Everyday miracles

I believe in all the things that are normally left in fairy tales and make-believe. I know angels to be real and love when I see little timestamps in my journey that tell me I am exactly where I’m supposed to be.

Last night I had statistics class. I hate it. For a lot of reasons, but mostly because its just not my cup of tea. It also does not help that every example we get to make the content “real” is biology related, but I am taking it in the nursing school. Needless to say I spend a lot of the class lost. Yesterday ways particularly difficult for some reason, I am not sure why. Normally, our professor gives us the last 45 minutes or so to do our homework and everyone stays to take advantage of her help. Last night, I couldn’t do it.

I walked out of class frustrated at not being even the slightest bit interested in a class at this stage in my education, and then the funky spiral. I got upset because I wanted to go home and couldn’t because it gets dark so early now that walking home is not the best idea. And I hate that my plans to get a car are always ruined by some unfortunate circumstance. I had worked myself up and just wanted my bed to be my fortress of solitude.

Then I looked down at my phone and saw an email from my student asking about extra credit. I remembered that I’d sent them to “some leadership workshop” and thought, well let’s see what I’ve sent them too. I walked to the UC imagining how nice it would be to have my own car finally and to be able to just come and go as I please. I was lost in thought the whole walk over. As I arrived to my destination I thought about a classmate who works in the building. I thought maybe she’d be around and I could ask her for a ride home. So, I touched the handle and said outloud, “find something to be grateful for.”

Ten steps later I get to the doors of the workshop and its Zachary. And Crystal. And my advisor. I also saw Mass Elle, who I’d been texting earlier about how miserable I felt in stats class. I looked around the room and found lots of familiar welcoming faces and I took my seat and joined the work.

The thing that I have to laugh at was how I so desperately wanted home. Its all I could focus on, and now here I was dedicating another hour to being on campus, but that space with those people was and is home. Not only that, but the work we were doing was work I told Zachary I wanted to do more of with him. Well played, God. Well played.

So there was still the issue of going home. How was I going to get there? Mass Elle told me I could just take her car and drive back in the morning. I could have cried. Not because of her offer, though it was incredibly kind and I am grateful for it. But because of the quick return on my prayer. I needed that independence, to feel it, it have it affirmed and if only circumstantial and if only for one night.


When I went downstairs to get keys from Mass Elle I saw the book Blue Like Jazz which I have referenced several times. There it was just sitting there on her desk. I asked her who’s it was and she didn’t know, but I knew. It was there for me to notice. For me to be sure that in this moment I am where I am supposed to be. In every sense; physically, mentally, spiritually, etc. I recalled the opening lines…

I never liked jazz music because jazz music doesn’t resolve. But I was outside the Bagdad Theater in Portland one night when I saw a man playing the saxophone. I stood there for fifteen minutes, and he never opened his eyes.

After that I liked jazz music.

Sometimes you have to watch somebody love something before you can love it yourself. It is as if they are showing you the way.

I also took one more step in the direction of choosing teaching. Because, after all, it was my students who lead me there. When Henry asked me what was important to me right now (because, he said, this same thing will govern the trajectory of my next years) I thought of two things, family and seeing people go within. That’s really what I want to do. I want to show people the way. Not my way, the way, so really “I” just want to get out the way.

Two things just struck me, the night I saw Henry, he sang this little light of mine with his wife, my advisor, what an appropriate song for the space. And also, some of our students put up a board outside the Student Life building with the question, “what is it you have been called to do?” I wrote big as day in bright orange marker, LOVE~thats all there is~

Way to bring it full circle. Again, well played, God, well played.

Me, Alice, and God

I was laying in bed, just now, halfway wanting to roll over and surrender to slumber, and halfway wanting to engage in the world; I decided to read.  I pulled out my phone and went to my kindle app where I looked up Blue Like Jazz by Donald Miller. I got so far as the introduction before I had to get up and write. In it he says,

I never liked jazz music because jazz music doesn’t resolve.  But I was outside the Bagdad Theater in Portland one night when I saw a man playing the saxophone.  I stood there for fifteen minutes, and he never opened his eyes.

After that I liked jazz music.

Sometimes you have to watch somebody love something before you can love it yourself.  It is as if they are showing you the way.

After reading that fragment of his introduction, I “wrote the following in my head.”

Perhaps I should begin [this book] by clarifying clearly who or what God is to me, as I will refer to God by many names, each situationally appropriate. I see God as neither male nor female, but I may use his. I normally refer to God in the female sense when referring to nature. That may be habit of social conditioning, i.e. Mother Nature.  I do not, however, see God and nature as two separate entities, in fact I see the opposite.  I  may refer to God as the divine. I may also refer to the god within me, or Me.  I suppose grammatical  nods to capitalization of pronouns have led me to believe that this distinguishes and deifies a thing if there is such a word. Lastly, I may not refer to God at all, at least explicitly but know that in writing this book of where I was then and how I knew God, the divine was omnipresent.  If anyone has shown me that it has been Lewis Carroll. It is with he and perhaps his greatest heroine, Alice, that I came to hold presence and thus divinity with due reference.  It is she, more than most, who traveled beyond rationale as an exemplar that it could be done. It is with Alice I became limitless. As Donald Miller had jazz, I had Alice; and it is with her I both begin and end. 

