i think the reason there have not been a lot of posts the past few weeks at Thoughtful Spot is because i've been Overwhelmed.
i don't mean really busy. i mean tossed to and fro, off balance, off kilter, and sort of holding on and not moving.
And how can you write about the journey through darkness, until you view it with the light of hindsight?
i had taken a few tentative steps outside my comfort zone, sort of gone back into an area where the scorched timber of bridges burned behind me tilted in an eerie landscape, and i dared to brush away the ashes and soot and actually light a little candle. Perhaps there is life here to be found. One little candle here, and then there. And then i shook with the awful shudder of the Blue Van on her last ride home, the vibrating that clattered our teeth and caused Little Jess to query, "Is it m-m-me, or is the v-v-v-van really sh-sh-shaking?" And there she sits on the other side of the driveway (the van, not Jessie). There was no resucitating her this time. Her front tires are flat and the battery dead from a month of no use, but those back tires? Pristine as they day we bought them, five days before her quivering collapse.
Back to the point at hand, the van symbolically collapsed about the time i went back and began to search through the ruins of the past, to light little candles. "Oh, Lord, do i really want to do this? Start over?" But i'm stubborn. Bull headed. The Little Engine who will not give up. . .not ever. (Metaphorically and literally case in point, we stubbornly drove that shuddering little van another thirty miles - playing praise music, rebuking devils, and praying in the Spirit - and then waited three weeks for a miracle to happen while she languished first at the repair shop and then under the oaks that were beginning to burnish with autumn.)
And in a moment of sudden and insane confidence, i bought a new car, signed up for a walk to raise money for a Pregnancy Help Center, and told my mother, "O.K., mom, i'll cook the turkey for Thanksgiving."
What have i done? (i shuddered at each decision.)
The new car purchased, the walk completed, i now face The Turkey. (You understand, don't you, Beloved, that this Turkey represents a lot more than i am saying?)
Taking the bull - uh turkey- by the horns (legs), i decided the best thing to do was to practice on chickens. i'll roast one chicken a week from now until Thanksgiving, i thought.
That's why, on Saturday morning, while the earth was spinning under a fine mist and leaves papier mâché the world in cranberry and orange, i backed out of the drive in my new car, past the Blue Van, and returned with my first chicken of the fall. An hour later, confidence melting, i sat in my kitchen looking at the raw chicken in its plastic wrap and lifted weary eyes to Lori, who glanced at the blood oozing in the package and announced profoundly, "Ewww." And i was thinking, "Do i really want to do this again?"
Memories of past Thanksgivings and roasted chickens and turkeys surfaced. The slippery legs, the hidden things deep in cavities, the beast that will not roll over in the pan for a browing on the right side, then the left. . .(Oh, Julia, how did you turn over the turkey/chicken without its balking and flipping out of the pan?)
i prayed. i thought of Joyce Meyer once saying that "You can't take authority over your life if you don't have authority over a sink full of dirty dishes or a messy garage." Or a stupid turkey, she could have added. And then i did the only thing left for me to do.
i played, rewound, and played again the you tube videos of first one chef and then another dexterously whipping the string around the glossy bird, trussing the wayward gaping legs with deft, blurry movements that were quicker than the human eye. "There," they smiled, believing they had simplified a mysterious matter for every human on the planet. (Like Well-Meaning Busy-People who want to Fix You and Move On? but i digress).
it's magic, i thought. Pagan magic. And a lie.
And i, my dear friends, have experienced an Epiphany.
I'm the Boss of this Chicken. (metaphor. metaphor.)
Be strong and courageous. Do not be frightened, and do not
for the Lord your God is with you wherever you go.
Week One: chicken trussed. Done and done. Criss-Cross. Apple Sauce.