A Random Image

Call it mystical, call it divine, call it whatever you want, but I’ve seen The Shine.
(or, alternately titled “Tuned In Like A Motherfucker.”)

A few weeks ago I slapped up a particularly angsty post (You: “But which? You do so many of them.” Me: This one here. Smart-ayy. Just try and keep up, alright?” You: “Okay, we digress.” Me: “Oh HELL. Shaddap already. I’m tellin’ a tale, it’s late, and I MUST go to bed soon!” You: “Look, stop freaking out and just say what you came here to say. I’m showing a great deal of bravado in mouthing off to you, but I really quiver in fear, as I know you’ll rip my entrails out without much thought and feed them to the chickens in that farmtown where you live.” Me: “You dig okay, baby.”) that initially started out as a Christmas letter to a pal and ended up being so farging dark that I daren’t send it and cast a pall over his holiday season. (Ross! Newest letter is clocking in at four pages, and is still a work in progress! I know, I suck!)

So, lucky you and you and you, too!…I posted it here. In it I spoke of emotional investment and frustration and a feeling of impotence, but there was also an eensy kernel of hope-slash-lightness there:

“All this is such a contrast to how I felt just last night — upon exiting my car under the hazy glow of streetlights, I paused a moment to just breathe. I turned my face up to the rain, its tiny droplets cold and soothing on my cheekbones, my forehead, and felt like a still, small part of something immense and important. I closed my eyes there in the dark and felt love; for a brief moment all the ‘busy’ flew away from me and I knew peace.

“Oh, to live in the midst of that feeling all the time…”

Welp, I learned something about that today, but I’ll get back to that here in a minute.

At the end of that post, a reader that whose name you might recognize wrote something that hung with me, so I put a call out to ole Bakey (the ever-impressive and long-contained Bakelite Lung…that is the coolest nick ever) to contact me via e-mail. Here is the bit that Bakey wrote that snagged my attentions and moved me to make this request a bit after he did so:

“I only know you a little teensy bit but I think you are practicing a Calling.”

Just like that: ‘Calling’, with a cappilull cee. Thus lending it importance and more weight, you see.

Oddly enough, a gentleman that knows nothing about me had approached me not long before that and said, “God told me to tell you that are to be a voice for those that don’t really have one.” There were other things, more detailed things, but for now we’ll just leave it at that, as it was the meat of the matter. Threw me for a loop, because you see, I had been praying about purpose and potential and promise and a whole host of heavy-assed ‘p’ words not fervently, but consistently and from the still, deep place in my heart that I sometimes hide (quite to my own detriment) from even myself.

So quite suddenly and stunningly, we had a theme. A short-running one, but a theme nonetheless.

Now me, I’m prone to all sorts of means of self-destruction, not the least of which is my super-duper, patented Flee The Scene To Avoid A Psychotic Breaktm. Thus my compulsions to do all sorts of neat things like drive too fast and take drugs and travel extensively. You could say that I’ve grown up a lot in the last half-dozen years by virtue of the fact that I’ve lived in the same state (and even county!) for that length of time. I may have forced myself to do it for whatever reason, may have bitched and squirmed, but I have byGod done it. Oh yeah, there’s the also-painful dismissal of cocaine thing, too.

So my urge is to bolt emotionally, to detach myself from any such foolish notions, but instead I quite remarkably said (internally, of course), “Okay, Father. Let’s rock&roll.” and sat quietly –uncharacteristically patient– and waited. I’d never done that before, never just given over. But I’m getting ahead of myself, the words free-falling and going all wompus in my effort to tell all the details.

See, I’m one of those people marked from birth. Call me crazy if you will, drive the stake in the ground and start gathering up the kindling; I don’t care anymore. I’ve been running from the time I came out squalling from between my mother’s thighs. She tells me and everybody who’ll take note that I held my own head up, looked around angrily and screamed bloody murder and defiance. For a long time I mildly and amusedly dismissed this as Southern Momma Myth, but old Doctor Kirkman confirmed this for me unequivocally, and that man was a shit liar (just like me) and quit trying early on for lack of skill (just like me).

I’ve known since I was little that I’m different. Not really any more special than the next guy, but different. Set aside for a particular task that aims to help or guide a few (okay, a lot) of people. Marked. I’ve always, always known this, always felt God’s tug on my heart, His presence in my life, always been both comforted and –in a strange, smallish way– tortured by this. Not the mere notion of this, oh no, but the thing itself. All big, powerful things (and by that, I mean love) are like this. If you don’t know that fact by now, then you’re not fucking learning fast enough, kid.

