Friday, March 30, 2007

Enforced Secret Joy #34 -

Hot damn, guys! They finally did it! Here it is, you guys gotta check it out!

The dogs featured are not mutts, but that was the available domain, since a squatter has , and isn’t giving it up for anything.

Ah heaven. Ah bliss. Yes, most of them are clothes related, but it’s in its beginning stages of the site, people. Cut them some slack.

Dear God, thank you for Thank you for Mario, who runs the site. Thank you for funny pictures of stuff on dogs (and cats too), they make me smile. Thank you that the simplest things can make your heart lighter, even if it’s just for a moment. Or two. Or three. Thank you for dogs. Thank you for reaffirming that there’s nothing funnier than a long suffering dog whose owner covers it in shamrock stickers. HA! Thanks especially for that one, God. Who says You don’t have a sense of humor, right? Thank you, thank you, thank you. Amen.

Sunday, March 25, 2007

Surely, you're sure? No?

I am going to try and create a meaningful blog entry here. One with personal touches, insights into Amyland that still retain the sheen of Universal Truth, and a well wrapped concluding paragraph that makes one go “Huh. I liked this one.” I used to write more of those last year, but that’s the bonus of Year One of any blog, you’ve got a lot to say.

And it’s not as though I don’t have ANYTHING to say, but it’s not feeling new and fresh. I want to write something new and fresh, like, like, a new brand of panty liner or something.


Ah well, here we go regardless.

I’ve been chugging through Kris Young’s “Getting Through The First Draft Of Your Life 40 Devotionals For Screenwriters,” and I think it’s best to be reading these if you are in fact working on a script. Luckily, I am, I’m in the midst of a giant overhaul on the Purple Monkey script, and it’s due on April 15th, and I know I’ll get there, even though my mentors who are overseeing this overhaul left me with these parting words, “Don’t treat it like it’s your first draft, treat it like it’s your best draft, and really knock this out of the park, because this is one of those once in a career lifetime ideas.”

So absolutely no pressure.

A lot of what Kris has said in the devotionals really resonates with me:

From Rah Rah You’re GREAT things like “No one in human history will ever write in the same unique and marvelous way God designed you to write”

to Things You Should Do (That I’m Already Doing And Thus Freaks Me Out Because If I’m Doing What I’m Supposed To Be Doing Where’s The Fruits Of The Labor?) “Wake up very early in the morning while it’s still dark, leaving the house to a solitary place to…pray.” (My solitary place to pray is on the ellipticals in the gym, to me, this still counts, it keeps you amazingly focused.)

to Whoa, That’s An Interesting Perspective, And I’m Totally Using It, “If you create work that God deems Good…He promises it will be conspicuous/prominent/noticeable/outstanding/celebrated/famous. And even if it doesn’t seem that way from your or their P.O.V. at this time, God whose P.O.V. is outside of time sees the Truth…Good Work cannot remain hidden. (inspired by 1 Timothy 5:25)”

But there was this one that I was a little puzzled by. And I shouldn’t be, really, because it’s everyone’s favorite Psalm, Psalm 23. For those of you who don’t wanna crack a Bible, it’s the one that starts, “The Lord is my shepherd, I shall not want.” He makes me lie in green pastures, and leads me beside rivers, and I walk through valleys of shadows and death and stuff but I’m not scared because God’s with me YIPPEE! (my paraphrase.)

This particular devotional focused on verse 6, and he’s using the good ole King James version, which is “Surely goodness and mercy shall follow me all the days of my life.” Kris goes on to craft a devotional that calls for the screenwriter not to panic, even during the Sahara Dessert of the Second Act, even when you’re doing everything possible to do something, anything to jump start your career, joining writers groups, entering contests, attending seminars and classes, and then you lie awake at night thinking you’re a failure. Actually, the way Kris phrases it is this:

“And then you look at all the silly scripts you’re spent months, maybe years writing – and all you can do is just lay down and die. You’ll go to sleep and never write another script again.”

Which sent a cold shiver of recognition within me, as I’ve thought on more than one occasion this month alone that “Now would be an EXCELLENT time for a car to hit me and put me out of my misery.” You all know I think that’s how I’m going out, right? Whenever my number’s called, whatever day that is, I have a very clear picture that it’s coming on the hood of an out of control car. Or a plane wreck. But I prefer the car, since I’m the only one that’s in harm’s way. No fair taking innocent civilians along with me.

