A month and, 2 weeks?
I’ve been so.. busy.
Life is very – different.
I don’t know what to say; so much has been running through my head, slipping into my pores and bleeding out of my mind; so very much has been bombarding my senses – in soft and gentle ways, in rough and deliberate beatings.. I want to share everything, I want you to find something significant and relevant in my life that helps make sense of yours, but..
All I can convey, is
Change, and the absolutes that.. ever guide, and ever-remain.
I’m still here.
Just, not in the same place I was before.
Not at all.
Today is August 23rd, 2010.
(Framing time: Friday, July – something.)
Last month, in mid to late July, I received (while up in Mountaindale, NY, taking Bible classes) a phone call (or was it a skype call, a text message, or an email?) from Christopher stating that.. it was final: Chris and I had been accepted as english teachers for a small church school in Ukraine (yeah, that’s Europe). It was confirmed: we were LEAVING the country in alittle over a month and had a wedding to plan and traveling arrangements to make.
I, being a creature born with an innate impulsive nature and a daring, adventurous, ready spirit – pressed, repeatedly, that the best course of action would be for me to pack up my bags, clean up the dorm room, load my car and leave that night for Birmingham, AL – a trip of 16 hours. Chris and Susan (his mom) dissented; they urged that it would be crazy, dangerous, and we needed to NOT act rashly and make hasty decisions. So, in the matter of a few hours, I had it all set in stone: I was totally packed up; the weekend plans with friends had to be cancelled and they were informed of the change; my aunt and uncle (who were then vacationing in NJ and who had expected that I would come up the following weekend for a visit) welcomed me to meet them at the NJ shore the very next morning, and Christopher would plan on me arriving in AL late Monday night. I needed to get there as soon as possible.
It was a Friday night when all of this decision-making took place, so at worship that evening I shared with everyone (all who, with the exception of my best friend, Jan, were ignorant of what loose planning Christopher and I had been stitching) that I had to leave the course uncompleted — something had come up. I had learned a lot, grown to love them, and would miss everyone terribly. Jan and I cried; we slept in the same room that night and we transferred all of her belongings/ stuff into my “old” room; it was the coolest, nicest in the whole dorm and I wanted her to have it before anyone else.
The weekend, was awesome. Drove to New Jersey; it only took like 5 hours. Took lots of pictures, enjoyed sight-seeing and sun-bathing, eating ice cream and fruit-marketing (visiting the fruit market?) with family that I love and don’t see as often as I’d like. My aunt and I are always closer after each visit (usually twice anually); I don’t know how, but in the space of 8 years (the time we’ve known eachother), she’s become my best friend. Had a great time. One of the most profound moments, was, the night before my journey downward began, I walked up to the shoreline, where wave and sand meet, and sat there with Charlie – just, singing and strumming.. with my heart, my hands, and no inhibitions – no consciousness of self, no critiquing or despising of product. Just enjoying the night sky – it’s dark blackness.. the water’s society – it’s quiet, unresisting, sincere and peaceful company and companionship.
Here is an excerpt from that time period — a personal journal entry, written on July 25th, 2010, at 12:16 pm.
Sitting in the living room of Amy’s parents’ rented-out place. Doug, Amy and I have been sitting, for the past 30 minutes, on different couches and chairs, reading different books, silently to ourselves, forming thereby a sort of book club.
We went to the beach yesterday; it was awesome. The sand was hot, the water was freezing. The waves were aggressive and I conquered them. I became fierce and strong, bold and loving. I realized –
every pulsation of the water, each slamming of the tide, was just an expression of deep, heartfelt love —
an attempted embrace, kiss, or mess of affectionate words.. so, I told her I loved her; I said “hello, darling..” I swam right through her love, and I rode with it. Where we had formerly opposed and misunderstood one another, we worked in unity as one.. we were stronger when united in purpose, we were all-powerful when we worked as one.. (I boogieboarded).
