My morning (or Ricochet) (or Open the door, Elsa) - JJ Landis
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My morning (or Ricochet) (or Open the door, Elsa)


Woke up this morning to the obnoxious bell tower tone from the alarm on my phone. Before falling asleep, I had tossed the phone to the other side of the room so there was no chance of snoozing when the alarm sounded at 4:45. I needed to be completely upright because a friend was on her way over for a walk.


As I shook the fuzz out of my head and shuffled toward the coffee, I seriously questioned my decision to stay up so late. My recent book Shrinkage: Manhood, Marriage, and the Tumor That Tried to Kill Me by Brian Bishop had me turning pages until after midnight. I love nothing more than a good, deep look into someone else’s life and experiences. I like to call myself inquisitive, empathetic. My husband refers to me as voyeuristic. Whatever.


My friend rolled up and bounced out of her car, wide awake. We were both dressed in black, which does not tend to be the smartest attire for walking in the dark. But off we went, relying on our own senses and banking on the alertness of early morning drivers to keep us alive. We never doubted daylight would come; it always does.


Through the darkness, we talked. About God. About our children. About our churches (which are not to be confused with God). About ego. About judging others. The crescent moon presented itself but mostly hid behind clouds. Though we couldn’t see where our feet would fall, we trusted the road was there.


The only certainties we stumbled upon in that three-mile loop, which of course brought us back to our starting point, are that people are flawed and God is confusing.


My middle-schoolers were awake when I reentered the light of my house. Despite their complaints of being tired, they mustered the energy to squawk out a few unique versions of songs from the movie Frozen. The big one does it to aggravate the little one who claims to hate the movie. The little one (who sure knows a lot of songs from a movie he supposedly dislikes) does it to annoy the big one. They both win.


Do You Want to Build a Snowman?” from Frozen is the saddest song I have ever heard. Time passes by as one person shuts another out. Breaks my heart.


We go through our days longing for change and a new day, but just like that, moments vanish and the days pass us by. I always want Elsa to open the door.


I watched a YouTube video this morning of two teenage girls playing piano while singing “Titanium” (…I’m criticized. But all your bullets ricochet. Shoot me down, but I get up. I’m bulletproof, nothing to lose…). The innocence of youth shows in their passionate eyes. I found myself rooting for them as they sang, wanting them to be resilient, but also not afraid of pain. We can be tough and let hurts ricochet off of our shell. We can also be soft and absorb pain. Isn’t there a balance? I’m in my 40s and still clank around in my body armor. How can our children be protected from this world yet not so protected their hearts become hard?


My cat is in the next room, snoring. Oh to be able to sleep so soundly at 10 a.m. But life is not rest, not sleep. Life is awake. Seeing and smelling. Breathing and tasting. Doing and being. Thriving.


I’m crusty and dry today, but I peel and pick and dig for truth. Sometimes it’s hard to sort out emotions from reason, the crazy from the sane. I want to step into the sun, but part of me wants to hide behind the walls of my fortress.


photo credit: Rajiv Ashrafi via photopin cc

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