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Wednesday, December 29, 2010

Right now I am working on possibly the best Christmas gift I have ever attempted to create. It is 5:30 in the morning and my fingers are covered in a thick layer of glue.

Monday, December 27, 2010

Tuesday, December 21, 2010

quote of the day

charlie: What do you call people who sleep in cars again?
me: ... homeless?
charlie: ... noooo.
colleen: OH! car babies!

Monday, December 20, 2010

*adores*

Thought of You from Ryan J Woodward on Vimeo.

This past Friday gave new meaning to the old adage of "sliding into home."

also, CHRISTMAS! i love, treasure, adore! giving gifts. it makes me super duper uber happy. yeeeee!

Tuesday, December 14, 2010

an ode to a stranger, and to myself

a quote from a very brave woman. i am completely inspired.

"The idea for this came to me after speaking with a therapist who had worked for many years in a secure unit.

She explained the way that people who are psychologically very powerful (and abusive) break down other people and gain control over them. Their intention is to destroy the connections (synapses) in your brain. At a very basic level, these connections are linked to your ability to move. But also, very interestingly, these connections are linked to your individual thought processes, which are individual to you (and which are collectively your consciousness).They sever other connections too: thought-feeling and mind-body.

So the next day, I realized that I had the capacity to reverse the damage he had done, just by very consciously and carefully doing the opposite of that he had done to me. That where he had severed something I would do the opposite, I would make connections.

I began to think about the mechanism of what he had done to me: where he had isolated me, I make friends; where he had silenced me, I express myself in every way I could think of; where he made me freeze with fear I learn to move, with grace and expression; where he had destroyed my ability to think I follow a train of thought through, in as many different directions as possible.

Then I realized that I had the capacity to turn everything he had aimed at me into something positive for myself: where there was hate, I turn it into self care for myself; where there was violence I turn that into gentle regard for myself; where there was fear I turn that into courage."

Monday, December 13, 2010

an ode to charlie love

sorry about the poor scan. i tried.

Sunday, December 12, 2010

Sunday, December 05, 2010

living

Yesterday I had a near death experience.

How dramatic does that sound? Pretty dramatic? Good. I was driving, almost at the church, which was where I was headed, when someone turned left, running a red light right in front of me. It is just hitting me now how lucky I was. Right before I went through that light something told me, almost audibly, "slow down." And I did. Normally I ignore those annoying little whispers telling myself I am just being silly, or I am overreacting, but yesterday I listened. I slowed down to 25 mph and when I saw the car in my path, I slammed on my brakes and barely missed them. If I had ignored that voice, and continued at my previous, legal speed of 45, I would have plowed into the side of that rather sizable SUV.

I could have died. I probably would have, if not for that little voice that told me to "slow down." Looking back, I have had a lot of close calls. I was once locked in the trunk of a car on a ninety-eight degree day in late May, and I lived. I remember realizing that I had stopped sweating. I felt cooler, and I remember thinking that if I could just go to sleep, I would feel much better, but there was that voice that told me "No Kendra, you need to stay awake, just hold on a little longer." I believe that if I had fallen asleep in the trunk of that car, I could easily have died, but I am still alive. Yesterday I could have died, but I am still alive.

I believe God knows me, I have always believed it. I believe he could have let me die yesterday, or any other day, but instead He whispered in my ear, warning me, protecting me. What's news to me (and I can't believe it never occurred to me before) is that I have a purpose. There is a reason I am still here. I am not just drudging along, alone on this rock all haphazard-like; God wants me here. Right now, in this small moment in my tiny little life, I am supposed to be here.

Part of me is not sure how to feel about this. Part of me is so exhausted with living, (the part of me that wishes for anything from going to bed and not waking up, to a fiery car crash) the part of me that thinks dying would be easier. The rest of me is in awe. For years I've asked myself questions like "Why was I saved?" "What is the reason?" "Why do I even matter?" "Why doesn't God just let me die?"

I've realized that perhaps I have been asking the wrong questions all along. I realize now that if there is a creator, and if He has a plan, and if my being alive is part of that plan, then I have a responsibility. I am supposed to accomplish something. Maybe the questions I should be asking myself are, "Who am I supposed to help?" "Whose life am I supposed to touch?" "What good can I do?"

I am supposed to be alive, I know that now, but I think more important than that, I am supposed to live.

Monday, November 29, 2010

perspective

This blog post is going to be brutally honest. Today I was awful to someone.