And in that moment, having thought that thought I was different. Same as I am now.


Unsure  of what to do with that piece of a thought, I knew I had to write it down before it left me as so often my thoughts do.  I can sometimes get them back, but often they are gone.  What would happen, I wondered just now, if I wrote every time I was called to write?  Then would I have my novel? My piece of prose? My beloved? And why god?

Simple, that relationship has been the one with the best plot.  No other union has led to more adventure, love, fear, acts of courage and bravery, instances of pomp and circumstance than that of me and God.  If I am to tell a story, if I am to write what I know Know then I must write of that.  It has become a part of ever post, not intentionally. I never set out to, it just is.  I wonder how those who do not believe or care of a higher power take my words. The thought is brief.  I do not write for a congregation, nor to convert.

I got an email once from a member of a women’s bible study group saying that they read and discussed posts I had written in their group.  As happy as I was to have people get something from my words, I was equally as puzzled that anyone should be discussing me or my life at a bible study group.  How did that happen?  It really, matters not and that thought, though a bit longer, was still brief.  The place that I write from is pure and largely unfiltered.  I write without intention, as it pertains to response. I do not seek an audience and if no one read at all my thoughts would remain.  I suppose that is me “let[ting] go of the consequences of telling the truth.”   The subjective truth that is.  No capital T.

Perhaps one of my greatest thoughts was this: Words, however beautiful are feeble attempts at expressing something greater; but no collection of them can wholly define Self, Love, or God.  For a writer and as one who holds words and language to such high regard this is quite a cheeky thought.  However, Carroll made me realize it, as he has shown me many things.  And then again…was it really Carroll?  I have always said that God speaks in the way(s) that we listen.  I believe that I walk with Alice, but perhaps it is only because through her love and really her need of nonsense, I came to accept myself.  I came to love fully, and I came to my own center, my own limitlessness.  In this case, Alice is just another form of the divine.  But isn’t everything?

Into the ocean

I took her silence as permission to pray, or really do whatever it was I was being called to do and it just so happened the moment called for a talk with something higher.  Out into the ocean I breathed with purpose, dissecting the smells of my surroundings; surf, sand, a passing sun, and peace.  She would have understood me if I told her it smelled like peace though I decided to let the thought remain unspoken.  He came to me.  Thoughts of my sister coming into a new phase in her life…spring.

I contemplated spring and in that split moment of inhale when he came, hummmmmm I exhaled him out into the wind.  Are you sure? Its what you know. Its where you have been, this relationship has defined so much of your life.  Another deep inhale and hmmmmmm blew the doubt into the wind after him. I am not, nor will I ever be defined in relation to another; surely if I am more than my body I am more than his safety.  A birth..my sister, her young budding joy and a rebirth in myself truly alone with my heart solely as my own.  I remembered blue like jazz…

[I want to] marry a girl who, when I am with her, makes me feel alone.  I guess what I am saying is, I want to marry a girl whom I feel completely comfortable with, comfortable being myself.”  How lovely a thought is this?  The idea of being with someone and being able to be yourself completely when you are around them, and know they will still be there, this is what I too have always wanted in a marriage.  The author is not married, he has a discussion about marriage with one of his friends, whose main issue with marriage is that while he is in an intimate relationship, it will never be the ultimate fulfillment, because “there are places in our lives that only God can go.”  I found this idea fascinating.  After this conversation, author then writes a monologue of a husband to his wife, in which he says: “I will give you this, my love, and I will not bargain or barter any longer.  I will love you, as sure as He has loved me.  I will discover what I can discover and though you remain a mystery, save God’s own knowledge, what I disclose of you I will keep in the warmest chamber of my heart, the very chamber where God has stowed Himself in me.  And I will do this to my death, and to death it may bring me.”  This is what I want in a relationship, in a marriage.

It has come to the point, I told the sea, where I am acutely aware of myself. Not only that, but I can predict his response to me.  There is no curiosity, no wonder, no…adventure. It is safe but the comfort of that safety is what has escaped me.

I wanted to sit down and feel the earth in my hands while I spoke with the sea and breathed in the air, lighting my own fire for perfect alignment with each element. I instead slipped a foot out of my shoe. I breathed in again. Just me? Just me.  And for the first time, maybe ever, it did not feel like a problem to be fixed or a riddle to be solved. It simply was.  I simply am.  Alone with my heart, but not lonely in love.

On the way home from the adventure, she asked me how I felt? Was I lighter having left it at the ocean?  I said I felt like that wind. I felt like peace.  There was no noise there, no man made noise. Just the wind and the tide as it swept across the beaches and kissed the cove as if they were newlyweds.  I felt like that but how do you put a perfectly sacred moment into words?  I felt like there was no noise. Just peace. Just still.  Just divinity.

by artist Mae Chevrette