holy ground.

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“She say, Celie, tell the truth, have you ever found God in church? I never did. I just found a bunch of folks hoping for him to show. Any God I ever felt in church I brought in with me. And I think all the other folks did too. They come to church to share God, not find God.”
– Alice Walker, The Color Purple

I think there are a few truths that are certain.
That life is full of pain.
That life is full of joy.
And that life is really funny.

Certainly, you can file ‘funny’ under joy, but I believe that it is its own form of spirituality. I believe Anne Lamott says that laughter is a ‘bubbly effervescent form of holiness.’

You have to understand, that writing about pain is important. I think some folks imagine me sitting, all Poe like, hunched over a dark writing desk with a human skull as my muse.

In reality, I am only exploring the things that allow me to feel shitty.

A mean customer.
A drunken man.

Then there is a group of people beheading prisoners on a beach.
There’s another man testing nuclear missiles for fun.
There’s a woman on death row in Georgia who is close to a dear friend of mine.

Daily, I allow myself to take in the human condition. I hear people talk about money. People with six digits still stressing about the world and their things and I digress. Those are not my problems.

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Yes, I cook.
But I also empty trash cans and mop floors. I have plenty of time to think.

I chose to cook.

I choose to serve, and I keep choosing a life where my hands bleed and my bones ache.

I can’t help but to think these things are hilarious, too.
I laugh a lot.
A lot.

Probably at things I shouldn’t. Whatever that means.
But also at things that deserve a good belly laugh.
I think, if God does reside in the Heavens, they laugh often. And with their bellies.

I also know, that if God resides in the Heavens, they also cry.

I don’t believe you can measure any of this. Amounts of pain or joy. Considering they are building blocks of a day. When we’re not doing our jobs to help grow our businesses or make the places we are, better than they used to be.

Last night, I came home late from a catering job.
I’d say there was a lot of pain in yesterday. Both mental and physical. I wanted nothing more than to forget about it, but instead I came home, sank into my couch and decompressed. Granted, a few episodes of Parks and Rec and another late night wanderer made my world a little softer.

If there’s one thing, among many things that I know to be true, is that dignity covers our scrapes and bruises. It helps to wash away the ever-pressing job of being fully human in this wonderful and heartbreaking world.

At the end of the day, I resonate with those very first words from Alice. That what we are looking for, is each other.

Mother Teresa also said that we belong to each other. More so, that if we have no peace, it is because we have forgotten that we belong to each other.

So, I am ready.
To dissolve into you, because you are the face of God.

and for all I know, I’m always standing on holy ground.

tacos, pop music (and why I’ll never be a real writer)

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I have a fire in my belly this morning.

No, it is not from the tacos I ate yesterday. Though it could be adding to it, for sure.

What I’m talking about, really, is this thing bursting out of me. This need to say something, to read it out loud and give it away. I’m doing it for myself, as I’m usually writing for me. I suppose y’all get to see inside of that.

I watch the movie ‘Amelie’ from time to time. And what I love deeply about the film, is the description of what she loves and what makes her sad. The feel of grains — the fact her father thought she had a heart condition because whenever he came close enough to listen to her heart beat, it would beat so fast — or the sound of cracking the caramelized sugar crust on a creme brûlée.

But I start thinking of things in my own day to day – and I feel a bit raw today. Here are some things I’m going to lay down, for my own sake (some heavier than others):

I love the sound of my little heater.
It’s sorta loud, but it’s white noise, which aids me in my sleeping process. And because my house can be loud. It keeps me warm when we have no central heating upstairs. It makes me feel cozy. Yes, I am thankful for my heater.

I’m in the middle of a divorce. Whew. There, I said it. Boom. Pow. That’s loud, right? (Tell me about it.)