When I was being abused physically, I developed this hard-won ability to turn off my senses. Nothing could touch me, nothing could hurt me. I suppose that's a metaphor. I hurt, I always hurt. I made my way through the halls of my high school gingerly, skirting around people rather than pushing through the crowds to avoid unnecessary contact that would further irritate my constantly injured skin. But I could take anything that was dished at me physically, because I used the pain as fuel to do what I needed to do to stay alive. The pain was good. If I used the physical pain I was dealt to dull the emotional pain, it was like I was untouchable. Bruises didn't ache, burns and cuts didn't sting, and the mad rush of five hundred teenagers didn't phase me. When someone was hurting me on purpose, I could deal.

Now I have a dear friend who would never, ever want to hurt me. But without the intense physical pain to make the pain of emotions, of feeling feel insignificant, it's like everything hurts. Words that mean nothing harmful make me cry. Being misunderstood makes me cry. Misunderstanding makes me cry. This pain, the pain of my heart beating in my chest is sometimes so much to bear that I don't know what to do. I've never cried so hard as when this person doesn't mean to hurt me.

And so, today, in a rage, I told this friend that I could better understand him if he would just hit me. I told him that I wished he would, that then at least I would know what to feel. I told him, in essence that I would prefer abuse I could understand to him.

I have never felt more ungrateful in my life than when I said those words.

This friend means the world to me. He is understanding, patient, unwavering, a person I don't at all deserve and today I treated him like crap, and his friendship like it was worthless. All of this is to say that I am trying. I am trying so hard to act like a normal person that can have normal relationships with people, and I fail. But I am lucky. I have people who love me no matter how badly I screw up. I have friends that insist I deserve better than what I wish for myself in the heat of an angry moment. I have faith in a gospel that teaches that the worst blunders I could possibly make can be wiped clean. And are. Today I really screwed up and I am SO grateful for the opportunity I have to learn from my mistakes.

Saturday, November 13, 2010

Today

Fall is my favorite for many reasons. Not least among them: I adore the feeling of crunching leaves beneath my feet. Adore. I don't know what it is, but it comforts my obsessive compulsive bits. Crunch one under my left, have to crunch one under my right. Only it's not a HAVE to, like counting syllables or having one bite of each food left on my plate at the end, it's more like a game. Can I make the crunching feel evenly distributed between my feet? Probably not, but at least I feel tall, and powerful, as if I'm a giant crunching building after building (with no people in them of course).

Another thing I love, not completely unrelated, is the sound I make when walking on a driveway of small gravel. Not the giant rocks of a new driveway, but the small worn down pebbles of an old country road. so worn down that some of them are almost as small as the grains of dirt. If there's no one around me but Lovely, and the only thing I can hear is perhaps a breeze and the crunch crunch of the gravel, then I am so comforted. It makes me feel small and cocooned. I am safe and surrounded by happy things.

So today, when I walked Lovely and walked up the gravel driveway covered in leaves, I was in heaven. Perfectly balanced between feeling big and powerful and feeling small and safe. Perfectly balanced between the feel of the leaves and the sound of the pebbles beneath my feet. Perfectly balanced in my steps and my breathing and my emotions. For maybe just two minutes, when I walk that path, I feel like I know what it feels like to be normal, and balanced.

I hope you don't think I'm too strange for this elaborate description of such a very small thing in my day. But have i told you about that fortune cookie I got that told me "You find beauty in ordinary things. Never lose this ability."? It keeps me sane. And happy.

Monday, November 08, 2010


Writing my story before I know the ending quite often feels rather counter-intuitive. I don't know what the story is supposed to look like, how it will end and if I am doing the right things to get myself there. Or if, indeed, there is a "there."

But I think I must have a beautiful story ahead of me, because the most amazing things grow out of the ugliest places.

Friday, November 05, 2010

zoom zoom


My proudest moment

i FINALLY got the pictures from my camera to my computer after at least a dozen different attempts. don't ask me which method worked because i have no idea at this point. The picture i want to share with you tonight is of the best piece of artwork i have done to date. it took a grand total of about 84 hours, was 22"x28" and cost my friend a neat $880 (not including the custom frame). he says it was worth it though. here it is hanging in my very first art show.





i have only one thing to say about the process: plaid is flipping hard to draw.

Wednesday, November 03, 2010

SO... my camera card got corrupted. wiiiith over 300 pictures on it. awesome.

Friday, October 29, 2010

Today is a day for introspection.

The time stamp on these posts is always, always wrong.

