Posted by: jruthkelly | April 1, 2010

More Accidental Grace

Where do you go when no one’s there to lift the other side of the couch, to move it? Who do you call? You tug, stumble, scramble, sweat. It’s moved. It happens alot in my world. No whining. I chose this. But the appreciation these times evoke is priceless. Appreciation for kind words, compassion, mercy. Grace.

What are these influences, these human realities we label? Grace? I could write a lifetime and not convey it. Bird song. Therein is grace. It stops on my chimney just outside and overhead and calls down a song sounding like the light at the end of the tunnel when I’m about to give up. Ah ha ha…sing. Waking me up in the morning on the tree outside my window. A lilt and my heart thrills. I hear it. It tells me: Life is here. Now and around this bend and beyond the sense of isolation. The phone rings…”Hey Ruthie!!! I needed to hear your voice!” More grace. Songs. I left Georgia 10 years ago. I don’t miss it. But my dearest friend, sisters and parents are there. And more friends and. I’m here.

Then sitting down after swallowing lumps of frustration down the throat (for some reason, ultra-sensitive lately -full moon), sighing with the protein bar, chowing down in-between classes and a kind soul walks up…are you an artist? I laugh. All I can do is laugh. Am I? I write. I dot. I study. I mother. I am. But do I feel myself qualified for a label just yet? No. Will I ever? I looked at him “Well…I do dots. Maybe that makes me an artist.” I’m longing. Longing for the feel of a paintbrush these days. On the canvas. Up there in my room in the attic. Quiet. Birds singing. But school hounds my energy, commanding and demanding a rectification of “lost” time.

Ha. No loss. I tell myself this every morning. It’s not that you’re late.

I reach into my bag. Book bag full and there. Slam. Exam next. Oh. Ho. Ho. Last night I was up to my eyeballs in being the compassion and mercy for my youngest son who had not had the help he needed up to that point on a project due the next morning. My morning of classes. And. I forgot the exam now looming, losing myself in bolstering boy writing words in their place on paper filled with Crayola clues. No study. Precious little time. I am. Labeled. A. Student. Mom. Artist? Writer? Aspiring lover. Of. Freedom.

I jump up and run, but it’s a jaunt and not really much more than a fast walk. To the library. Everything is disjoint jumble hurry hurry. Where’s my class pal? Where is he? The one with the long blonde curls and big smile. I find him in the library…”Is is true? Did I actually forget we have an exam?” Grins. Oh yeah. Study, cram, spin in circles and slam down at the desk, drumming fingers, wishing my teacher were not so graciously covering critical parts of the test for us (how kind!!! really!!! she gave me 4 answers right then and there before the test began!). But I’ll be late. I have to get my daughter to physical therapy. This is the class I was going to leave early to take her for her time of “terror” with knee strengthening rigors. Don’t get me going on the knees. And the load she bears just knowing the story of generations producing her own story. She is courage and her knees. They rat us all out. That’s how I feel. Responsible. Her knees hurt because I….? What have I not done fast enough? Damn, and if she had some terminal illness? Am I this hard on Ruth? What about my daughter? Does she feel it and take it on her own back? Does she know I love her? She does. She knows. Gulp. Lump. Throat. Push. Pencil on multiple choice (hallelujah) exam. I think I got an A, actually. Accidental grace? Somewhere way back there on the path I bought the lie that any illness in my family, in my children is my fault. Forgive me, mothers all. I’m learning to lose the worst label.

Test is over. Rush. Run. I’m late. It took longer than I expected. I’m huffing up one. two. three. four. flights of stairs and talking into my cell. Hurry, get ready. We’re going to be late. Stress. Fret.

No.

