Adventure in Sufficiency

BBCGumpasI don’t know if it’s a common title for a foreign governor, but I do know that once in the BBC’s Chronicles of Narnia: Voyage of the Dawn Treader that Prince Caspian calls Governor Gumpas “your sufficiency,” which always makes me laugh. “Your perfectly adequate, I suppose, ness.” “Your we’ll take what we can get ity.” “Your the best we can come up with cy.”

It’s always been funny to me, because Gumpas isn’t sufficient. He’s a horrible governor. He’s actually a pretty terrible human.

Today though I was talking to a friend, and I said something that made me cry as it left me. So perhaps I needed to hear, and definitely acknowledge it, more than she did. “His grace is SUFFICIENT,” I said. I said it in all caps like that. And I think that’s what hit me.

I talk myself out of the grace I’ve been given a lot. How my mistakes are just going to tear that apart. As if God’s got sheets and sheets of us that as soon as we screw up he just tears it in two. And he’s God so those halves are pretty exact. That’s not how it works though. If I had the capability to screw up grace, then I’d have the capability of redeeming myself too. I very much do not. Woof, if I did. Yikes. Like mega yikes.

Real talk: I’m a pretty big ol’ sinner. I know. Calm down. It’s true though. And try as I might there’s not a lot I can do to fix that. I dare say, there’s nothing I can do. And I tried. I tried a bunch. I still try. All of the time. If I just get rid of this thing or stop this then ta-da! Salvation. Cue sad trumpet noise. Because I’ve already got there. In spades. And I just forget. Like a bunch I forget. All the time I forget.

I can’t save me. You can’t save me. And I can’t save you.

His grace is sufficient. Sufficient.

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Adventure in Waiting, Listening, Pulsing

Mr. Edward Magorium: 37 seconds
Molly Mahoney: Great. Well done. Now we wait.
Mr. Edward Magorium: No. We breathe. We pulse. We regenerate. Our hearts beat. Our minds create. Our souls ingest. 37 seconds, well used, is a lifetime.

Mr. Magorium’s Wonder Emporium did not do so hot in the theaters. I saw it on one of a very few number of dates I’ve been on in my life. The theater was mostly empty. The people in the theater with us were mostly other college couples, or young couples. Not a lot of children. Not a lot of actual adults. I loved it. I loved it a lot. I loved it compulsively like a small child. I loved it emotionally as an adult. Honestly, if you haven’t seen it, I think you should give it a chance.

I have the misfortune of being simultaneously monstrously observant and emotionally under-developed. It’s a conflicting place to be. Like being 7 and knowing when people are lying and getting reprimanded by a parent for pointing it out and embarrassing the liar. What comes of that as an adult is a lot of uncertainty in my communications and intent to relate. I’m fully capable; I understand that ultimately I may, in fact, be a little better than many at communication. Nonetheless, it comes attached to a massive uncertainty. Each word, each phrase shakes and wavers in my mouth before it leaves my lips. It trembles in my fingers before a key is touched.

So when it comes to something new and frightening and outside my element, I tremble in my heart, in my head. I tremble in my voice. In my action. In my thought. What starts to happen is I start to lose my strength to be logical. Like being weak at the knees in my brain. It means a lot of afterthought prayerful consideration. Lots of “My God, my God, I’ve been an idiot. I’ve wasted so much time. Help me find a way to bring things back. To clear the air, to clear my head.”

I find myself lately praying for strength to be okay with whatever answer God offers me. Even if that answer is so far from what I think I want. Because honestly, when was the last time what I wanted was even remotely on point to what I needed? It was never. They were never the same.

It’s so easy to get swept away in moments. Moments can be a lifetime if you do them right, but that requires a lot more presence of mind than my stunted emotional self can handle.

Some times listening to Ben Folds constantly, in a continuous flow, is the best thing you can do. Or at least that I can do.

Adventure in Risks v. Reward

Risks are not my bag. They aren’t. Despite what a catty human may suggest when she might say, “I wish I were brave enough to wear something like.” (Read: “I wish I were insane enough to be able to just wear crazy things that don’t belong together) I’m not a risk-taker. Sure, I periodically eat something I know will later make me sick, but that’s less of a risk since I know the outcome. That might just be stupid (and delicious).