It was awesome.. looking behind you, in waist-chest high water, waiting for the “right wave” to come, and then mounting the board, pushing your body forward, keeping your head level, your legs down and kicking. She arrives and you are ushered forward, you are carried, encouraged,
The New Jersey Shore is just endless. You look left, right and forward, and see no end. It was even cooler at night, when we went to the boardwalk (it’s called Moorey’s Pier). We got pizza, walked all around the theme park, took pictures and I, along with Doug and Amy, rode the ferris wheel. The view (from/at the top and to our left), was phenomenally sublime. It was dark (around 11 at night – sun had set entirely). The moon appeared to be full (at most, only a day short of it), and he shone brightly,- some of his light resting on the breathing, living waters. You could scarcely.. really, you couldn’t see where the waters ended and the “sky” began. There was no definite line; no discernible separation. They were one, and in love – They were united, and beautiful.
(Very late) that night, while Micah, Doug and Christian loaded themselves into the car to drive home, Amy and I decided to walk (home). It was afew miles, and would take us atleast an hour, but it would give us quality time together; the night scene was too awesome to miss, and both of us just like being outdoors/ exercising. (more later, we’re going to a fruitstand).
END of entry. The next begins with “I’m sitting on a bed in Chris’s room; this life is so insane.”
Back to present; well, the present in a sense that I’m recounting it from the viewpoint and perspective of NOW (outside of the journal paper lines).
SO the next day (morning), I drove down to Alabama. It was an all day affair; I left the vacation house around 6 am and arrive at Chris’s around 10 pm. The entire trip was pleasurable. I stopped somewhere to eat, I guess; can’t remember.. the detail slips my mind.. but I DO recall, somewhere in TN, being so stir crazy and SICK of sitting on my butt that I got out of the car in some metropolitan area and walked into Ross.. spent 5 minutes looking around, shopping, tried on a pair of blue jeans and a black shirt and bought both because-
well, they fit, and I liked them.
It was a diversion – a welcome distraction. 🙂
Got back in the car and pretended the trip had just begun.. “4 more hours – I’ve got this.”
Had an energy drink; roadtrips – long car rides – are my only excuse for enjoying them. I’d rather poison my body with some caffeine and live a few more years than fall asleep and die during the travel.
So yeah, I remember that about 2 minutes away from Chris’s house, I got pulled over.
“No.. way. This IS NOT HAPPENING!” I freaked out, started crying — my mind bewildered, my heart racing..
“It’s destiny! I’m just not meant to see him, this is horrible, I’m going to jail and I’m not going to see him, after all this TIMEEEEE I’m just breaths and seconds away and..”
The cop came over and I had already had my window rolled down; asked for license and registration. Charlie was in the front seat with me (Charlie is my guitar, you recall) and I had difficulty opening the glovebox because he’s so large (and was so in the way). Cop saw I was crying (and struggling) and accepted just my license, walked away after saying he was going to “process it.” I assented and continued to look, frantically, for the silly card stating I was insured or registered – whatever. Meanwhile, my phone was lying on the car floor or maybe it was on the passenger’s seat – I had thrown it in my hysteria, hysteria that birthed in or entered me upon the realization that the the flashing lights behind me were FOR me; didn’t want to get arrested (or, more likely, fined) for “texting and driving.”
The police man returned and said that I was fine, and wasn’t going to be fined; just, needed to drive with my lights ON.. and he also recommended that I keep my license and registration handy, just in case, for next time. 🙂
Made it to Chris’s. Stepped out of the car; he was waiting, I fell into his arms. A kiss.. a lively reunion with his family indoors.. and then a quiet midnight celebration of cuddling together in the comfy, white livingroom chair.
This is home.
And so, back to now. Well, wow. I’ve been living in AL for over a month and.. yesterday, Chris and I got MARRIED. The past few weeks were spent preparing for this occasion, this very-extra-super-special “once-in-a-lifetime” (right, world?) event. Flowers, clothing alterations, tuxedo renting, cake choosing, ring considerations, wedding night arrangements, coordinating all the bridal party deets, bringing everything together for the rehearsal dinner and allllll thattttt jazzzzzz. It’s all over now. I can breathe now; the haze is gone, the mist is clearing.. and as much as I love storm clouds, they start to subside –
and what’s really cool and best of all,
is the sun doesn’t HAVE to shine.
