FLOUNDERING

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By Lisa Huddleston

The least bit of change in my routine can really throw me. For two weeks I have been fighting bursitis (can you say, “OLD?”) so I have been out of my regular exercise pattern, and now it is Fall Break–no volunteering at the Adult Learning Center. I’m sad to say I’m floundering. What a great word–yes, I’m flopping like a big, flat fish gasping on the shore! Flop flop gasp gasp. Who will rescue me from this body of death? How can I kick myself in the pants and get moving?

But there are times when you can’t help slowing down a little. I didn’t ask for bursitis, but I sure am not doing much to fight against it other than complaining a lot and taking way too much ibuprofen. I really could be taking advantage of my extra hours by washing my filthy windows or even vacuuming the rugs. But what have I been doing? Reading, knitting coffee cup cozies (really cute!), and generally wasting time. (Have I mentioned my shoulder is also hurting?) I can feel the pounds packing on my “muffin top cozy” just in time for a long winter’s nap. Flop flop.

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Even my reading hasn’t done me much good although the books themselves have been wonderful (Gilead, by Marilynne Robinson and A Year of Biblical Womanhood, by Rachel Held Evans.) Both caused my natural melancholy to well up over years I may or may not have wasted in misguided although well-meaning directions. Gasp gasp.

Thank goodness for afternoon plans with some new and old friends and a home group gathering tonight–ironically to finish a discussion of Timothy Keller’s book, The Freedom of Self-Forgetfulness. Hilarious! Not the book but … yeah.

Oh my, just maybe my daughter was right when she compared me this morning to another writer I’ve enjoyed but with whom she is not relating as well. When I said I didn’t remember anything about her (this author) being bipolar, Sarah said, “No, but she did mention having a lot of mood swings and crying about being a writer.”

Well. Flop flop gasp gasp.

HOPE IS A BIRD

By Lisa Huddleston

 

In prison by 18,

In the gang section,

In the hole when he got in trouble.

In the hole a lot, I think.

“Couldn’t work on my GED.

Too busy just trying to stay alive.”

Sad and wearied eyes rest on big hands.

 

Now he has a 10-year-old, a daughter,

And he wants to learn to read.

So we begin,

“This is a bird with a long tail and a round body.

‘B’ looks like a bird with a long tail and a round body.”

And it looks like hope.

 

At the end of one hour and three lessons,

We shake hands,

Mine swamped in his,

And look forward to next week.