So now I’m in this holding pattern, after having gone all these years saying, “Okay God, what is it you want me to do?” while He was saying, “You say yes to my Call, girl (AHHhahaha, callgirl), and I will show you. Boy, howdy, will I ever SHOW you!” This said not like a threat, but delivered with a warm and broad smile. HOWEVER, I have always been afraid to just give over: To just give over absolute control to anyone or anything is a BIG SCARY THING to a girl who came out of the womb with head up, eyes open and screaming hell no from minute go. But finally something in me clicked and I was all, “Hey, I incorporate fearlessness into my life as a rule. Why am I letting fear overtake me when I know that if I follow the plan, then I’m slated to win?” God don’t let you lose. That’s not the stuff He is made of. It’s a shame that more churches don’t teach that, don’t state it that cleanly. There’d be a lot fewer sad, horrified people in the world if the word was taught as it was given: With love and kind regard for us, the most prized of all God’s creatures.

(And you know what? I know all the naysayers are gonna come knocking and that’s okay, too. We are all scared and confused, no matter how much information we have, no matter what our belief system. It’s okay for you to believe as you do and it’s okay for me to believe as I do and we can still be buddies, we can still share a biscuit and a pull off the jug together without going all ‘Enemy Mine’ on one another. God loves me, He loves you; why would you want to shoot down someone offering love sans judgement? It’s not my place to judge, man. It’s my role to learn and to grow. If I’m impeding your growth (whatever it may be) by shaking a finger and hollering ‘NONONONO!’ then I’m just damning myself. I’ve had it done to me and patently don’t like it; I avoid doing it to others at all costs.)

(Please know, however, that if you come around here acting all chest-beaty and bullshitty to me, I won’t simply turn the other cheek fifteen times and go, “Oh (s)he’s just a vile sinner and cannot help it.” For shitsakes, you are an adult, and when someone greets you warmly, you don’t spit on their lapels and hop around waiting for a fight while not really, truly expecting one, if you know what I mean. Christians are supposed to forgive, yes, but how can you offer up forgiveness if none is asked of you? Even God Hisownself requires the askin’, and I’m certainly no better than him in style and grace. You know, for the record and all.)

Okay, so back around to the fact that I couldn’t bring myself to respond to BL’s e-mail of ’so, whatchoo need, girl?’ just then. Sort of an eedle throwback to the whole Flee The Scene To Avoid A Psychotic Breaktm thing. But it’s all been sort of coalescing, and this is my response, sort of, all of this, and the part that I’m telling now. There were sets of circumstances that brought me in contact with three people today, just in the normal course of my (achingly busy) day. One I’d never, ever met before but made an almost-compulsive gesture to (I’ll write more on this later). One I know in passing, sort of a quasi-acquaintence-through-bidness/potential Rilly Good Friend. One I know quite well, and we have a relationship of really deep love and respect (you know that friend, the one where you go all, “HEY! Look who’s coming up the walk, HOORAY!” when you see them). I interacted briefly with all these people in what seemed to be innocuous ways, dong my thang, grooving my groove, just being. You know. Just, well…being.

Phenomenally, each and every one of them called me up (in the exact order we had interacted, I might add) to say something along these lines:

“WOW. How great it was that we spoke today. What you had to say was like a sign.
“There are things that happen really unexpectedly, and there’s no way you can chalk them up to coincidence.
“I needed to see you today; somehow you addressed exactly what was going on with me. It was wonderful!”

One of them delivered it their message to me with excitement, one with exhausted relief and one through joyful tears.

One I would have called chance. Two I might have dubbed as coincidence. At three, however, I have to give props. It’s like I’m getting little progress reports, since I’m new at this Truly Listening thing. God is taking time out of having to deal with all the fucked-up, grody shit that’s going on to tell me that my patience and submission are indubitably rewarded and to remind me that I’m part of His plan in what may be life-changing ways even when I’m not really even paying attention.

I’m learning, I think I just may be beginning to evolve, I’m joyful and –as always– I’m so very blessed. That last one, make no mistake, I’ve never, ever lost sight of.

Be still,” is what CNL told me a few days ago, both over the phone and in the comments here. What I hesitated to tell her is that I have been being still, just simply waiting. Not straining an ear, not struggling to listen like an ADD kid in math class as I once foolishly did, but with a still heart and mind. It’s translated itself thusly: I’ve been living my life with much more energy (on even less sleep, remarkably), a peaceful, fluid inside replacing the jaggedy one I’ve carried for so long. Just by virtue of saying that one little phrase that I’ve been batting away for far too many years: “Okay, Father. Let’s rock&roll.”

