Sunday, October 14, 2012


Because my mind is acting rusty, pretending to be the yard furniture left out all winter so that it no longer adjusts to more comfortable positions, the only song I could think of to speak of grace was Amazing Grace.  Maybe by the time this post is finished, there will be more choices.

To begin, any grace, all grace, is amazing to me.  This week it found me gnawing over an annoyance I no longer remember, feeling ill-used and unheard.  Living in anything close to harmony with another human has tip-toe moments, self-silencing even if it means using duct tape moments, this isn't what I signed on for moments.  One example of grace is the fact that my most control-driven years seem to be in the past.  Since I really can't remember what caused this specific disquiet, I will just call it that, a wide sweeping gesture of my right arm showing you it went from here to here and made me uncomfortable and messed with my optimism.

I started poking my snout into old closets where past disappointments have been folded until they fit in empty Nike boxes.  Everything seemed tainted, even high-altitude sorts of possibilities that were, at most, just a few days old. In antidote mode I sat down to work on the Sunday crossword.  Maybe the clue is there:  cross word.  I rassle just enough with the LA Times puzzle.  I no longer see the NY Times but might have gained skill if I worked it every week.  A crossword focuses me, even more than drawing or coloring, for the way the mind has to play along, has to - help me - remember.  Names, things, Roman numerals, older models of automobiles, rivers, vice presidents, extinct brands of fruit juice.

When absorbed in harmless trivia, my mind can relax, put down the sharp objects and blunt instruments it gathered to defend the realm.  It makes room for grace, which falls over me like a blanket tucked around a sleeping child.  It lifts a weight and replaces it with peace.  It sweeps away annoyance like a crime scene cleaning squad.  Not a trace remains.  It comes without being summoned, as though it is an unknown state.  It staggers me with its precision, its timing.  I know the meaning of awe in being aware it exists and that it comes for me.

This was, in assessing the magnitude of life so far, a tiny matter yet one that caused the wind to rise and the whitecaps to threaten small craft.  Sometimes my long-practiced capacity for stillness is as close as I come to a reliable state.  When it is jostled, I feel lost.  Only grace restores equilibrium without contortion, without the necessity of fixing something beyond my ability to repair.

Still no song except the obvious.  You may sing it to yourselves.


Antares Cryptos said...

There is always a nice can of paint to brush over those pesky moments we did not sign up for.

Rubye Jack said...

Grace has always been a special word for me and one that is difficult to wrap my mind around. I could not tell you what grace is except that occasionally I will have a sense of what it is, when it comes. I love that you are talking about it here.

Marylinn Kelly said...

Antares - Very well said. The kind that covers with one coat. xo

Marylinn Kelly said...

Rubye - If grace were other than as it is, it would have been screaming at me to write - something. It is infinite, seemingly, and what sore trouble would we be in without it. One of the nearly ineffable things, the best we can do is mumble and gesture. The follow-up and my brother's song suggestion made it clear that we each have our definition and there are no wrong answers. xo

Anonymous said...

i have sung that song to myself (sometimes muttering it) for a few decades now. it calms me and resets my perspective each time. i just can't hang onto it long enough, though. circumstances don't usually change, but my acceptance toward them does.


Marylinn Kelly said...

Sherry - I think that is our best hope, the change from resistance to acceptance. It is daily activity. The mutable quality of grace, our task to receive and be grateful. Some days I am in simple wonder at getting from A to B and back again. xo