Friday, November 2, 2012

Living now

It's November.
Wow, November. Raise your hand if this year has been a blur.
Mine are both raised so high it's like I'm praising God.
Maybe I am.
I should be. For the good and hard alike. He's seen us through. Faithful is He...

And this first Thursday (now Friday!) of November brings another Random Journal Link-up. So you have two choices, friends. You can simply scoot over to Dawn's blog and check out the other blogs OR, if you're a journal-er, add a treasure to the trove. There's always room for one more at the table.

My offering this month comes from 2004. As usual when I open one of my blue notebooks, I can't simply stop at the first page I read because I'm plunged back into that time. Kids in high school and middle school meant life was full of activities. And I was just finishing a stint as elder of our church at a very tumultuous time. So now that I've read about a month's worth of entries, I can't remember where I started. So I'll just give you this snippet of thought, nothing overtly spiritual, but a window into me.

April 3, 2004 (one of the two dates--along with the 7th--scholars believe was the actual resurrection of Jesus):
(Ed note: My book list tells me I'd just been re-reading Daisy Miller by Henry James)
There's a commode in our front hallway from the late 1800s. On it sits a tarnished silver dish where Beve puts keys, wallet and other pocket miscellany each evening. Rather than piece of bathroom furniture, I imagine it a fancy table where, a century ago, a woman calling, might leave her embossed calling card in it. The dish would fill and I would feel proud that I was so popular. I am important because so many trussed up women seek my afternoons. See how many guest squeeze into my front parlor? We sit in our lawn dresses and fine hats pinned to piled hair, drinking tea in tiny cups held in long, white-gloved hands. Take delicate bites of rich cakes I had no hand in the making.  Sweating on hot days because our clothes make no allowance for weather. I can't imagine a single sentence of conversation I might have have so attired, so besieged by such rigorous societal constraints. There is no possibility of intellectual discourse. I can only see the calling card dish, and the table surely from that age.
     A word or two of interaction of any meaning with the opposite sex would be as impossible as not wearing those cumbersome dresses. Like wearing no clothes at all. For all the wealth such a life implies, I would be poorer. So much poorer I cannot grasp how I'd have breathed--in two ways--inside those tight corsets.
     I am a creature of my decades. I was born at the right moment. My children might be incredulous, or even laugh, at the world I/we grew up in--no computers, videos, cell-phones, digital cameras, DVDs, all things technological--but I know our lifetime, and theirs as well, has been a whisper.
However, even though there have been more changes in the last hundred years than all the centuries before, when it comes down to it, the biggest change that ever happened in the world happened in a stable. Before I was even a thought anywhere but in God. It wasn't only the WHO I'd be...He was also intentional about the WHEN of my life. I was meant to live now.


Recovering Church Lady said...

Oh I loved this step into another time, so clear I could almost hear the stiff petticoats rustle. Ha!
My entry way ALSO holds an antique commode/table and on it lives a little blue and white antique dish for keys etc. :)

quietspirit said...

In my living room sits a antique table. It was my great-grandmother's. I believe it's a Duncan Phyfe. It's actually a small library table. It has ivory wheels. I haven't always taken good care of it. But I began this year with better intentions. As Christmas approaches I will be using it to hold a small Christmas tree. I have a hand crocheted doily made, I believe by one of my great- aunts. Your story makes me long for times simpler than ours.

Pamela M. Steiner said...

Pardon my ignorance, at first I thought you had a toilet in your hall, and I thought, "what a strange place to put your keys", until I realized you were talking about a wooden table or chest that used to hold a bowl and pitcher for washing, known as a "commode" in the olden days. Ha! Duh. I don't have one of those, but I do have an antique buffet in my foyer, and it holds whatever anyone decides to leave there, but mostly it holds my guest book...which I would want you to sign if you came to visit! Please do! Thanks for this lovely post today. Pardon me while I get out of my corset. The bone stays are digging into me...

Modern Day Disciple said...

Hahaha! Pamela's comment made me giggle...Oh, I love the imagery from this share! Nicely spun and I am all breathless at the thought of it took me away. Glad we are both here, now! He knows what He is doing!

Kel Rohlf said...

Nice. I too had the image of a modern day commode...thanks for clearing that up Pamela :)

But you whisked me away to the calling cards and dresses and I forgot all about the table/commode...I like how you admit that you wouldn't know what to converse about at that time period...God knew our best WHEN...hurrah!

peggy aplSEEDS said...

i am amazed at how wonderful the journal entries are here in Random Journal day. you have a gift for writing! thank you for sharing.