Boy, the payoff thus far has been rich, and I’m only just getting started.

(thematic musics.)

23 worked it out »

  1. this reads exactly like a DMcC sermon. which is a very hot thing.

    however, I am roughly as excited about this as I am about Blogger getting site syndication. which is a not very hot thing.

     
  2. CNL 1.23.2004

    Dare I say, anybody who don’t know you even a little will read through that, and walk away whistling, Oh, buddy, there she goes. woowoo. Spinny finger to the head thing, too. Those of us that do you know you, won’t be surprised, won’t bat an eye, and certainly no spinny fingers at the head, missy.

    I think the “stillness” I referred to was on the interior (not that I don’t think you got what I was saying), letting the mind and soul be still long enough to hear the message clearly – and not to say that you weren’t listening, I was just concerned that you might not be getting the whole message and my concern was only because I once thought I had heard the Message but it turned out that I only heard the first part, got terribly excited, and failed to hear the second part, and it was the second part that really mattered.

    That’s just my input to your output. Take a breath now, would you? :-)

     
  3. Sarge 1.23.2004

    Hmmmmm….I don’t know if I have this down right, as I can never really understand you….but…. and for some reason don’t know why I am spilling my guts here….but your story brought them back…. but I have a box…an old cigar box, which if just empty alone, brings back memories…At first just boyish memories stuffed away as I headed into the military…times uncertain…..war….a pac with friends whom I never saw again…..that perhaps family could seek comfort in the contents if……Afterwards, luckily for me….then….sad memories added, then marriage, then kids, then military stuff…It’s amazing how much one tiny box can hold, and how it can hold so much pain or comfort or joy…..or change or direct your life in so many ways….

    Seems as if I find this box bout’ every ten years or so…hands shake, tears flow….lid opens….DAMN!….Why do I open it….

    Now….growing older, I find it again…I am anxious to open it…Yes the sadness and the joy the hurt and the pain still remain…….but what the hell….I open it….amzing that after 35 years….I can still add things to this box…now grandkids…lots of joy, lots of smiles….the fear and tears washed away with time…….

    But now…..I’m thinking should I pass it on….this old box full of things that only I know of…or should I take them with me when I go…my delimma now…

     
  4. Jettomatika 1.23.2004

    Richard: …do you ever consider how your attempts to steal someone’s joy may be a very gross thing? You don’t have to be excited, as this isn’t really all about you. You know, in case you forgot.

    CNL: …rest assured, I’m breathing better than I ever have, and I think it’s great you’re concerned. As for the spinny-finger people, well…people been doing that to me (and not with a monitor between us to cushion me) my whole life. I’ve come to expect (and dare I even say?) enjoy it.

    Sarge: always pass on. And you should be reading CNL’s site.

     
  5. Skillzy 1.23.2004

    Jett, you’re a military brat, so you know what “illegitimi non carborundum” means. Never mind the doofuses.

    I’ve never been a very spiritual person (one day I’m gonna spill all of that in a long post or 3), but I’ve experienced those little Connections that you speak of, and they are an amazing thing. Mine have been few and far between. I can only assume that I’m not as well equipped as you are to handle them, so I don’t get them as often. Or maybe I’m just not listening as closely as I should.

    Follow your Calling, Jett of Arc. Ignore the slings and arrows that will inevitably get sent your way.

    Cause those folks need you.

     
  6. Leslie 1.23.2004

    Jett:

    There has never been a doubt in my mind that you would do HUGE things. I think you should GO FOR IT and do what ever it is that He wants you to do and what ever it is that feels right! I hope you know that I will always be there if you need me for anything.

     
  7. waistdog 1.23.2004

    My first response was “Jett had an extra cup of coffee this morning.”

    But there’s a sincerity to your post that caffine can’t supply.

    Rock that thing!

     
  8. john 1.23.2004

    You probably are aware of my thoughts on such things. I’m a stubborn sod that seeks truth and I’ve searched and searched. I’ve never had any religious epiphany. I’ve never felt it. Maybe some folks are not suited for such things. Being agnostic is a condition waiting for a sign and if Providence has provided for you, then maybe I can listen to you and learn to hear it for myself.

    You can ask Melly, I’m quite concerned about being right. Maybe it’s just a form of compensation for whatever perceived faults I have. Through this I am wary of “belief” in it’s implicit expunging of reason and fear its use is flirting with a slippery slope of sophistry.

