as if aortas and ventricals were unlocked and opened to me once again. In so doing my heart nearly leapt from my own chest. I could scarcely believe what I was seeing. I could scarcely breathe. Reduced to tears and prayers of thanksgiving in this moment of mercy, I thought I felt a great burden lift in being forgiven.
Kept wondering was this just some mistake, or grand design. Then almost as suddenly I thought I must quit questioning. I must start focusing attention on the message. In Ebaneezer Scrooge fashion I wondered at how quickly this apparition had come, and feared it may at any time leave just as quickly. I wished to hold this in my hand forever, but it would not last. And for a moment felt perhaps like a child stressed by the weight of a one minute reading. Feeling that no amount of leased time would be enough to take this in. Wondering what this meant. Certain this was another strange butterfly story of great proportion. This an enchanted unexplainable connection. Tried to focus rather on receiving as if a warm hug the message.
The main idea was of aging, and of humbling. In retrospect I visualzed myself a 9 year old in being asked to generate a retell. I tune in to my nine year old slightly higher pitch voice, “This post is mostly about a middle age realization….that the more one knows in left brain aquisitions, the less one really has in knowing just how much there is out there, and just how much one really does not understand over a life time so brief and finite.”
So much we gain is lost to our minds limitations, to negativity, or wasted in inaction. Lincoln found that knowledge is power, but I can’t help but ask for what cause and for what effect. Knowledge alone can do very little but impress and advance self indulgences I think. Knowledge partnered with wisdom, and combined with acts of love and service: divine. This last epiphony came to me just now. The errand of angels. I know some of these. Think of Clarence and It’s a Wonderful Life. Think of others like Granny, and ……
Back In that moment of strange and what felt like “forbiden” discovery, I was in awe, and praying prayers of thanksgiving. Weaping joyful tears. Feeling answers to many compounded prayers and pleadings to God. Humbled but to a happier outcome. I marveled at this.
According to my youngest daughter my eyes were “sweating” just before a trip to Salt Lake Internation airport to pick up our Boeing engineer son. I am convinced it is always allergy season somewhere in the world just as it is happy hour somewhere. My family has gotten used to my strange and stranger behavior I think. Devon is convinced I am bi-polar. I don’t ask and don’t want to know what Mark thinks least I run the risk of rejection. I am a closed book to many.
Listening to the audio Lincoln’s Fight With God puts me both at ease and terrifies me. How someone so great could struggle and endure with depression gives me hope. My greatest fear: to become my mother in mental illness. I decided ten years ago that this would never be so. Sometimes I wonder though. I think I need a twelve step plan or something. I think I need to open my mind to both the possiblility that I am simultaneously human and vulnerable, and divine and expansive in possiblities. This oxymoron is incomprehensible. Inconceivable!
I contemplate Annne Lamonte’s book Help. Thanks. Wow! and think that this would be a fitting entry in a bloggers dictionary heading of Heidi Robertson’s The Mermaid Swims. The kicking and finning she does in this forum can be reduced most simply to long missive prayers pleading “Help!” Breathing “Thanks!” And wondering “Wow!” At times this blog has been my greatest joy in finding myself a companion. A voice of myself to myself. An outreached hand to another who will take it. A great release in sharing and releasing haunting secrets. A window to my soul’s greatest searchings. Sometimes a curse. Sometimes a window to the light. Always a flame. A promise of tomorrow and happier days.
Now I think most definately it is a prayer, and as such I must make it one of Thanksgiving. Thank you. Thank you. Thank you. Even if the door opens only a crack, for only a brief moment. I give thanks and abide an angel winging, wanting to believe in what some choose to call a myth. At one time even Lincoln subscribed to this sentiment.
Miracles ARE real to me. I will not forget, nor can I doubt this outreach. Thank you in a million happy dragon tears. 🙂