I had little patience today for unkind people. My sweet egg friend said to me "you're interesting tonight." I wasn't sure what that meant, and she pointed out that when people had barely started to annoy me (speaking unkindly of others, talking to me like i was a child and making me feel stupid) I was done with them immediately. I don't get this way often, I am non-confrontational, but I think it's because all day today, as I ironed, cut, and sewed, ironed, cut and sewed, ironed, cut and sewed, I was thinking about people.

In high school, there was an extremely small number of people that I trusted with my truth. (I say it was "my truth" rather than THE truth because it was the truth as best as I understood it inside my little soul, a truth that was not as accurate as it should have been.)

It started with one friend, Kate. she was wonderful and accepting, and she believed me. In a moment of desperation, overwhelmed with the feeling of letting go of my deep, dark secret, I told a group of her friends - kids I barely knew - during a game of truth or dare what had happened to me. I then immediately got scared, and took it all back. I told these few people that was I had told them was a lie. After all, better to be a liar than a victim, and everyone already thought I was a liar, so no big right?

I cannot even imagine the pain I caused these people, not to mention the pain I inflicted upon myself burying the truth deeper and deeper into the infected wound that was my body and soul.

I have been searching for some words, some kind of... salve to apply to this metaphorical wound, some apology to offer these people, some way of coming to terms with the trust that I (for lack of a better word) abused. I have been searching for a way to pay restitution, and finding neither the courage, nor the magic words, the best I can do is an attempt from now on at complete honesty.

If this ends up being a letter to myself, that's fine. If any, or all of those young people who took me into their circle of truth or dare, somehow happen to read this, that's okay too. No more lies. No more hiding. What happened, happened. There is no taking it back this time, no pretending it didn't.

1. I was abused by some of my classmates. 2. I reached out to people for help and then I pushed them away.

I can't change these facts. What i CAN change is where i go from here. I can use what I've experienced to motivate myself to go forward with kindness. I choose to be honest. I choose to look for the good in every situation, and I choose to have no patience for the unkind. That is all I can manage today.

Wednesday, October 27, 2010

Right now, miss Liza Love is sitting next to me coloring in a picture of a turnip. I am thinking about halloween. I was going to be a lost boy because Charlie and Emily are being Tinkerbell, Saige is going as a pirate, and Colleen as Wendy. ALAS, it is much more difficult to find a skunk tail at halloween time than one might imagine.

Tuesday, October 26, 2010

Things feel sweeter to me in the fall. Halloween is upon us and I am taking the kids Trick-or-treating. And tonight we will go look for costumes right before we carve pumpkins! Hooray for the simple pleasures in life. I got a fortune cookie once that told me "you see beauty in ordinary things. never lose this ability." I took this very seriously.

Yesterday there was a woman and her grandson sitting in the car next to mine while I waited for my friend. This little boy was pretty cute. He was bored, and he wanted to talk to her, and I could not believe the words that came out of her mouth when talking to this child. "Shut up!" she told him. "You are so @#$%ing annoying. Why do you have to be that way?!" Everything he did was wrong, and I was so grateful for my family in that moment. I am so grateful for my sweet niece and nephew for being so easy to love, and I'm grateful for my momma who loved me even when i was really hard to love. And for never telling me to shut up.

The world can be such a beautiful place when you're young. People want the children in their lives to grow up so fast. Sit still, don't talk, don't play. Why not let them talk to you while they still want to? Why not let them throw rocks at the gravel? (seriously? do you think he's going to mess up the other rocks?!) Why not let them jump in rain puddles when the only place you have to go is home? Why not try to see the world through his eyes for just a little longer, and let what he sees be beautiful?

Sunday, October 24, 2010

Today I am glad to be alive

This morning, my dog jumped on my bladder to let me know she was ready to get up. Ouch. The sun was warm today, and the wind slamming against my face as I drove over the mountain was crisp and cold, that almost painful chill. Today I accidentally sliced two fingers with a rotary cutter while making a quilt. Today an almost-stranger pointed out that when I'm not indulging in my "annoying" childlike habit of coloring to help me pay attention, my Obsessive Compulsive Disorder is "obvious." Hurts.

And I love it. The pain is what lets me know that I'm still alive. It's good. I am lucky to feel the wind on my face, and the stinging of a paper-thin cut, and the pain in my chest when someone points out my flaws. I am lucky to be alive. Thank God.

Friday, October 22, 2010

She'll Be A Morning Shadow

As I am starting this entry, it is 11:11 pm on October the 22nd. When I finish it (more than likely) it will be October 23rd. October the 23rd, 2010. In 49 minutes it will have been one year since I was raped in a grocery store bathroom by someone I knew.

