Friday, March 1, 2013

Cracking masks

Welcome to my contribution to March's Random Journal Link-Up Day::

We just painted and rearranged our bedroom and have yet to put up one bookshelf, so at the moment my journals are sitting on the church pew right inside our most frequently used door.
Yes, right beside the log-cabin doll house my dad made for SK for her 8th birthday, which was coincidentally the last birthday he was alive. The church pew, by the way, came out of the church my family attended in my home town. So there sit my journals. Or most of them, anyway.
And today I thought I'd give you a peek into the journal I pulled from the pile.

Well, sort of a peek, anyway. Mostly it's a look at the dogs in their favorite positions on our bed, meaning there's no space for either Beve or me (as you can tell). And the relative size of them. Consider: Jamaica, the Springer, weighs 60+ lbs. Kincade, now just 20 days away from being a year old, weighs over 100, easy. And he's all clumsy muscle still. And look at the size of his head alone. It's ridiculous. I tried to keep him from pulling a quilting project off this bed the other day and I think he pulled my arm out of its socket. The muscles are still protesting.

But I digress.
The entry I noticed in this journal (in the black pen) was written on August 30, 1991. We had just moved to Sequim, WA (pronounced SQUIM for those of you not from these parts) from Tacoma, and were bunking with Beve's parents while waiting for our house to be completed. It was close quarters with the grandparents, but we've always felt so blessed that God gave us that time. A month later, while we were still in their home, Beve's mom was diagnosed with endimetrial cancer. A year later--on September 14, 1992--she died. So it was definitely God's hand that put us there for such a time as that.

But I knew none of that when I wrote these words. And I didn't know that Beve's dad would live another 20 years +. What I did observe was something I could have written today. In fact, it's unbelievable that I could have written it then rather than now, when I knew NOTHING of aging parents with cancer, Alzheimer's, etc. Or of my own personal adversity. But the Spirit knew. And I can absolutely attest that these words are true.

The older we grow, the more basic we become. We must work harder to mask the warts of self. Finally, set firmly, we stop masking altogether. Or maybe finally the mask just cracks and cracks until it no longer stays on our face. Younger people wonder then why we're so difficult, why we can't just get along and be pleasant, when we changed and got so crotchety when perhaps we haven't changed at all. When the very acts of life--breathing, pooping, eating--require notice and work, we cannot afford energy on politeness. The paradox, however, is that we keep trying and rather than recognize that we've dropped the facade, we assume it's the world around us--the 'other'--that has made us become hostile. It seems to me that the best way to get a true sense of a person's spirit is to see him/her at the ends of life. Look at a two year old and an eighty year old--they'll tell you the truth of themselves. They can't help it. At thirty-five, the game seems worth playing, the mask is made of concrete, the image worth preserving.
Adversity does the same thing, I guess. Maybe that's what God wants. He wants me stripped to self, no matter how ugly that is, in order to re-create what REALLY is rather than what I want to be, pretend to be. He wants that mask destroyed today, while I'm only 35, so that at 80, I'll be pure gold.
And that's what I want to. No matter what it takes.


Dawn Paoletta said...

Wow. Prophetic and powerful. The SPirit within us does have wisdom beyond our current season...and we carry it (Him) inside us. Wisdom comes out and reminds us of that presence in our writing, yes? I see it here. APpreciate your sharing your words. I really love that you have the pew...dollhouse, journals. All memories, nostalgia together a precious shrine. The dogs are just so sweet looking. How they bring us smiles even though like children, themselves.

Mia De Vries said...

You touch deep places in my heart with your words. I am turning 50 in a month and suffer from Fm/CFS. Our Pappa God has used this illness to draw me sooo close to Him and I truly don't have energy for any pretensions and the such. Yes, He prunes us from all that mars His beauty in us!
Visiting from Dawn's.
Much love

jeskmom said...

Mia, I also have FM as well as a severe nerve disease that began 10 years after I wrote this post. That's what I meant about it being prophetic. GOD used it for good in my life, thou ghost the good has not come easily. Gifts of the fire I've called it, but I wouldn't' change who he's made me now for any of it,no matter what the pain--and it's substantial and debilitating. How I've had to rely on Him...that's been electorally.

jeskmom said...

...worth it.