Regardless, Kris perks himself up from the Failure Bubble by remembering verse 6 of the 23rd Psalm, ‘Surely goodness and mercy shall follow me all the days of my life.” And Kris reasons, “If God says Goodness and Mercy’s been following me all my life and God is not a liar…then maybe Goodness and Mercy are walking and I’m running…maybe all I need to do is slow down. Stop and wait.

The ultimate thing that Kris is saying is that the screenwriter needs to slow down and wait. To “Wait on the Lord. Renew your strength, Rest in Him. Lie down in green pastures. And wait for Goodness and Mercy to catch up to you see what a difference that makes. Then write.”

Check Kris out, he’s hit at least two or three of the more annoying platitudes I blogged about last year, ha ha ha.

But ironically, that’s not what I have a problem with (eh, I still have a problem with those platitudes, but I have no new and fresh panty liner ideas to go through it again.) I have a problem with thinking “Surely goodness and mercy shall follow me all the days of my life” is a promise from God. God’s not saying the 23rd Psalm. David is. It’s not like when Jesus says at the end of Matthew, “Surely I am with you always, to the very end of the age.” (and you can argue all you want about whether it’s Jesus or Matthew saying it for Jesus.)

I read “Surely goodness and mercy shall follow me all the days of my life”, hell I read the whole 23rd Psalm as someone who’s desperately trying to reassure themselves that God is indeed there, and yes, God will take care of you, and yes God will provide for you, even though you slept with Bathsheba and sent her husband to the front lines of the war to be killed on purpose so you could continue to shag her, and whoa, that’s really f’ed up, but surely, SURELY “Goodness and Mercy shall follow me all the days of my life.”

It’s not a promise from God to me, it’s a desperate hope from me to God.

The same kind of desperate hope that I go to sleep with every night, “it’s gonna work out. No really. It will. It doesn’t look like it will at this minute, with money evaporating out of my bank account due to no steady job and bills and someone stealing my glasses (what kind of f’ed up person steals someone’s prescription GLASSES?!) so I had to drop bucks to get new ones, and that vacation I insisted on taking for my birthday. Never mind all THAT. It’s gonna work out. Right? Right? Because you’re God and you’re good and you’re gonna work it all out, and THEN Goodness and Mercy shall follow me all days of my life, right? Right? PLEASE TELL ME I’M RIGHT.”

I think it’s the word Surely. Surely, I have a problem with surely. Let me crack my dictionary. It says Surely is “With assurance or confidence, in a sure unhesitating manner. Without a doubt, assuredly, unquestionably, certainly.”

Okay, I’m wrong. Why do I always think that when Surely is used, it’s as something to be battened down like a stray fly? A-ha! Dictionary goes on to say “often used as an intensive emphasizing a supposition, “Surely you don’t believe that!”

I think maybe modern day culture has devalued the use of the word Surely. Surely you jest. See!? Right there. Whenever anyone uses it, it’s with snarky sarcastic undertones.

Surely Goodness and Mercy shall follow me all the days of my life. Surely, you’re mistaken. Surely, I’m not. Surely = the verbal life raft of the desperately hopeful.

Surely, things are going to get better.

Surely, I will get my bills paid.

Surely, I will get a job (I have an interview tomorrow, so there’s that.)

Surely, I will sell a script.

Surely, God has a plan for me.

Surely, God knows what’s around the bend,

Surely, God has great things in store.

Surely, I believe that. And if Goodness and Mercy are tagging along somewhere, groovy. They are officially welcome to show up during my nocturnal panic sessions and stomp on my face We’re HERE, we’re HERE, we’re HERE.

You know, the more times you type or read the word surely, the more it looks like you’ve mistyped, and you’re trying to type the word surly.

That makes me smile.

Friday, March 23, 2007

Enforced Secret Joy # 33 – Baby Feet

Everyone say hello to Hazel, the newest member of my Small Group. My Small Group is busting out all over. We have anywhere from 1 – 4 of the tiny things running laps around the coffee table and occasionally sneezing on the mixed nut bowl.

I don’t mind babies like this (and this may possibly be the smallest one I’ve seen in real life as opposed to a picture. Hazel is ten days old.) They don’t cry too much, they don’t hit you in the kneecaps, they don’t throw tantrums in department stores, and their mothers are usually nearby to take care of things like Poopy Diapers.

