Tuesday, September 4, 2012

The Door

There once was a wooden door.  The door was created to welcome those who passed through it, and therefore was quite beautiful.  With little time it became a symbol, the distinct attribute to which people recognized the building it graced. 
As most things change with time so did the door.  Paint was splashed and spread upon its surface to brighten the fa├žade and draw the hectic crowds outside to the business within.  For a long while the method worked.  The vivid color caught the attention of its patrons, and when the paint faded or chipped more paint was simply applied to keep the door looking fresh and new. 
Still the day came when the door’s appearance could no longer be helped by paint.  Instead the layers of paint actually hindered the appearance of the door and less people passed through it. The door was soon discarded.  Its original design had long been forgotten, trapped beneath layers of faded paint.  And though the paint had once served the door, its owners, and the patrons well, eventually the paint only distorted the door and covered the reason why it had been placed there in the beginning. 
It was fortunate for the door that a carpenter happened upon it in the trash.  Instantly, the carpenter recognized what might lie beneath the layers and decided to take it home and see.  The process was not easy. The chemicals and tools used in stripping years and years of old identities away from the door were difficult. The carpenter cut away portions of the door’s frayed edges, and as the carpenter exposed more wood, the door realized how much it had come to rely on the paint covering it to define and hide what it really looked like.
When the last bit of paint was removed, the door felt naked and ugly.  Dry, exposed, and dull all it wanted was the comfort of the concealing paint. But with a satisfied grin, the carpenter looked on and continued to work.  After the rigors of removing the paint, trimming, and sanding the splinters and worn edges, the carpenter’s touch softened as he massaged oil into the grain of the wood.  The door soaked in the restoring fluid and began to remember its original design.  With the last of the oil rubbed in place, the carpenter stood back with another smile.  The door looked better than ever before. 
The next day the carpenter took the door to a smaller building and hung it up. There the door realized just how much the carpenter had done for it.  Not only had the carpenter taken it from the trash, he had made it new, recognizing the potential it held when stripped, reshaped and covered in nourishing oil.  The door also found a freedom in its new frame.  No longer did it feel pressured to bring people to the building.  Instead, every week the faithful patrons of the building entered by way of the door, happy to see it hanging there.  The door in turn welcomed each one joyfully and was especially delighted when the carpenter passed by and smiled. 

...wrote this to work out and express my take on a recent experience...hope it offers something to every reader.  With gratitude, Abby.

Tuesday, June 5, 2012

The Top Stair

I grew up in a two story home. And because of the second floor, I have a particular attachment to one place - the top stair.  I know...strange place to have an affection.  It's not a favorite couch or porch swing, or even something like a nice soothing bathtub where stress drains away. Instead it's small and not particularly forgiving on the rear, but it's a special place to me.

It's funny how, until yesterday, I never realized my attachment to this common yet unique niche.  But I found myself seeking solace there as I coped with some things going on in my life.  Something about it made it easier to release...to open up and let whatever came come. When I realized how much being at this pinnacle, this threshold before entering the seclusion and privacy of bedrooms or the first step before venturing back down to the world below, felt so safe, it made be think.  And thus I write.

The top stair.  What a dynamic place to be. In many ways it the summit of a home.  It's a place anything can happen.  It's where you change from one state to the next...am I upstairs or down?  It's a place where, if only for a moment, we commit to taking that next step, whether up or down.  It's where two worlds merge, even collide, and combine to make something.  To change something. To understand something. 

Yesterday, as I cried, prayed, thought, reflected on some important matters, it was my place. 

It is on this stair where I find my mind can focus and clear. It is on this stair where anything can begin and end. It is on this stair where I started and finish this post. 

Saturday, March 10, 2012

Ode to the Backseat

Think back to your youth all you adults and the thrill, or for those of you with siblings, the fight to call the front seat! Ahh the luxury and disillusioned feeling of maturity we felt when climbing into the passenger seat.

"I'm sitting in the front of the car. I've arrived. I'm no longer at the bottom of the food chain. Winning!"

If only I could go back to those days and really take in the moment, when I reveled to feel older and desired that false sense of adulthood. Now, as another notch of official yeardom approaches I find myself not caught by my yearly mortality reminder, but more in how I wish I could go back to the carefree days of the backseat.

Ahh, free chauffeur service. Those were the days...but were they?

