How it Happens

Wow, yesterday was such a beautiful day! It made for a great drive along Route 668 to go get Diane’s car.

And since I was no longer stressing about finding the auto body shop — I now knew that I had to just keep driving until I hit the edge of the world, drop her off, then turn around and go back, eternally, the way I’d come — I was able to really just enjoy how beautiful Rt. 668 was.

But, man, does it go on forever. A two-lane highway.  Passing sudden train tracks, tons and tons of farms, an Amish community,  many churches. Hills galore.  Barns galore. Trees, trees, trees, and more trees. And nothing but blue sky in all directions. And, occasionally, houses. Just maybe a house sitting here & there.

I noticed that one of those lone houses – surrounded by acres & acres of just land, not a farm – had 2 Adirondack chairs sitting side by side on the lawn, up close to the house. And I thought, Man, you really gotta love somebody to want to do that – you know? To live alone together  in the middle of absolutely nowhere – and  to want to sit alone with them at night, watching the stars come out, under God’s heaven. Probably doing battle with many mosquitoes. Then wanting to go inside and make love before drifting off to sleep, side by side in the same bed.

Can you imagine that? I tried to. I’m not knocking it at all,  and it would be so cool to love somebody that much. But I personally see a tableau like that and words like this come to me: arguing; annoying; leave me the fuck alone already; must you talk every 2 seconds; why did I ever think this was going to be a good idea?

Words like that come to me… Anyway.

As it happened, I did an hour and half of grief counseling yesterday, for a woman who had a sudden, unexpected death in the family.

I have not done grief counseling in a while. Or any counseling, really, because for the last 2 years,  I have lived at varying degrees of “really far away from everybody” –  who knows I’m a minister, that is.

I think that these last 2 years of going through so much garbage with myself, has really done some good things for my empathy levels.  I felt like I could tune-in right away to where she was coming from emotionally. And I’m not afraid to step on any toes anymore. You know, not handling people’s emotions with kid gloves anymore, but just being forthcoming about the guilt, the anger, the questions, to let people just cry – but replace some heavier-handed thinking by circling back to more self-empowering thinking even while they’re in the middle of crying.

Even over death and loss. Grief is such a  horrible, horrible, feeling to endure.  Just so heartbreaking. And all that guilt and anger, and self-anger. But we can still find that better-feeling thought to grab hold of immediately and pull ourselves out of it a little bit. And a little bit always leads to a little bit more.

So I was surprised – in a good way – by myself yesterday and seeing that I had made progress as a counselor. I was also kind of surprised that I had renewed my vow to Christ just this past Sunday, and suddenly, here was this woman on my porch, 2 days later. Interesting.

I still don’t think I would be that effective with the elderly.  And I have counseled so many elderly people. Without having a clue how to really help them, besides the fallback position of offering that Ministry of Presence, that Ministry of Silence. And I personally think that position is a cop-out most of the time. But I can’t help but feel that the elderly know so much more about life because they’ve been here longer than I have, so what can I really offer?

Of course, that’s when you’re supposed to have faith that the Holy Spirit is going to give you the words you need. And my way of talking to the Holy Spirit in those circumstances, is to stand just outside the door and say, “You better think of something quick, because we’re going in and I don’t have a fucking clue…”

That idea underscores my whole ministry: While I do have my suspicions about stuff overall I really don’t have a fucking clue.

Well, okay! On the writing front.

Man, did I get some good work done last night. Finished Chapter 9 in my new novel, Blessed By Light. I am so happy with this unexpected novel. It’s an erotic novel. The first erotic novel I’ve written since the first draft of Freak Parade in 2005.

I had no clue, and no clear intention, of ever writing another erotic novel again. But suddenly, here it came. And it just keeps coming. It’s in 2nd Person, usually the worst voice to write in, and it’s an overall “love letter,” even though it has distinct chapters that add to the overall story.  It’s more of a flow of thought, in very short chapters, that picks up the plot along the way.

It’s told from the POV of an older man, twice married but now a widower, who takes up with a slightly younger woman, and the entire book is him talking to her – talking about her, about the two of them as a couple, about his previous wives, his family, his early days, the choices he made. And almost all of it from an erotic perspective.

I tell you, in all seriousness, I never dreamed this book was lurking in me anywhere. Even if I say so myself, it is a really beautiful story.

And on that note, I’m gonna get back at it. Have a wonderful Wednesday, wherever you are in the world!! Thanks for visiting. See ya.

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