don’t go chasing after the grand theme, the idea, i told my students, as if it is separate from the story itself. the idea or ideas behind the story must come to you through the experience of the novel and not as something tacked onto it.
~ azar nafisi, reading lolita in tehran

would you like to know why i haven’t written much lately? maybe you hadn’t noticed that i haven’t written much lately – i’ve never exactly been religious in the area of blog regularity. so i’m informing you now: i haven’t written very much of anything lately.

my goal in life is to have a story worth telling, and i’m waiting for the moral to my story. i want to tell a story that makes sense, written in the past tense. a story with pathos, yes, but past-pathos, articulated beautifully instead of raw and incoherent. i’m waiting to blog about my life until my life starts to make sense.

because, honestly, very little in our life makes sense right now. our baby died a year ago, and we are parents with no children.  i am in school right now, but with no major or definite course of study. joel spent the last 5 years in nursing school, and now he can’t find a nursing job. i am taking hormones to prepare my body to induce lactation when we adopt, but we have no adoption prospects; in the hormonal sense i am pregnant right now, but with no baby.

these are paradoxes, not parables. stories without morals, they are messy and confusing, littered together through our lives like multi-colored confetti at a birthday party (but without the presents or cake).

but what if the point of the story isn’t in the story, but is the story.
what if the story cannot be compressed into a point?
what if trials are not, at their root, lessons in character development?
perhaps my story is worth telling, not because of its resolution, but simply because it is my story.

i wonder how often we do this to god’s story. i’m not denying that there are lessons to be learned and morals to ponder, but perhaps we are often so eager to find the truth in god’s story that we miss the truth that is god’s story. a messy, confusing, sometimes contradictory story that doesn’t always make perfect sense … kind of like mine.

this is the place in the blog where i would like to insert a pithy last paragraph to tie it together, because it feels very unfinished  right now. i didn’t address mindfulness like i intended to, i didn’t articulate and defend that part about god very well, and on the whole i feel a bit insecure about hitting the publish button.

but maybe that’s the point.





portland state university parking garage sunrise mount hood

this was my view this morning from the inside of my car, on the eighth level of portland state university parking structure one.

the top level was nearly empty, but one woman parked two spaces away, got out of her car, and stood at the railing, taking pictures with her little point-and-shoot. i quickly finished my tea and got out of the car to talk to her.

“it’s a beautiful day, isn’t it?” i pretended to fumble with my bag.

she smiled back and agreed. i told her i had just been doing the same thing with my phone camera (from the warmth of my car). she admitted that she dropped her phone in water, and now its camera doesn’t work. she also admitted that she feels conspicuous taking pictures with her camera, and i told her that i’m a photographer, and sometimes feel the same way.

we twinkly smiled in camaraderie over our unspoken secret: that the first nice sunrise in weeks was worth pausing for, savoring, sharing with a stranger on the top level of a parking garage.

then i left for my greek history class, and she walked away.