July 24, 2003

annie gets her braids back

for all this hair-cutting, i have missed the comfort of braids. i tried to braid my hair tonight because it was being stubborn and annoying and big and frizzy. it worked. i have little nubs of braids sticking out from behind my ears and i feel strangely safer.

this morning, i woke up at 4:30. had time to sit on the oversized chair in the quiet yellow room with a cup of coffee--brewed by me, for me, with no one to serve--and a bible. i read. i sat. i breathed deeply underneath my bathrobe. i prayed.

i knew that work would be crazy this morning, and it was. and i was initially stressed out and thinking thoughts of starbucks suicide, but then i took a 10 minute break at 7:30. the morning had been misty and fallish; the light of the morning sun diffused and white. i sat on the starbucks patio, not quite praying, but aware of the presence of my God nonetheless. and suddenly, quietly, psalms filled my head. words of God as rock and fortress, an unmovable presence. words of wait, o my soul, on God. and when my spirit was heavy within me, You knew my path. i felt my little soul expand and contract like lungs. i felt calm. i felt peace. peace like everything unessential falling off my shoulders for a moment. i prayed to keep it. i want to bottle it and give it to my tenderhearted friends who suffer. but all i can say is that i knew it at 7:30 this morning, and will profess it from underneath my messy little braids.

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July 16, 2003

and there goes everything

it's been a long, long day, and i've worn many hats. working at five thirty in the morning is draining, but beautiful, because i get to be in the morning. two days ago, I-65 split night and day, as the full moon still shone on my right, while the sun rose on my left. and today was thick grey and orange with heat lightning. i drive with the music off. have the days always begun with such grandeur? how did i never know?

tonight, after church--after the eucharistic wine sat on my lips and i remembered how much i loved drinking port on iona--i went to see the movie whale rider with marlei and fambly. such a beautiful, aching movie. and ten-year-old chance leaned into me at a critical moment of the film and said, "i'm glad you could come see this movie with us."

i took the back roads home. rolled down all four windows and played gemma hayes loud with my highbeams on. i dodged rabbits crossing the road. and with windblown hair, i watched the landing airplanes fly in front of the stars. i couldn't help but hope that one might land for me soon.

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July 15, 2003

where to begin.

jude's blog says it all best, i think, when it comes to words about marlei's hallowed birthday this past weekend. we stayed at melissa's cabin. the one on the bluff. the one with the screen-in porch and candles and five women who realise that they are their "own cloud of witnesses".

we were simply blessed friends who stepped into each other's lives intimately enough to share the yoke. and underneath the heaviness of constant burdens, we found a weekend of the lightness and easiness promised by Christ. we'll be taking off our clothes to sing, ms dark proclaims, and we did, some more literally than others.

i could gush now, about the joy of recognizing the deeper bounds of friendship, and about the awareness of life's gift of moments--an awareness taught to me by marlei--but i will exhale instead, and smile. some moments can find no words.

(happy birthday, my friend.)

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July 5, 2003

the gospel of starbucks.

who knew that starbucks could, from behind the counter, be a redemptive place? i am two weeks into baristadom, and already i've experienced the proverbial newbie catastrophes involving foam explosions and steam wand burns. i've knocked over my share of frappuccinos and even put disinfectant in the dishwater, because the bottle reminded me of the dishsoap.


underneath my graceless tripping and ohshitiamsosorrys, i am discovering the rhythm from behind the counter: the subtle balance of who needs to do what and when, and it is a strangely calming thing. the details seem silly at best, laborious at worst, but meticulousness is something that has been much lacking in my life for, well, hmm. a long time. and there is something to be said for faithfulness to small things. you know: everything is liturgy.

and so the daily fidelities of my little corner in the vast starbucks world feels something like important to me; it feels like i am taking care of myself. reminding myself that i can be consistent and learn and do better.

and i make a damn good caramel macchiato.

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