Are you hungry?

I’ve been binging on sweet stuff for a few weeks. The stuff my mind can’t stop thinking about once I see it, the stuff I don’t want to resist, the stuff I’m willing to have for breakfast even though it’s so so sweet.

I haven’t been hungry for days. I’ve filled myself with knowledge and selfishness and pride.

Pride – how can we claim it for such messiness? Because it breeds messiness.

What I give myself is bad. It’s too sweet, too much and too early.

I need to purge. I need to be hungry again. It’s time to give:

  • Love
  • Worship
  • Time
  • Knowledge
  • Sacrifice
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CLE + Joy: Natural Color

I didn’t expect to find color in Cleveland. And I didn’t expect to find joy in color. But because nature-colors are less present here than in rural areas, I notice them more. Not the colors alone, but the way they contrast with the buildings and roads and everything that is city-gray. I’m on a daily hunt for these intersections. And I am grateful for this fall surprise.

Shaker Blvd. Night leaves Golden walkway Progressive Field Dave's Buckeye-Shaker Fall tree Sunset Shaker Heights

In the Deep

You know that feeling when you push yourself underwater in the deep end and let your air out and sink until your feet loosely hit the cement 12 feet down?

Sky pressure

You blow a few extra bubbles out of your nose so you can tilt your head back and see the aqua-white sun shine through the lapping water. Your arms lift bent at your sides, and you finally can’t hear all of the sounds that come with water.

The noise, light, treading limbs are muffled. The pressure is closer than ever.

I crave that feeling.

For some reason, I don’t panic down there. Why does it quiet me instead of overwhelm me?

I have a theory. It’s because to get down there, I have to give up. I have to let go of my breath, my sight, my hearing, my ability to be heard. And go down there alone with that so-powerful pressure.

I can kick up to the surface if I want to, but I don’t. I need to let go of my power, succumb myself to what’s greater than this body. I need to just be down there.

I can’t do that with the usual distractions. I choose to prioritize comfort, fun, acceptance, money, over my real purpose. But when I place myself under that pressure-power, I realize it’s where I’m meant to thrive.

We live on the surface, though, in the chaos. It’s easy to slip down for some peace, and come up to the powerless pressure when we need air, forgetting that real power. But I don’t have to forget it – that it defines my core, tells me why I’m here. Let’s live the peaceful, real pressure. Acknowledge it always.

CLE + Joy: Streets

I’m from the country. This pavement and potholes and cars and neglect of turning signals and crosswalks everywhere is new to me. But I kind of like it. It’s the quick-thinking I have to do at 7:45 am when someone cuts in front of me and the old old buildings I pass and the so many new people crossing streets and the traffic safety helpers directing kids across the street to school. It’s messy and chaotic and alive:

Buckeye-Shaker480 BridgeIndians GameCanal Road Warner HillTower CityDriving home

Introduction to the Cle + Joy series

The Lump

I have this feeling in my body.

Yeah?

I feel this lump inside me.

Yeah?

It’s a lump of emotion.

Yeah?

You hold an imaginary lump to the left of your belly button. It’s fist-sized and at your core.

It’s like all of that sin is right there and it’s about to come out.

It’s vulnerability, you realize.

Mmmm.

It’s like there are cracks in my heart and all the rocks are going to come out and it hurts but it hurts so good.

I giggle at your rare and specific description of feelings – and you’re speaking in metaphor! You’re beautiful.

Shaker sunset

So I’ve been thinking about these lumps. They’re dense. They form slowly. They’re uncomfortable. They don’t belong.

I admire you. If it were me, I’d feel that lump right away and keep it there as long as possible, unwilling to let it go. As much as it discomforts, I’m a lazy lady. I dread change.

But you. While you don’t notice the lump forming there for months, once you identify it, you’re ready to let it out. Teach me your conviction? Your dedication and humility? Your ever-trying heart? Your love.