Because everything bright and beautiful is mine,
everything darling and precious I know-
Everything amazing and wonderful is, mine –
because I’m married to my best friend,
the best friend,
I’ve ever known.
Christopher Andrew Yarbrough –
“For you, I’d bleed myself dry.” (Coldplay)
These are the tiny little hairs of a wrinkle in my mind; journal entry from..
August 20th, 2010 – just afew days ago. One of the few (one-hand count) and full, somewhat detailed personal entries I’ve made
in the past month of existence.
Sitting on the wooden plank of a picnic table in the Brimingham First SDA Church yard, listening as Chris and his old friend, Tom, talk with one another and tune their guitars into a playing-ready condition.
Today was intense; the preparation day to the UMPH degree. Had to pick up my dress, Chris’s tux, and Leah’s (the flower girl) lacey wedding-day socks.. Needed to drive to the Galleria, walk into Belk and find a cosmetic station by the name of “Clearique” (it’s actually Clinique). Chris and I stopped by two junky dessert places within the mall walls, got 2 fraps, and split 6 cookies and a brownie amongst oursevles, the two of us. I feel, crappy and nauseated. Nauseated and crappy.
it could bear repeating.
Stopped by the church to drop off my dress/related ” big day” items and to get directions (off the church’s computer) to Elizabeth’s (FNF’s host — FNF is Friday Night Feast, a religious-social get together, thing) house. Fiona, Jewel and PJ were here; they called us out into the foyer and there questioned us regarding rings. “Do you have them? Do you WANT them?” I then shared that we had gone to two pawn shops (one had been closed) just before arriving at the church and hadn’t been able to find what we were looking for: two plain, simple, unembedded, unembellished silver or white gold bands.. how that I had prayed God would help us find what we were looking for..
and then, the answer – the outgrowth of the seed, the fulfillment, the confirmation – came..
Fiona pulled out a Kohl’s bag and presented (2) plain silver bands to Chris and I.
I, simply, thanked her, told her she had been used by God, cried twice, and rejoiced –
that I had received personal, direct, absolute confirmation of permission and acceptation from the Lord to whom I had prayed.
(I ended the entry and then picked back up with it)
Ah, this is 2 minutes later. Tom asked me about what I was journaling and quiered as to whether or not I have a “bad” memory like he does. “Writing life out” helps me remember it.. and, understand “it.”
So much has happened that I couldn’t even begin to recount it all; the moments of panic, fear, and feeling absolutely
The thrilling times when Chris’s eyes would penetrate through mine; when his body would come so quiveringly close to mine and the whole world just, lit up as if on “fire..”
Laying outside, late at night, very early in the morning – whatever it was – on a blanket, in an empty park, underneath a perfect sky – being held close at his side, and staring up at the stars, looking longingly towards the moon.
Establishing my independence; Driving back up from Florida (we went down one weekend for him to meet my parents and so that I could bid farewell to everyone there who I care about and love) and experiencing the horror of having our car tire blow out, twice, and finding a deeper awareness of God’s watchcare and power as two prayers for help were answered by two sets of angels, sent at two different times: two saloon guys and a “just off the clock” EMT.
The royal magic of last night’s rehearsal dinner – how profoundly, COOL, it was as Jen, Nick, TJ, Kirstan, Vic, Chris and I all chilled in the Pioneer’s boardroom and
realized as a lovely young whole that “fo-shizzle mah nizzle” means “for sure, my ninja!.”
The quiet sadness, safety, contentment and freedom and fright I found as I layed my head on Chris’s chest and cried the night I was told my parents just “couldn’t make it” (to the wedding), and the subsequent, days later, notice that they were absolutely going to be there. Chris’s quiet rejoicing and understanding smile.