Yes, I'd be lying to say no, but I'd also be lying to say yes. I guess what I'm trying to say is that the backseat will always feel dissatisfactory on some level. Why? Because the view is compromised. From the back you can only make out half of what lies ahead, and since most of us are creatures that like to be aware of our surroundings and know what we are about to face it's natural to revolt to only getting half the scene. Only grasping a portion of the world around us is, to say the least, frustrating.

Then again, maybe that's why we have the backseat to begin with. Maybe there is a reason it's safer for us to sit in the back as we grow. It gives us time to process the world beyond the window. And even as we may squirm in our seat, tired of the constraints second to that of a straight jacket, we are safe. And after a few short years and many shoe sizes later, one day one of your parents asks you if you'd like to sit in the "front" today. Your eyes grow big, a smile conquers your face and it happens. You have reached the next level. But beware, it is just the beginning of the end. From this point things will only grow more complicated. There is no going back from this point on. Life's view will no longer be the same and the innocence of the back seat will never be the same.

Oh backseat, may we ever appreciate all the worry free journeys and naps we enjoyed in your arms.

Friday, February 10, 2012

Nearly a year...

And what a year has occurred. I can honestly say I've experienced more change smooshed in the last 12 months than ever before. Moving, family loss, job changes, culture changes, homeownership...ahhhhh! A girl can only take so much.

And yet I know there is more. More of what...well I don't know. Good, bad, ugly, splendid, it could be any combination and yet when it's broken down it doesn't matter. Now I don't mean that to come off negative, just real. Real because life incorporates all of it. I'm not trying to sound existential but as I sit, waiting for the next step to reveal itself I realize just how small I am. And unlike many who might revolt against the idea of accepting my minimalism, I'm quite happy with it. Why? Simple. What happens to me is only part of an even bigger picture.

Bigger picture...yet another broad term. Many have debated what the bigger picture might mean, and unfortunately adhere to a very subjective view of what that means. As for me, change has brought me closer to truth. Truth in the one thing that has sustained me through all the change, tears, frustration, etc. Truth in the one thing that doesn't change no matter how much change I see because I'm only a piece of a puzzle. A piece that hopefully demonstrates whom I belong to and how my life is hopefully a demonstration of the truth bigger than anything I could ever achieve on my own. And who could honestly complain about that?

And for those who, with great determination, continue to check this blog I won't promise consistency in my posts but quality of posts I will always try to deliver! Thanks for reading! Let's see what another year yields...

Monday, March 21, 2011


Today I am older. Yeah, I'm older every day, but it's officially documented today on the record books. I have successfully added another coal to my fire of life, and I have once again reached the #-0 marker (I'll let you figure out what number that is as a lady never reveals her age ;)

In my attempt to be introspective, this little post will catch a few of my mental blurbs about today...
1) A year ago today it was snowing! Yes snowing on the day following the first day of spring. Today, however, I am pleased to find the norm has returned to warmth and possibly some spring rain- which I adore!
2) Tulips are blooming- yay!
3) I've already experienced bliss in the simple form of Thin Mints, and I'd like to make a notion to add a Girl Scout calendar year, beginning when the first box is delivered and consumed in guiltless delight.
4) I think the reality of the added year will hit me when I fill out a questionnaire that includes checking an age box and find myself checking a different bracket...yikes!
5) One of my coworkers told me #-0 is the new 18. I agree...of course I will probably also agree when I hit my next decade too.
6) Ten years ago I wouldn't have placed myself here. But that's not to downplay any of what has happened in the last ten years. Gosh, ten years time has yielded a graduation, my first official leap into the "real world", my first full time job (currently working at #3), two engagements-and every relationship in between those, marriage to a wonderful man who has kept his promise that I will never be bored, my first trek over international waters, the loss of my first grandparent, the loss of my most beloved pet, family health scares which have furthered our faith and love, friends getting married and having babies, and of course the beginning of my writing journey. And those are just the most prominent moments coming to mind.
7) My metabolism decided it was time to slow down about three years ago...I will remain bitter that it never thought to ask my opinion on the matter.
8) The number of grey hairs (aka wisdom steaks) on my head, if all gathered together, could successfully create a proper come-over for a balding man. But until it reaches enough to create a toupee, I'll refuse to dye them.
9) I'm still a t-shirt and jeans kind of gal...external age will only aid to rally the youth inside!
10) And finally I pray that the next #0 years will trump the first #0 in the things I learn, the people I love, the wisdom I grasp, and the lives impacted by the way I live my own.

And with that I will hit "publish post" and wish everyone a Happy Abby's Birthday!