When it comes to genuinely taking chances, I’m horrified.

That ultimately levels out to me never doing anything that may offer an excellent pay off. Upshot is I also never really get myself into a world of pain and hurt because I took a chance. I like for that to come naturally and without the provocation of my stupidity.

In recent days, along with pursuing peace and not happiness, I’ve also taken to saying “yes” to more things. Things that horrify me. Things that I want to do, but am always afraid to do. If you prefer a negative spin, as I often do, I’m saying “no” to fear. “No” to worry. “No” to letting over-analyzing creep into my heart and strangle out anything worth trying.

That also means saying “yes” to letting people go. People that have taken great joy in destroying the joy and peace in me.

Things are changing. I am changing. Though truthfully, I’m probably the same. Maybe just better adjusted.

The goal is to keep letting these changes come in naturally. I’m not a resolution maker. I’m simply not. Nothing says “not gonna do it” to me quite like “let’s make a big scene about doing this thing.” That’s a lot of unnecessary attention on places I’ve been failing. “Hey internet, I’m going to lose 40 pounds.” “Good for you. Keep up the good idea having.” Cut to a year from now and I’ve gained 40 pounds and my only pay off was that Internet really supported an idea I had.

“Waiting until January 1st to do something awesome is stupid and fake.” – Jon Acuff

“One of my New Year’s resolutions is to say “yes!” Yes to love, yes to life, yes to staying in more!” -Liz Lemon.

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Adventure in Reunion or Meeting; it doesn’t matter which

Once, in a dank basement I threw a wedding shower for Brett and Will. I remember there being a lot of soup and a weird group of people. We were all there then. In 2010. We were pairs then. Sets of two. Brett and Erica. Brett and Hayley. We were all there.

In 2012 we were sets of pairs. Brett and Erica. Erica and Hayley. Brett and Hayley. In 2012 it all changed. In 2012 something important happened. I stopped being able to imagine not knowing them. Either one.

That’s the thing about Brett. That’s the thing about Erica. I don’t know what I’d be without them. I don’t know where I’d be. This week something happened. We were all together for the first time as a unit. With all of us in love with each other in a palpable way. This week I had the unrelenting joy of performing with them. Them with their beautiful hearts and words. Me with my horrible jokes. Not everyone can do what they love with their friends doing what they love.

Erica has this way of getting into my soul. Her words creep into me. They creep into my own speech, my own writing. She’s more powerful than she knows. Her voice is so ethereal that you can feel it floating as you read. She rips you apart and still you cannot die, because she carries you gently by the hand. She touches you in a scandalous way, that you can’t help but like. She takes pain and heartache and pours it out of herself and into you, but never once leaves you with lungs full of liquid, she’d never leave you with pneumonia of pain or heartache. Her words simply don’t leave you that way. Her rhythms and cadence float. When you look at her you understand why. Her blonde hair and tiny body, make you wonder how someone so spritely can carry so much weight in her heart.

Brett once worked really hard to make me be mediocre at poetry. It was ineffective. In that I never improved. Brett constantly did though. She constantly does. Even when her poems turn into jokes, they’re never really just jokes. They are. But they aren’t. That’s what gets me about her. Life’s heavy, and life’s hard. Her poems show that, but they never leave you to suffer. If you do, you want to be suffering. She doesn’t guide you to that place. You have to lead yourself away from her intention to leave yourself to suffer. She wouldn’t do that to you. I don’t think she ever really could. Her words and her way around a page remind you that maybe, just maybe, poetry is better than you want to believe. That maybe poetry is the new fiction, because fiction still lacks truth. And even in a joke, there still remains truth.

I’m blessed. Blessed beyond reason to have been able to do something so silly as tell jokes before they read such stirring pieces. More than that I’m blessed to know them at all, to call them friends. To have matching necklaces, or inside jokes. Brett’s in Minnesota these days. Erica’s across the street most days. For one week, January was bliss for everyone.

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