And I was fascinated with Hazel’s toes. (yes, I realize it's my second post in a row devoted to feet. If any of you Gentle Readers happen to be lurking Foot Fetishizers, understand now that it's all a coincedence, and I'll be blogging about elbows next time.) So tiny, using my Albino Hand for comparison, but all TEN (HA! Thanks for the correction, RT!) toes are there. Her face still looks a little squished (though I’m sure she’ll grow into it), but her toes look like they’re supposed to look, just tiny. They are so adorable, that I kinda wanna snip them off and sprinkle them on an ice cream sundae. I know, it sounds gross and Saw-erific , but they're just so cute that I want to eat them up.

Dear God, thank you for baby feet. The little tiny soles, the little tiny toenails, the little tiny toes, the little tiny toeknuckles? Is that a word? You know what I mean God, even if words fail the writer (they're not supposed to, but occasionally they do.) Thank You that Your creation is magnificantly displayed in something so tiny, something that a lot of people don't think about until they see it. Thank you for feet, they take us where we want to go. Thank you that feet grow with us, and thank you for the simple pleasures of a foot massage, even though Hazel doesn't understand it yet, she thought I was Random Crazy Person Who Wouldn't Let Go Of Her Toes. She'll get it later, Lord. Hopefully, we'll ALL get it, whatever IT may be individually for us all. Thank you, thank you, thank you, Amen.

Sunday, March 18, 2007

Hitting the limit on my Blogger picture bandwidth

Tonight’s blog entry will be illustrated by my feet, because they’re there, and they feel like they don’t quite get the credit they deserve for carrying me through the life I’ve had. (they also want a proper pedicure done by a professional, but I blew most of my money on the birthday trip, so they’re just gonna have to wait.)

So me and my tootsies had quite the birthday weekend! I’m telling you folks, I’m in love with The Surf And Sand Resort in Laguna. Yes, it’s pricey, but it’s worth it, and I’m definitely planning on making a yearly jaunt down there for future birthdays.

My feet walked on the sand.

They enjoyed the sunset the first night on my own private balcony with a margarita and a water chaser.

They dug the free champagne and chocolates with an Evian chaser that I got from the hotel for my birthday as they read about Angelina Jolie and the Darfur orphans.

They loved the whirlpool by the pool.

And they liked 9am yoga outside on the Catalina Deck.

The weekend was mostly overcast, only got some sun on the first day, but I am not only Amy The Writer, I am Amy The Moody Writer, so overcast suites me just fine. I still got plenty of awesome sand and water shots as I sat on the balcony or as I walked on the sand. (Bonus points to the hotel for putting an Ihome in every room, so all I had to do was stick my ipod in and I had my tunes ready to go.)

In keeping with my surroundings, I kept playing ocean songs, like Tidalwave, from Longwave

take me back to the other place
take me back when im alone
i can see all the little things that once could make me whole
i am everything you wanted
i am everything you wanted
i am everything you need

God? Is that you God? It’s Amy the Moody Writer on her birthday weekend, trying to sort out why I’m seven and haven’t sold a script yet and why I’m still alone and why the temp agency keeps trying to funnel me to jobs I don’t want.

Then it was onto Ocean Breathes Salty, by Modest Mouse.

Well that is that and this is this.
Will you tell me what you saw and I'll tell you what you missed,
when the ocean met the sky.
You missed when time and life shook hands and said goodbye.
When the earth folded on itself.
And said "Good luck, for your sake I hope heaven and hell
are really there, but I wouldn't hold my breath."
You wasted life, why wouldn't you waste death?

Dunno. Sometimes it’s best just to groove to the melody and keep walking, like with Sæglópur, by Sigur Ros

Sæglópur, á lífi
Kominn heim
Sæglópur, á lífi
Kominn heim
þaõ kemur kafari
Komin heim
þaõ kemur kafari
Komin heim


I haven’t been doing morning devotionals since I bid a fond farewell to Oswald The Annoying Devotionalist in December, but in my last minute flurry of grabbing stuff I thought I might need before getting on the road, I grabbed a three hold punch book given to the Act One students last year by Kris Young, one of the teachers. It’s called “Getting Through The First Draft Of Your Life: 40 Devotionals For Screenwriters.” And I had meant to start reading it in January, but was afraid that I’d burn through 40 in an instant and be left adrift for the rest of the year.