I won’t. What if I round the bend and that’s the end? What if? I look up at the blue and I slow down. There has to be compassion awaiting. It has to start right here. In my step. With myself. This is the best I have. I can’t be all. No label fits. Life rips them, shreds them all in tatters when you stitch carefully so neatly even just one (mom). Those ideas grasp at me, begging me to keep, to hoard, to fret over how they don’t fit just yet on my chest: Artist. Writer. Student. Mom. I breathe deep, drive and strive to…rest. Then. I give up. And peace finds me. A series of stops and starts and awakening of daughter and out the door. We’re very late. First session. Not a good impression. Blah. The cell rings. “Is this Ms. Kelly?!” “Yes, I am so sorry… just turning in to the hospital now. Had a…” “Oh! It’s OKAY! No problem, really. I’ll be outside to meet your daughter. Just drop her off. No worries…” She’s mothering me. She’s mothering my daughter and I’ve seen her only once. She oozed grace even then. We get there and she’s overflowing compassion. I realized that at every turn lately that’s what I run into. Smack, slam, stomp land into…grace. I didn’t earn it. It just is.

It’s that simple. No steeple story high into the sky producing good people. Life does it. You either break or bend. You either reach out a hand of compassion or stand rigid, bracing against your own humanity and. Life. Or. You live in love. Rambling on…


Responses

  1. For all the aches, pains, and heartaches in this post, there is still so much beauty and gratitude. Bless you, my friend.

    • thank you dearheart. i’ll take blessings any day. glad for your presence….

  2. Oh my God how behind things I have gotten in visiting my friends blogs. I obviously have a great deal of catching up to do in here, Jezz.

    I am just now coming back from my most recent assignment and will be visiting my old friends in their blogs again.

    I am in need of slow ascent to avoid the Raptures. Ask Hunter Thompson. Nitrogen Narcosis is NOT fun. So I will gradually get it back up to speed. gradually………

    Until later, Ruth.

    • well. i’m woefully behind on responding to comments myself here doc gryph sir. my respect for the load of daily living has grown by leaps and bounds and the result is a major backlog of things i simply have to wait to do. the arrogance i’ve had is astounding. thinking i can do a, b, c AND d while working on 1, 2, 3 AND 4 is a bit of bulemic binging denial of my limitations. so, yeah. i’m reforming slowly here. that means i am in need of slow ascent to avoid the high flying arrogance of the dragon’s worst. :)
      but. that’s all to say hello and i’m glad for your presence…
      even when it’s a bit “spotty” hehehe…
      hug…

  3. Oh God. You are such a kindred spirit. I’ve never seen motherhood written about in such a strong way which I could so deeply relate to. And GRACE. Yes. I am stunned to lull into it constantly, no matter how underserving I feel. And, I am from Georgia also. Southern. The whole Southern thing. Tears are spilling from my eyes. This is amazing writing. I Thank You for this. And for making me feel a little better about not being able to find a label I feel good about. I’ve just been feeling frustratingly naked, but after reading Your post I’m thinking maybe that’s a GOOD thing. Hugest Hugs and Namaste. :)

    • naked southern babes get the gold. ;0) who knows? we just might find that nudity is a grand cover, wrapping us all up in acceptance. and one day we won’t notice our uncloaked selves. there will be no categorization or distinction of the “lack” of garments. we’ll be too busy revelling in life’s tides. “who me? naked? huh?! don’t be labelling me now…”
      fig leaves, be gone.
      Love you…

  4. I believe you have just written something that connects with a multitude of people. The writing of it is beautiful. I could feel myself running out of breath as I took this stroll with you through your day, so hectic. Labels? How can you stop long enough to identify them? Brought back memories.

    • thank you so much leslie…it’s my desire to write in a way that connects with people from all walks of life. my theory is that, underneath it all, we all want the same things. mostly. and we all stumble around in the dark until grace, compassion.
      labels…they just don’t do service to what it is to be human, do they? personhood outlasts all the labels, methinks.
      appreciate your input…

  5. eventually we learn to grasp the hand…and I’m tearing up. we don’t fit in labels but we tend to forget.

    • labels…i tend to forget how much they influence me in particular. it’s one of those layers of growth i’m focusing on right now. mostly i just want to find a place to hide right now. still feeling the lingering work of this latest death cycle. life/death/life/death…
      your presence is treasure…


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