I sit outside at a sidewalk cafe and coffeeshop downtown. I save this place for Sabbath morns only. A round wrought iron table holds my bags and books and laptop...and my sweating iced drink in a plastic tumbler. There is enough room for 4, but there is only me.
Traffic whizzes by only inches from my table. Occasionally someone honks. Why? Cars, new and old, are parked everywhere. Murals are painted in alleyways. One mural in particular has caught my attention this morning - lapis hued horses running with a setting sun in the same yellow as the fire hydrant across the street...but with an atrocious airplane above them, painted in lapis as well. What did the artist want to say uniting the horses and airplane with that color, setting them both against the sky and the buildings? That blue, mottled with white and something brassy to make that specific shade? And matching the sun to the fire hydrant? It is a puzzle to solve, a lovely gathering of thoughts to share. The message is obvious if one truly looks.
A teenage girl who works at the ice cream shoppe two doors down hoses the sidewalk. Across the sidewalk but nearer the building, I noticed a group of older women who meet here every Friday. Currently they are arguing about recipes. A businessman sits outside but never looks up from his iPhone - too busy. He answers a call and is so loud I resort to headphones and Pandora set to Ludovico Einaudi. Strange, a guy who works at the coffee shop where I write each M-TH morning is walking down the sidewalk toward me. Perhaps he won't notice me here. I am such an introvert! As if to camoflaugue myself, I turn my eyes to the faded American flag whipping in the wind 7 stories above me. I wonder if the men and women in fatigues who walk these streets day in and day out think something different than I when they catch a glimpse of that flag? I remember Pauls words in II Tim about soldiers working to please the one who enlisted them.
The artsy movie theater next-door alerts me that Before Midnight is coming soon. And Kon Tiki is playing now. I know little about either. From the advertisement posters Kon Tiki looks adventurous, sensual and Before Midnight looks romantic but relaxed. Doug and I saw Anna Karenina there. Planned to see Gatsby there over Memorial Day weekend, but Im so repulsed by the previews making it look so modern that I cant bring myself to see it. I know, I know. I remember walking out of Karenina and wanting to engage with each person leaving the theater - to ask them if they saw it, saw the genius of it, saw the biblical themes of it, saw the real story, the real Redemption, the Beauty and not just the sadness. I wanted to hug them all for being there, have hours of conversations about Tolstoy and his writings. Wanted to make sure they had read the book. But alas, I am a bit much for most. I remained quiet. I remember walking to the car silently in the midevening snow, it was my birthday. Doug squeezed my hand in acknowledgement of what I wasnt saying. He knew. He always knows.
A class of toddlers walks by. A chain gang heading for the library, I presume. But no, they stop at the ice cream place where water still marks concrete from the morning spray. I memorize their faces, pray.
I was a ball of nightmares last night. Its been awhile since they have plagued me. I knew that in writing as deeply and intently as I am this summer, that I would deal with them. Even so, I awoke sick, scared, empty, depleted...and then remembered and took thoughts captive. They are only dreams. I have dealt with them all of my life, sometimes more than others certainly, but always. Anxiety and fear bring them out more than anything else. Apparently even writing about those emotions stirs the pot within me.
A month or so ago our pastor talked about work in heaven. How we would all still have work there. How what we learned to do here in sharing the Glory of God, we will continue. Tears fell down my cheeks. I realize as I sit here that I now write more than I talk. At least in this season. I have become a writer. In the midst of years of life and family and homeschooling and blah, blah, blah, I have become a writer. This will be a color of my life that those closest to me will list when they describe me. I guess it was always one the Lord used to describe me. I just had to listen to His version of me. I write for Him.