But no better time to start then on my PRIVATE BALCONY OVERLOOKING THE WAVES! (sorry, am I being obnoxious yet?)

The entry I choose is, appropriately enough, based around Psalm 46:10. Be still and know I am God. Kris goes on to talk about how you need to silence everything electronic around you and just listen to the silence. Just listen and know that God is God. That we need to be still and know. And then Kris says we need to step outside ourselves and “take a good look. Just who are you? What makes you “you”? Snap snapshots of the physical you, then think about and write down all the internal things that make you “you.”

Kris then gives a list of possible things, most of which do not apply to me, such as “I’m overweight….I hope to lose 40 lbs.” , “I’m losing my hair…I hope Rogain will grow back my hair.” “I’m poor…I dream of winning this $80 million dollar lottery.” (yes, my finances are not in the best of shape, but I never play the lottery.)

But then this little bon mot showed up, “I’m writing a screenplay...I dream of selling it for a million dollars. I expect it to get made into a hit film and win an Oscar. I hope to repeat this cycle until I die at 110,”

Oh dear. Well, it’s usually the dream of most screenwriters, so I can’t slam myself too hard.

The devotional continues on and says “You = the sum of all this information. But if we hit the delete button on your past and future, so that you only exist in the present, then guess what? The “you” you thought you knew no longer exists.”

Meaning live in the present. Live for today. Kris says, “Jesus says… die to time. ” (It’s Kris’s interpretation. I don’t think Jesus literally said that.) He goes on to say that “Awareness of Time hurts. We can spend the rest of our time trying to kill time by keeping busy busy, or we can turn 180 degrees and Be still. Die to time and self.” Be still and know that I am God.

Which jibes with my worldview of Living For Today. I don’t remember when exactly I figured that little thing out, but it’s pretty simple. You either live for Today, or you live for Someday. I choose to live for Today, because it’s the things that you do Today that affect your future, ergo Someday. To most people, it probably appears shortsighted, and it’s not as though I don’t have any plans for the future, because I have a whole Excel sheets of multiple writing projects with goals, and steps to take to get to the goal. But it makes life easier to handle, if all you focus on is what you have to get done today. This is my list of things to do today. Step by step, towards your ultimate goal.

So Kris says you need to hit the delete button on your past and future, and exist in the present. I WISH my past and future would die. Well, I wish my past would die, so I wouldn’t keep remembering it, which I think is the single biggest chain on my head that I try so hard, every single day, to overcome, to break. These constant thoughts of well, it didn’t work before, so why would it work now batter me relentlessly. If I could silence them once and for all, and what would do that more than success at something? Like selling a script? Starting the rounds again of contacting my peeps in the industry and begging them to read something and hoping, wishing, praying that THIS time, THIS script is the one that’s gonna sell, despite the fact it hasn’t worked before, but it’ll work now. Oh yes, little one, it’ll work NOW.

It seems impossible. It seems stupidly naïve and wishful pie in the sky thinking. But I have to keep hammering myself with the idea that nothing is impossible with God. And it’s not like I’m sitting around doing nothing. I’m doing everything I can. And clinging to the hope that this time THIS time, by the grace of God and a huge dose of His favor, it’s gonna work.

The thing that stuck with me the most is when Kris says, “Moses asks God His name. God replies: “I AM.” Not “I was” or “I will be” but “I AM.”

“I AM is eternally present. Not defined by past or future…I AM is the guy in the Goodyear blimp who sees the beginning, middle and end of the Rose Parade all at once. I AM sees our lives all at once.”

And all I can think of is thank GOD someone knows that, ‘cause I sure as hell don’t. It’s a comforting thought, that God knows my whole life, that if I’m a book, He knows the last page, even if my book happens to be in the Horror Section, as I suspect it is. And my particular bitching and groaning must be highly amusing to Him if he knows that the next mile marker is going to bring something pretty awesome.

And I choose to believe that something pretty awesome is coming. I deliberately declare it. And yet at the same time it’s making me sound like I’m living for Someday, doesn’t it? Damn. Okay, okay, do I sound like a hypocrite if I say I believe in something awesome coming someday, but I’m living for today? Aw hell.

