Thursday, July 23, 2009


Sophie Lee pulled herself along the wall shrinking up into the shadows as much as she possibly could. In a place like this one would think the shadows would be the worst place to be but Sophie felt some comfort there in the darkness. Her progress was slow as she tried to make no sound and she didn’t want her breathing to give her away. She didn’t know why her leg was numb, she didn’t know what had happened to Matthew, she didn’t know why she could not remember the last three days, in short like her step father often told her “I could write a book on things you don’t know.”

She finally pulled herself into a corner next to the hallway. She reached down and grabbed her left leg which felt like a 30 pound sausage dangling from her hip. Sophie pulled both legs up to her chest and dropped her head between her legs making herself as small as she could. She had heard somewhere that putting your head between her your knees could help prevent hyperventilation, at this point she was hoping not to pass out. She did not now much about what was happening, enough to fill a book. But she did know that just around the corner and into the light was death: terrifying, excruciating, certain death.

Monday, July 20, 2009

Long long ago

Sometimes things that happened oh song long ago linger. No I'm not talking about Herpes. I'm talking about life experiences. Good things linger, I can still remember getting whisker burns from my Grandpa Grover as a little kid which I acted like I hated but secretly loved. Little accomplishments like taking second place in a pine wood derby, learning to ride a bike, getting my first job. These things seem to hide in little pockets of my memory and pop out at different times and bring a smile to my face. The happy little pop up memories are great.

Then there are the other lingerers. This kind are like the guys who sit out on corners drinking from anonymous bottles shrouded in little brown paper bags. There really aren't good times for these lingerers to pop up. Its like when you think you have finally shaken strep throat only to find out that you need to have an entire new anti biotic for another round. It always turns out to be a crappy situation.

I have really come to dislike these negative lingering memories/experiences. In a way they become an albatross and I feel like the ancient mariner. And like a old set of luggage you carry them around for ever. A lot of people, myself included, may not even realize that you have these negative little stowaways out there in your psyche. They can way you down, ruin your day, cause you to start crying for no obvious reason and lead you to believe that you are loosing it. And in some ways you could be.

It is hard for me to even write about it. I really don't like to be whiny. I don't like rehashing bad times. I don't want to glorify old mistakes by reanimating them in my mind and living through them over and over again. These things are like Jason and Michael and Freddy all mixed together, they just keep coming back. Often the issue is something I had no control over when it happened, but now, when it pops up and I do have some measure of control (or should) I let it take over my whole thought process. This can ruin an entire day just by bumming me out. There is a lesson here to be sure. Try not to create any of these lingerers for others. Especially for kids, you never really know how long harsh words, broken promises, or shattered dreams will stay with a person.

Then there are those lingerers who I, in a sense, invited over and just won't leave. The mistakes made in life big or small that try as you will to move on from and forget won't go away. My sainted mother once told me of an object lesson she had in seminary where the teacher illustrated the lasting effects of sin by hammering nails into a 2 x 4. When through repentance the nails are taken out, the hole created by driving the nails into the board still remain. In my life I have made stupid decisions, I have not given my best effort, or have chickened out of doing things that could have turned out well. These are things I still regret. I sometimes feel like Seth in Fablehaven: Secrets of the Dragon Sanctuary when he states that his past mistakes keep limiting his future opportunities. I still think if only I would have paid more attention in school, if only I would have been more kind to this person, if only I had chosen to be more Christlike at that point of my life. I think the name of half of the malingerers is "if only".

There is wisdom in the saying "live your life so you have no regrets." I don't know if this is truly possible, but I would challenge you to try. Control the things that you can, and don't let yourself be controlled by those things outside of your control. Good luck, and watch out for stowaways.