When I woke up yesterday, I opened the window to see sunshine and hardly any snow on the ground. This time of year is always kind of bittersweet for me, not for any emotional reason per say, just because the weather and seasons are trying to make up their minds, things are transitioning, and being between phases of time always makes me feel lopsided.
I spent a while talking to God about things I needed to work out, information I’d never brought to the surface before anyone, thoughts I never allowed myself to dwell on, fears I never wanted to face. Doing this Bible study, “Breaking Free” by Beth Moore, is really uncomfortable, but it’s working. I guess the main thing that’s actually working is the way I’m just letting God help me with an area I kept locked away from anyone, having this rather pathetic notion that if I left it alone and put some yellow caution tape across the entrance nobody would bother it. But God doesn’t work like that. He got in my business, because He loves me.
After breakfast, I took my hair out of the bun I’d left it in last night and my locks went whoosh! It was like I had a mini-Afro for a little while and it was hilarious 😀 Eventually, after rigorous brushing and settling of the hair, it was tamed and died down. I don’t know how some guys can just wake up and their hair looks normal and they just walk out of the house. Lucky, lucky people.
I went to the cafeteria to meet one of my classmates because we had to complete a scene-writing assignment together. Now, what I’m about to tell you does NOT mean I’m training to be in the NSA, it just means I’m a writer and I do weird things sometimes. My Studio professor asked each of us to record five minutes of dialogue and we could neither be part of the conversation nor let the people we were recording know we were recording. Creepy, I know. I felt kind of weird doing it, but after writing the scene and moving the dialogue around, I felt more like a kid in a candy shop 🙂
So we had to transcribe our recordings word-for-word. My recording was a phone conversation where I could hear only one side. Oh, disclaimer: for all the people who I hang out with, you don’t have to be afraid of me recording you, this was a one-time thing. Okay, thank you.
ANYWAY. I transcribed the one side and left spaces between the sentences. When we had to write the scene, based one the responses to the other person on the phone, I created the other side of dialogue and made things a little more interesting. Then my classmate and I created the scene. We put our characters at Comic Con in San Diego.
Now, I quite honestly have no opinion about these kinds of events. I might go just to say I went but I wouldn’t go because it was something I dreamed about doing. To get a good sense of where we going exactly, my classmate and I asked two of our other classmates who had been to describe it to us. Then I read it all back to them to make sure it sounded fine. They agreed it was great.
So, in class, when my classmate read the scene, our professor told us we needed to work on dialogue and then he said that the beginning was very judgmental. I kind of just sat there for a moment, not quite sure how to react. He explained why it was judgmental of the people who go to Comic Con, and then the classmate, who’d helped us write the piece and told us about Comic Con and listened to me reading it to her to make sure it was okay, raised her hand and said that she felt judged. I just wanted to melt into my seat.
I wondered if it would be a good time to say I felt offended and judged every time someone said “I want to punch God in the face” or “Oh my God,” or “I sat on my throne and played God.” I decided not to.
I left class feeling slightly idiotic, but I quickly forgot about it by the time I was on the subway to go to Maria’s house. As I traveled I continued to read This Present Darkness and oh my goodness this book is fantastic. But before I go on a rant about just how fantastic it is I’ll move on 🙂
I got to Maria’s house and I learned how to peel and eat an entire artichoke. Artichokes are good, people. Eat their hearts. That would sound weird out of context…anyway, eat artichoke hearts.
A lot of everyone came and we ate soup and bread and Rice Krispie treats and drank coffee and tea. Eventually we sat down in the living room and watched a documentary about a man, Rocky (not Balboa), and his life-changing trip to India. There are no words to describe what the documentary consisted of so I won’t even try. All I know is that my perspective was smashed to bits for an hour and a half as I watched Indian children die from HIV, Rocky have the entire village he lived in turn on him, and a happy ending, all through the camera lens of his best friend, Steven, an outsider.
Afterwards, most of us had very few words to say, but we all felt rather small I think, our problems and discomforts feeling even smaller. It was easy not to complain for the rest of the night.
Bible Study ended and Clara, Edward, David, and I all went out for tea.
The four of us went to this hole-in-the-wall place on Seventh Avenue called the Tea Lounge. When I walked in, despite my company, I felt uneasy. The low lights, the pop music that Edward assured me was normally sweet jazz, and the couches reminded me of a high school dance, and images of all sort of nonsense came into my brain. I explained this to Clara while Edward and David were buying pots of tea for us. She assured me that there was no reason to be uncomfortable, that I could just talk to her all night if that would make me feel better. She’s definitely a blessing 🙂
We sat adjacent to one another, drinking cup after cup of vanilla bean and Chelsea morning, layered with sugar, honey, and milk. We talked about everything and joked about everything else, until we were sitting there laughing uncontrollably, and something terrible happened.
I snorted while laughing and there was no music playing to soften the blow my swine-like noise made on the atmosphere. Clara was the only one who laughed whereas Edward and David tried not to. It was embarrassing.
We left around midnight and headed home. When I arrived at my dorm and walked through the door, I wasn’t feeling so good. I made an account of how many cups of tea or coffee I’d had during the day: four at the Tea Lounge, two (one coffee, one tea) at Maria’s, and I’d had a frappuccino earlier in the day. No wonder I felt so gross!
Trying to ignore the nausea, I crawled into bed after talking to God about the night, about the day, about the next day. I don’t know about you, but I feel incredibly encouraged that God listens to me. It’s not even that He does anything (which He DEFINITELY does things), just that He listens. I wonder how He feels every time I listen to Him? Hm.
“My sheep hear my voice, and I know them, and they follow me. I give them eternal life, and they will never perish, and no one will snatch then from my hand.” —John 10:27,28 ESV