Okay, so here’s my favorite picture of the weekend. Mr. Surfer Dude is standing on his surfboard and paddling with a pole. He actually didn’t go “into the light” like it looks like he’s going to, he skirted around the edge.

But I totally would’ve.

Friday, March 16, 2007

I'm here!

Holy SHIT, people! This is my room!

This is my view from my balcony!


Enforced Secret Joy #32 – It’s My Birthday!

It’s my birthday! Today, yes, today! Wish me happy birthday! It’s my birthday and I am SEVEN! (okay, maybe I’m eight, but I know I can pass.)

And I am off to the Surf And Sand Resort in Laguna Beach for the weekend. This is a huge deal for me, I NEVER go on vacation. I RARELY spend this kind of money on myself, but when you’re turning lucky number seven, then you deserve it. That’s gonna be my mantra for today. I deserve this, I deserve this, I deserve this. Because I do. I DO! I have to be this emphatic since my destructive nature loves to make me feel bad about myself for anything.

It’s gonna be a lovely weekend where I sit and ponder the meaning of my life and what the next step is, and what decisions need to be made and who knows what I’ll look like on the other side. But sunsets! I’m gonna get to see sunsets! From the water! From my own private balcony! I’m gonna walk on the sand! WHOO HOO!

I had thought that maybe I would spend all of Saturday in a lovely state of intoxication, but there were birthday parties for me on Wednesday and Thursday, so I dunno if my system can handle too much more.

But the parties were nice and fun and I got to see so many of my acquaintances who I rarely hang out with anymore. And it struck me in the middle of yesterday’s fling that Gosh, I sure like my friends. My friends are cool and nifty and fun! And I LIKE hanging out with them. Again, this is a huge deal for me to realize, since most of the time, I don’t actually like people. But I liked them on Wednesday. And I liked them on Thursday. If I hung out with them everyday, they’d probably start to bug. But it felt like all the stars aligned. Some of these people, I’ve known for YEARS. I’ve built sets with them, I’ve struck sets with them, I’ve hung out in theater lobbies with them as they waited to make their second act entrance. There’s history with them. I like having histories with people. I like knowing that it doesn’t matter if months go by and we haven’t talked, when I do see them, it’s all good. I like having those types of friends. I know this entry probably isn’t making any sense. I’m a bit hung over, har de har har, and now I’m gonna get on the ROAD! WHOO HOO!

Dear God, thank You for my friends. Thank You for the privilege of knowing them. Thank You for the history and memories I have with them. Thank You for the fun we have had in the past, and thank You in advance for the fun we will have in the future. Thank You for my life. You know what an amazing thing that is for me to say. Most of the time I moan and groan and grumble and bitch and complain. But for the past two days, I have liked my life, and that is a miracle. Please let the miracles continue through the weekend. Please let me witness spectacular miracles of your creation in sun, ocean, and sand. Please let me feel Your presence somewhere along the line. And thank You that I’ve made it this far. Thank you, thank you, thank you. Amen.

Sunday, March 11, 2007

The Mountain And The Bend

I'm slammed today, slammed this whole weekend, this is all I got, and it's quoting myself. Damn.

From my journal, 8/4/06

(The teacher) did say something that resonated with me, which was using the metaphor that (life is like) you’re driving around a bend, and God knows where you’re going to end up. It may not be right in front of you, because God’s gotta move you around the bend so you can see what the next thing is. I feel like that’s EXACTLY my situation. I don’t know where we’re going, all I see is a mountain wall, and we’ve been endlessly trying to get around it, and no dice. If I can just trust that God WILL get me around the bend soon enough. I have to trust that, I have to trust that, and I can TYPE the phrases “I have to trust that” but can I really BELIEVE it? I’m supposed to. I guess to believe it means not to worry about it. Not to worry that I’m in this dark moment. And I kept repeating it like a mantra today itrustGod itrustGod itrustGod itrustGod itrustGod. Singing the lyric from that praise song “When the darkness closes in, Lord, still I will say Blessed Be The Name Of The Lord, Blessed Be Your Name. You Give And Take Away. You Give And Take Away. My Heart Will Choose To Say. Lord Blessed Be Your Name.” As though repeating that would be the magic phrase that makes everything alright.

This is one fucking long bend, folks. (sorry.)

