Monday, October 5, 2009

Not a cake.

Someone just texted me.
"What are you doing?"

The real answer:
homework. making dinner. drinking hot chocolate. writing. laundry. dishes. texting you.

How am I doing all of these things at once?
The real answer:
I'm not. I am absolutely not.

Legs: lunge for the shaking pot -- Oh no! That is SO not a simmer.
Ears: listen for the microwave to ding.
Arms: fold what comes out the dryer and
Then: get back to my book at this kitchen table
While: hot water and soap fill the sink.
But: I'm not in any of these things.

I am in my mind, entirely.

Thoughts from Layer 1:
I am so hungry
and late for everything
and I really
really just wanna snuggle.

Layer 2:
I am thinking that I am the craziest girl alive.
I'm thinking about boys. And really,
Can any of you handle my frustrating complexity?
If so, could you teach me how?
If not, I should warn you about that...

Layer 3:
I'm thinking about the mass influx of letters I have recently received,
all unexpected, all from great distances.
There are 6 envelopes full of things I've wanted to hear.
Voices from up to seven years ago embody the complexity I have tried to tame.
"This is what I've learned."
"I love you."
"I wish I still knew you."
"I'm trying to understand."
"I'm waiting on you."
"I still see who you are."
They come from North Carolina, Honduras, Virginia, Lithuania,
and literally around the corner.
Really, all at once.
I'm thinking about how I will ever reply,
because I have to do it with my WHOLE self,
and these days-- I'm divided.

Layer 4, or somewhere in there...
I'm thinking about what my Shakespeare professor told me.
First, she asked "And how are you dear?"
I was getting up to leave,
fixing the hat to my head and the ipod to my ears.
I stop.
She's had me before, and I can tell she knows, so I spill.

"I don't get it. I read and read and gain no significance. But literature is my life, and I've never had this problem, so it's totally undermining my confidence-- and kind of, my identity. I mean... this is the big stuff! If I can't get this, can I ever get the rest? I feel like my response is inadequate, and only further evidence that I am missing the mark."

By now, all other kids have left the room.
She says
"I know you are dutiful. Try to stop dissecting. Instead, let the language wash over you. Lose the fear. You will find something original to reply with."

She was talking about Measure for Measure.
But is this my answer for life?

Layer 5:
Behind all of the thoughts I have just revealed,
are thoughts that try to disprove these things.
LAYER FIVE SAYS YOU ARE NOT ENOUGH. YOU HURT BOYS. YOU ARE DISORGANIZED, AND UNRELIABLE. YOU ARE BAD. YOU DON'T EVEN GET SHAKESPEARE.
Layer 5 is the problem.
Layer 5 is new to me, I don't usually struggle with these thoughts,
Because here's the deal:

I am Lyndsi Shae.
I AM LYNDSI SHAE.
I am strong in my identity, fierce in my convictions.
I AM STRONG IN MY IDENTITY, FIERCE IN MY CONVICTIONS.
I know who I am.
I KNOW WHO I AM.
I know what I want.
I KNOW WHAT I WANT.
I have a voice.
I HAVE A VOICE.

Layer 5 attacks at the source of my strength, my one rare rock.
And I refuse to listen.

I see now, that what I said about my Shakespeare class
is actually how I feel about life.
And what that glorious woman replied,
is probably what God's been trying to say.
This week it's about letters, but always it's more.

And now my dinner is burning.
But so worth it.
If I did not write, I could not define myself past Layer 1.
And I would surely never conquer the 5.

Can you believe what's happening in here?
Much more than laundry, dishes, and texting.
Much more than homework.

The only guide to a man is his conscience; the only shield to his memory is the rectitude and sincerity of his actions. It is very imprudent to walk through life without this shield, because we are so often mocked by the failure of our hopes and the upsetting of our calculations; but with this shield, however the fates may play, we march always in the ranks of honor.
--Winston Churchill.

5 comments:

melissakunz said...

Wow. Wow. WOW!!! You are amazing. I felt like you grabbed me by the collar and took me into your soul. I love the idea of separating our days and thoughts into layers. Thank you for uplifting my day.

brooke said...

I want to meet this woman. What amazing advice, to stop dissecting and just let things wash over you--take in the whole.
I am so glad to know you. I can't stop telling you this.

David's Holla Atchya! Blog said...

Writing is lethargic for you more than anyone else I know...

Que Buen Chica! said...

I (too, also, as well) know you are dutiful. (Please - Please - PLEASE)Try to stop dissecting. Instead, let the language (and all of your life experiences) wash over you. Lose (all of)the fear. You will find something original (and comforting) to reply with!

PleaseRememberMeFondly said...

Layer 5 is eating me alive these days. Winning. And I hate it. I want to kick it in the face.

I miss you. I wish I knew everything about your life. We need to catch up. And by WE i mean, You need to tell me about your life b/c mine is pretty dismal right now, haha.

I love you. And your words. Always.