    These questions have been showing up in my writing for the past month and a half and I’d like to say I’m closer to some kind of understanding, but am more likely to be buried in details. I am considerably literally nearsighted.

     
  9. Jettomatika 1.23.2004

    See, John, that’s where I call the church(es) to task. God does not expect an abandonment of reason; (according to my system of belief) He made us with a capacity for logic and reason…I don’t expect that He would advocate us abandoning it wholesale. Many times we’re just instructed in the wrong manner, and it leaves people bitter, confused, and saaaad beyond measure (although many people are loathe to admit it as you have so boldly done).

    I’m reading your ‘I’m quite concerned about being right.’ statement as one meaning, ‘I’m quite concerned about choosing the right path.’ The pat answer to that is that we ALL are, on some level.

    It saddens me that you liken faith (or belief, if you prefer) to sophistry. Once again, I see that as a by-product of (most) organized religion.

    You’re doing okay, John. Quite alright indeedy. Keep on keepin’ on.

     
  10. Jettomatika 1.23.2004

    And dear waisty: knowing your thoughts/feelings on the matter, your good wishes are worth more than I can communicate adequately here.

     
  11. john 1.23.2004

    About being right: Well, it’s both choosing the right path and a more general need to speak truth about whatever it is I’m writing about.

    On Sophistry: I mean it only as a danger. From what I’ve read of religion there are contradictions that upset my sense of it being an authority. I recognize my own natural adversion to authority and try to account for that in my reading.

    I will keep on. I can not help it. :)

     
  12. Sarge 1.23.2004

    I read CNL perhaps thats what clicked…Wonderful writing and thoughts by another women of extroderanry perception…

     
  13. waistdog 1.23.2004

    You get more than my good wishes Ms. Jett.

    You get my full backing with whatever you do.

    My choice was to dive into the black hole, and sneak up behind myself.

    It can’t work for everyone.

    But it works swell for me.

    The whole thing’s an adventure.

    I don’t know where I’m going, or why?

    But I’m fascinated by the ride.

    I don’t worry about the future, any more than I dwell on the past.

    It just IS.

    The vortex of life.

     
  14. Bakelite Lung 1.23.2004

    John — Epiphanies need not be religious. Sometimes one has an “ah-ha” experience that has nothing to do with the Divine. (Or, perhaps more accurately, one doesn’t perceive any relationship to religiosity. IMO religiosity is exclusively in the mind of the perceiver.)

     
  15. melly 1.23.2004

    I will never forget the day you said,”We are not chickens, Melissa. We are adventurers!” You just have this incredible way about you that knows exactly what I need to hear right then. Or maybe it’s not so much that, but you have a way of speaking the truth, especially when it feels so intangible to me. I imagine you are like that with a lot of people.

    As for John’s line,”Through this I am wary of “belief” in it’s implicit expunging of reason and fear its use is flirting with a slippery slope of sophistry.”

    I totally like understood that whole sentence. I’m so fucking proud, I could piss myself.

     
  16. waistdog 1.24.2004

    I’m proud of you too Melly.

    But now if you’ll all excuse me, I’m going to float back to the shallow end of the pool, and see if I can find my duck.

     
  17. Annoy 1.24.2004

    Quack! Quack!

     
  18. Sarge 1.24.2004

    Lead weight in hand, I plunge into the deep end of Waists pool…out of air, out of sight out of mind…and watch the rubber ducky as he floats to the shallow end…..Gurgle….

     
  19. melly 1.24.2004

    Why do I feel that I need a beret and a drum to be a part of this thread?

     
  20. waistdog 1.24.2004

    No drum needed Melly.

    Just a jaunty beret, and a clove cigarette.

    And, maybe some attractive plaid shorts.

     
  21. melly 1.24.2004

    There is absolutely nothing attractive about me wearing shorts.

    Now, a skort. THAT’s sexy.

     
  22. waistdog 1.24.2004

    True!

    Skort’s ARE sexy.

    But they don’t look as good with a beret.

     
  23. ntexas99 1.25.2004

    oh yeah … I remember you. The one that scares the holy shit outta me and comes at you with a verbal assault that peels your hair back. That’s what it was that I liked about you!

    If God smoked crack, you’d probably be lighting the pipe.

    Then telling all your friends.

    Keep the message moving, girl. And ditch that whole Flee The Scene To Avoid A Psychotic Break thing. Unless, of course, it works for you. More of that rock&roll.

     

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