Friday, March 09, 2007

Enforced Secret Joy #31 – The Witch House

In my neighborhood is this cute house that looks like something out of Snow White And The Seven Dwarves. I have therefore dubbed it The Witch House, because The Dwarf House would not make it sound like someone would want to live there (it would also make it sound like it should be three feet high.)

Occasionally I unleash the Amy Brain and let it run wild through Wildest Dreams Land, and on our romps through the grassy meadows and cotton candy clouds I think about what would I do if I did sell, not just one script, but two or three or four scripts, enough to buy a house in Los Angeles. There have been many conversations as I swim through laffy daffy ponds about where could one possibly live in Los Angeles – The beach? What if there’s a tidal wave. The hills? What if there’s an earthquake. Away from people? The drive to get to the events that do have people in them will be a hassle.

But this house, this house seems like it would be just right. So maybe that makes it the Goldilocks house, ha ha ha.

Dear God, thank you for the Witch House. Thank you for its whimsical gingerbread style, in the La La Land of stucco and adobe. Thank you for Wildest Dreams Land, though sometimes I wonder whether that’s sanctioned by You. It seems like Your version of Wildest Dreams Land would be a place where mission workers fed starving children in Africa, or nations sat down and agreed to disarm, and things such as Witch Houses would seem frivolous.

Then I remember that everyone has the right to hope. Hope has to be sanctioned by You. And I hope for a great many different things for my family, my friends, my colleagues I’ve worked with for as little as three months. And in those hopes are plenty of noble things, great dreams, selfless wishes. But I think frivolity has its place. So thank you for this witch house in all its frivolity. I confide in You that I hope to sell four or five scripts, tithe ten percent to you, and THEN buy a place like this. That’s my hope. But you’re in charge of the grand master plan. Thank you for caring about me enough to have a grand master plan for me. Thank you, thank you, thank you. Amen.

Sunday, March 04, 2007

Giggly Goes Bye Bye.

This post is all about my pal Giggly. She’s moving to Anchorage, Alaska for a job. At her going away party last night, I wrote that I would do a blog entry in honor of her, since to recap all my fond memories of her would take up way too many pages in the guestbook (and plus I’d spend all of the party time writing, instead of DRINKING!)

Giggly is one of those rare rare women: stunningly beautiful with none of the pretense or affectedness that comes with beautiful women. And she’s totally hard core. Looking at her, one might think that she’s too much of a girly girl to want to get suited up in Katrina Country to do gut outs of houses. But she didn’t flinch once. She didn’t bolt at the sight of cockroaches, she didn’t complain at her leaking air mattress in the gym where we stayed for the week, she didn’t faint at hefting shovelful after shovelful of debris to the curb, and she mowed a yard where the grass came up to her waist in 90 degree heat.

So here ya go, a random sampling of some of my favorites memories of Giggly.

I first met Giggly at the church retreat last year. It was during lunch on a Saturday, and after lunch we had our choice of four different talks to go to. My particular lunch table was buzzing about the talk entitled “The Christian Case for Sex: A Holistic View of The Body.” In order to get to that talk, you had to cross a meadow in full view of everyone else that were going to the talks on Paul the Apostle, or International Justice. It inadvertently turned into a kind of Walk Of Shame, like look at the people who wanna hear about SEX! Oooooohhhhhh!

Because I have no shame, I was all set to stride across the meadow, and I noticed Giggly was doing the Indecisive Dance, where she WANTED to go, but she didn’t wanna take that walk by herself. So I gaily slung an arm around her shoulders, and pulled her along with me, bellowing at the top of my lungs as we went that “(Giggly) wants to talk about SEX!!!” She started laughing, we made it across the meadow, learned all about culture viewpoints on sex versus Christian viewpoints on sex (you can imagine what the answers are) and Giggly later thanked me for making her go.

A few months later, I had made the decision (on an empty stomach) to go on my church’s Katrina Mission Trip. I was sitting in the back of the church, filling out the paperwork, when I noticed Giggly sitting beside me, filling out the same paperwork. “You’re going to Katrina?” I asked her, and she said yes indeedy she was. Instantly, I knew going on this trip was going to be exactly the right thing to do. It’s very rare to feel that kind of concrete feeling based on so little information, but something just told me that if fun people like Giggly were going to be going on this trip, that this was going to be a very special trip indeed, and it was even before we knew that Native Chick would be joining us, which made the trip that much more awesome.