My life took a sharp swerve that night. In some ways, the girl I was that day, and the girl I am today are not so different. Our faces are the same, our core beliefs, our hidden talents are shared, but she had something that I can no longer afford, and that is the luxury of denial.

This one incident brought up more painful memories than I can share in good conscience here and now. I haven't taken a picture of myself once this year. Making art is painful now. There are some days when I can't bring myself to get out of bed. The nightmares kill me. Last night, I didn't sleep at all. I tossed and turned all night, my mind filled with visions of violence, black and white, and slow, with mouths moving, trying to yell, scream, cry, argue, but no sound coming out. Like an old silent movie.

I often wonder if people notice that because of this, I walk around in a fog. Sometimes I feel like they must be able to see that my nightmares walk beside me, but no one says anything. In fact, the people closest to me have noticed a steady change in me from that night, and not for the poorer. It's hard for me to see sometimes how relatively normal I am when I feel such a wreck, but as a line from one of my favorite songs goes "you've come far, and though you're far from the end, you don't mind where you are, cuz you know where you've been."

Today I stand as a woman who has taken only the first few steps in a lifelong journey, but I go forward with the knowledge that, although there may be no real end to this story, there is something better to look forward to. I also press on with the knowledge that I no longer have to walk alone.

Thursday, September 30, 2010

rain

I adore rainy days. Autumn is so close. With the moisture, the trees are starting to turn yellowish green, instead of brown, and the air is getting crisp! yeeeee! Lovely refuses to go outside to go to the bathroom today. She doesn't want to get her pretty little paws wet.

Also fall related: I have been yard sailing and reorganizing (which is taking for EVER) and redecorating. I love it! It's a long process, and is nowhere close to being finished, but it is the most exciting part of my life right now. YAY for yellow walls!

Tuesday, September 14, 2010

fall

What happened to 2010, it's almost fall already!? Don't get me wrong, I am NOT mourning the departure from the sweltering noons, for the crisp chill that is approaching. I am however, a little in shock about how much time I feel like I've lost. Charlie Love is 4 years old, and Saige is almost 10! Ten years old! He is learning to write in cursive, and today he had a little rant about how it's spelled roofs and not rooves, and journeys and not journies. He is definitely related to me. English is hard.

I'm back.

Wednesday, March 24, 2010

Monday, March 08, 2010

When I can't breathe I go outside, lie on the ground, and let the trees envelop me like a cocoon. Like swaddling a baby, I am enclosed, I feel secure, and the trees breathe air back into my empty lungs. Sometimes I think that Heavenly Father put trees on the earth just so I could get through this. He is wrapping that swaddling blanket around me, drawing me into his arms, and rocking me until I am calm.

*****************************************
Where, when my aching grows, Where when I languish,
Where, in my need to know, Where can I run?
Where is the quiet hand to calm my anguish?
Who, who can understand? He, only one.

He answers privately, Reaches my reaching
In my Gethsemane, Savior and friend.
Gentle the peace he finds for my beseeching.
Constant He is and kind, love without end.

Saturday, March 06, 2010

I am extraordinarily lucky

Today I met my Girl Scout leader from when I was like ten. It was weird...and Happymaking. I remember being a brownie, and what's better, SHE remembers me being a brownie. How many little girls has she taken to Savannah? How many girls has she pinned little rainbow pins on, or had to help with mundane projects or stood outside with on chilly spring Saturdays selling Girl Scout Cookies? And she remembers me. I was a silly little girl scout then, and today, I donated a box of lemonade cookies to Walter Reed.

Also today, I drove with the windows down and my music blasting. I know it's a little sacreligious to blast Ray Lamontagne, since he is so chill and deserves to be listened to in quiet meaningful moments with headphones in, but all the same, I blasted Mr. Ray with the windows down and the sun shining on my skin, and it made me smile.

1. bathroom accessories in green and yellow and blue to match a splatter painting done by a nine year old (when he was 8.) a toothbrush holder, a soap dispenser, a trashcan, a shower curtain, and a "cotton container" (which actually ends up being filled with bobby pins and ponytail holders and barrettes)
2. clothes that have not been worn in months coming out of the dryer smelling like Happy and Clean.
3. spring is coming



Would it be bragging to call myself richly blessed?

Thursday, March 04, 2010

lovers loves freckles. tender.



Tonight, the moon through the trees looks like a mirror image of my little globe porch light. Both bright white and slightly less than round, I imagine they are blinking friendly greetings at each other though the dark. I'll leave the porch light on tonight so that the moon doesn't get lonely.

Wednesday, January 20, 2010

Blue eyes


freckles

pigtails