I’ve scooted around it, here. I’ve talked about separation, and that I’ve been going through hard times, but there it is. And though it’s loud, I still very much love the person that made the decision for us. I realize that people and times change, and that it’s just really shitty. I moved to Oregon for this reason, to be married. So now, I am adjusting to what it’s like to be single. Which I just don’t like. You can choose to sink, or rise above. Some days require a bit of both. But I am choosing to move along, because when another person stops fighting for you, there is a great emptiness. I have too much to give, to be putting it in a place where I don’t get it back.

I feel STRONG.
Some days, I feel invincible. Like I could jump for miles, sort of like the Hulk. (If the Hulk was a slightly overweight balding guy from the Deep South with no accent.)

there are days that I crumble.
I wake up into them. I notice I am alone, and that my day will be about feeding myself. And keeping my blood sugar stable and trying not to be too self-destructive. I will usually eat a chocolate chip cookie upon arriving at work. And I will probably snack on another again. I will drink a Mexican Coke, and once the bottle is half full, I will add some rum. Because, dammit, I just said the bottle was half full and that makes me feel better.

four crunchy tacos from taco bell.
My weakness. Especially after work. It’s close to home and it’s like, four dollars. Which some nights, is how much I get in kitchen tips. My roommates think it’s funny that I cook all this good food all night, and bring home Taco Bell or Popeyes. It is what it is.

I can tell when you don’t want to go out for a drink.
I rarely ask people to go out. Because I hate that feeling of seeing their texts “read” and them not responding. I assume they are hashing it out with their partner, or weighing their options. I do the same thing. But if you don’t want to go, just say no. That’s okay. It takes a lot for me to reach out, sometimes. Yes or no. Really, that’s okay. But tell me, so I can move on.

I’m tired of ‘think pieces’
WHY SMART PHONES ARE MAKING US DUMB. WHY MILEY CYRUS IS THE NEW FACE OF FEMINISM.
In the words of Anne Lamott:

100 years from now? All new people.

Pop music is like dessert.
I don’t always have a way to listen to my music in the car, so I will listen to top 40, and I love it. Especially late at night, when I’m driving by myself and it’s a song that makes me feel fierce, along with the other 13 year old girls. Yeah, I dig it. But only in little bits. That’s why I call it dessert.

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Sometimes, I dance in the walk-in at work.
Because what happens in the walk-in, stays in the walk-in. And it makes me laugh. And if that’s enough to jerk me out of a crappy day, I will do it. And because I think, if I actually tried hard at it, I would be okay at dancing. I have good rhythm, dangit. I come from a family of gospel singers. I can do this. (Which leads me to this…)

I miss singing. 
Somedays, I will find myself singing old hymns. I guess because they are lodged deep into my brain. But I appreciate it. Because old hymns talk a lot about being lost and struggling and finding a Great Light. And these days, I could use a lot of that Great Light. There’s nothing wrong with singing the Doxology when you’ve had too much to drink. Not that uh, that’s ever happened to me.

I don’t think I will ever pursue a book deal.
I just don’t think I’ve got that push. I’ve thought about writing a book several times, and talk myself down because I don’t really know what to say. It’s all been said before, anyways. I don’t like the pompous attitude that comes with being a writer. I write, like so many others, because I have to read what I say in order for it to make sense. It’s an odd thing. I keep pen and paper on me at all times, because I have some things I need out. Once I get it out, I can then decide what to do with it. I guess maybe that’s weird. Eh well.

I am always thinking on the brevity of life.
Not because I’m sadistic. But because none of us really have that long to live here. And I want to be the best kind of person I can be, while I have like, a second on Earth. I will worry about money and bills like the rest of the world, but I will think deeply about the passing of time, and enjoy others and the love that they give me.

i miss you,

and I’m not sure when all of this will be okay. but I can see that it will, and that gives me hope.

i have no regrets. 

my current legal name is Joshua Jacob Harrod Casper. I suppose, once the legality of ending a marriage finally settles, I will drop the Harrod, because it was her last name. But I love my family. They always be my family. Because I drop a name, does not mean I lose them. I was so proud to carry that name, and I love them deeply. Always, always, always.

okay, I’m going to go now.

thank you.