And now, continuing to listen as Tom and Chris jam out Wilco on their guitars, with their voices..
realizing, we’re going to be so totally late to FNF and everyone is waiting for us.
It feels like everyone is always waiting for us.
(I ended here; I’ll close with this next and last entry and a subsequent original poem.)
August 21st – Happy Sabbath. (excerpt)
I am overwhelmed.. with gratitude and.. well, a sense of unreality.
I can’t shake it off.
Life is too perfect; I’ve been numbed and can’t seem to feel anything at all.
Pain, fear and discontent just maintain your humanity. All of this “good” is peculiar, unfamiliar, and strange.
(Not at all unwelcome, just, hard to believe in and adjust to)
I’ve been so lax in principle; dressing immodestly, eating unhealthfully, wasting time and money, neglecting Bible study, prayer and relationships (my mom, dad, extended family and closest friends)..
I’ve hardly known how to do anything but stay alive –
continue to exist..
In the stress and HUSTLE of “recent life,” I’ve lost all strength, purpose, resolve and
I need an airplane to take me far away from here, where maybe the sky is so invisible
that it’s clear. -Aun Aqui
Poem: Beautiful you, Lovely untruth (by, me) August 17th, 2010.
And you would like to believe that I’m looking at you, so you won’t look at me.
And I know you
That you really think it’s true
We transcend humanity, language, and
We are the only truth.
Where has the mystery/intrigue, gone?
You’ve got me completely figured out
and addicted to the confusion
and committed to that delusion.
So there is no reason for you to stay,
there are no reasons for you to be here
and I somehow knew we’d come to this place
where your mind draws a heart, steps out and disappears.
And there’s no room for me next to you
And I never had what you needed me to
And I get so caught up in this “dream-come-true”
And I so completely block out
that this is the nonexistent you.
This is the invisible hue
the deepest blue
the most beautiful untruth.
And I find
bleeding for you.
And I find
dying way too soon.
And I cause myself
to bleed for you
Oh I’ll always allow myself,
and I’ll die for you.
Because you are the love of my youth –
the loveliest and the death of
So yeah, really going to close now – the wedding ceremony (which, again, took place yesterday – August 22nd, 2010 at the Birmingham First SDA church, 2 o clock) was amazing. Arriving at the Church in baggy black pants and a black t-shirt and being beautified by church friends who offered to do my hair and make-up.. being walked down the aisle (most ungracefully; I stumbled terribly) by my father, and given to Christopher.. standing there, gripping his arm with mine as our dear friend Kim sang an original song in honor of our union.. looking into Chris’s face and seeing tears streaming down his cheeks, and wiping them away with my own trembling hand.. standing facing eachother, hand in hand, and saying vows that spoke what we were feeling right there, right then – nothing premeditated, written down or deeply thought out.. lighting, each with our own candle, the one candle that represented and represents us,… hearing the words “I now pronounce you man and wife” and having Christopher kiss me — closing my eyes and hearing the audience cheer and the music begin to play.. running down the aisle and then striding back in to dismiss everyone after the bridal party had made their exit.. socializing and greeting everyone during the reception, pushing cake into Christopher’s face and taking pictures with friends.. departing hand in hand through a tunnel of bubbles and echoing, joyous voices – being carried in Christopher’s arms to our get-away jeep and driving to the Wynfery.. eating dinner that night with his parents and mine and spending the evening cuddled in eachother’s arms – completely in love, falling more in love,
I’ve never been so in love.
I’ve never been so loved.
The biggest secret, is something I can’t tell you.
On a completely different note, what hurt the most was having my ex-best friend not show up and not even send an email, write a letter or drop a voicemail saying “congrats,” and “I still love you..” “I hope you’re doing well” and “I haven’t completely forgotten about you.”
I’ve been through a lot – I’ve had to and chosen to let go of many things and many people, but I’ve held on to one – to some –
and I’ve grown more attached to them,
more trustful of them,
and I’ve allowed myself to fall in love and commit myself to