Incidentally, Giggly is the only person who’s ever told me that my handwriting is pretty. Everyone else thinks it looks like the scribblings of a serial killer. Not that it’s influencing my opinion of her AT ALL, ha ha ha.

The whirlwind trip of Katrina Country, which I’ve already blogged about in greater detail elsewhere. I was mentioning to my buddy Xavier last night that the Katrina trip was very much like everything I’ve heard about childbirth, in which you look back on it with great fondness, to the point that you’d want to do it again, conveniently forgetting all the parts of physical pain and exhaustion that SUCKED ASS. But the one morning at the very end of the trip found my crew splitting up and wandering around the French Quarter at 9am in the morning. Giggly and I paired off and wandered around for hours, taking pictures until my digital camera died, talking about life, boys, job aspirations, boys, feelings on religion, boys that aggravate us, boys we wish were smarter, boys we wish we were smarter about. We ended up sitting on a stoop towards the east end of the Quarter, waiting for Native Chick to show up with the car, and it really did feel like we had known each other for forever.

Getting back from Katrina Country, Giggly, Native Chick and myself all signed up for the same Small Group. Our Small Group usually closes our meetings with a group prayer, and people will say what they need prayer about, and then we all take turns praying about it. I usually don’t voice any prayer requests, simply because people have more pressing problems than I do, and I don’t ever think my circumstances are so dire as to do an all call prayer for it, and I get irrationally skeeved out hearing people pray for me. But every now and then Giggly would pray out loud for me, skeeviness be damned, “I know Amy hasn’t said anything, Lord, but I know there are things going on in her life that she needs Your help with.” And I secretly appreciated it.

I haven’t even mentioned the times we went for cocktails, or the times in church where we’d stand together and sing, or how she participated in a full baptismal born again dunking in front of the church. But I will close with this:

At our Small Group last week, we closed in prayer for Giggly. She sat in the middle of the group and we all laid hands on her as we prayed. I’m not a big fan of the laying on of hands in prayer, it kinda conjures up an Oooky Gooky Spooky Communing With The Woo Woo Spirits Feeling for me. But I gamely joined in, because it’s not about me, it’s about Giggly. I had one hand on her shoe, and one pinky wrapped tight around hers. (there were a lot of people there, so you had to fight for space.) And though it seems strange, I think it’s gonna be the tightness of that pinky hold that I’ll remember the most. For the rare woman whose heart really is that pure, that big, that loving, that caring. For the woman whose spirit is as beautiful on the inside as she is on the outside. For the woman who wielded a mean wheelbarrow full of toxic debris, who wandered into the French Quarter Fire Station in search of hot firemen with me, who loves little kids (who love her right back), who split a piece of the most divinely rich cake with white chocolate icing at the Alcove with me, for the woman who never stops believing in the possibilities of what God can do, including untangling a wreck of a love life (hers, mine, everybody’s.) God’s going to do some amazing things with Giggly and I can’t wait to see what happens next.

Friday, March 02, 2007

Enforced Secret Joy # 30 – Sleeping Babies

Just because I am not a fan of small children doesn’t mean I can’t appreciate a cute sleeping baby every once in awhile. Because when they’re sleeping, they’re not crying, which is one of the reasons I dislike small children the most. This one, Fontleroy, doesn’t cry much, didn’t wake up when I was taking these pics of him, and sounds like a dog’s chew toy when he hiccups, which makes me and the rest of my Small Group laugh and laugh. And because it was one of those weeks where I was desperately searching for an Enforced Secret Joy, none were merrily winging my way, so on a Thursday night with the Enforced Secret Joy post due on Friday, this is what you get.

Dear God, thank you for cute sleeping babies. Thank you that I don’t have any, nor do I harbor the desire to have any. Thank you for letting that be okay. Thank you for Fontleroy, and his cute baby cheeks, and his tiny baby nose, and his teensy baby fingers, which I wanted to get a picture of, but I would’ve gotten an accidental boob shot in the way, which probably isn’t a good thing on this blog. Thank you for his patient Mommy, who didn’t question at all why I plopped down next to her, whipped out the camera and started snapping away.

Thank you for sleep. Thank you for comfort. Thank you for security. Thank you that all of us found those things in our mother’s arms at some point, and do find (or will find) them in You. Thank you thank you thank you. Amen.