"Those were hard things for me to come by, and I offer them to you for what they may be worth." - Toby Wolff

Monday, December 26, 2011


I held my sobbing husband in my arms. Once again it was my doing...this pain. I want to take it all back, to comfort, to heal. But there is no other way but through this now or I will just continue to harm him with my lies. I don't think anyone understands and I feel the weight of global disapproval. That can't matter. This time I must see it through. Lies are not best. I will use this time to find my truth and examine it, separate the wheat from the chaff, be open to anything but pretense.

We had breakfast as a family. I watched my boys tussle. I watched my husbands hands shake. We played dice and I saw my youngest follow in the tracks of my personality and my oldest pattern after his father. They are great young men. They are the best things we ever did and I have had nothing much to invest in them these last few years. That has to change.

It is Christmas day noon and I am now alone as the family gathers elsewhere. I have lived almost 50 years and even in the worst of them, I have never been alone on Christmas. Ah, but I am not alone. God is here and I feel him tugging to heal our relationship, for it is fractured like so many other things I tried to tape together. I am eating chips for Christmas dinner. It's almost humorous as I eat them with such a method. Suck the salt, pulverize the chip, swallow with a wine chaser. I can actually watch my hands swell.

I lay down on the floor and watch the sky turn against the trees and blacken their bark with fire. It is a high window in a high ceiling, and I so far down below it.

-from my iphone


  1. there is no other way but through this

    i remember this for me. i remember this exactly. and the work of going through it is absolutely good. the road is much longer than i ever anticipated, though. i am still on that road, annie, although it has opened up to fields.

    i wish you healing and growth. i do not wish the pain away for anyone. the pain makes us. but i do wish for it do be just gentle enough to bear.

    much love

  2. Christmas is over, the new year is what is most important. I've been alone on xmas for years and it sucks but i cant handle 'orphan' status at events so i try to sleep thru it. After all its just a day, and it's not (& should not be) everything. Xo- ecogrrl

  3. Take this time and make this time worth the pain you are boff going through worth the years together. I'm sure God will give the right answers, he always does. You're in my prayers.

  4. Dear Annie, you and your family are in our thoughts and prayers.

  5. Ah Annie. All I have to offer are empty words of solace which become meaningless in the writing. I would like to sit next to you now. I'm pretty sure I'd have nothing to say to you but I would offer you the scant comfort of my company at the very least.

    I hope and wish and pray because it is all I can do. I will pray and hope to be heard. And I will wish with all my heart. Love you my Annie. xx Jos

  6. Oh, Annie! I understand. Been there, done that...still wear the hairshirt.

    Philosophers speak about living an "authentic life." They generally leave out all the searing, gut-wrenching, bloody realities of what that may mean.

    But...if Christmas has any meaning at all, it is this: it's a symbol of Hope. Hope for redemption, hope for salvation, hope for something more than just a bleak winter.

  7. what can i say, annie? i am thinking of you, rooting for you. it sounds like you will be holding on to truth in one way or another, that counts. this is not about punishment. this is about being real.

    love to you my friend

  8. I'm not sure what is happening, but I'm hugging you tightly...to push away the pain

  9. We barely remember, who or what came before this precious moment.
    We are choosing to be here, right now. Hold on, stay inside...
    This holy reality, this holy experience. Choosing to be here in...

    This body. This body holding me. Be my reminder here that I am not alone in
    This body, this body holding me, feeling eternal all this pain is an illusion.

    Alive... I...

    In this holy reality, in this holy experience. Choosing to be here in...

    This body. This body holding me. Be my reminder here that I am not alone in
    This body, this body holding me, feeling eternal all this pain is an illusion.

    Twirling 'round with this familiar parable.
    Spinning, weaving 'round each new experience.
    Recognize this as a holy gift and celebrate this
    chance to be alive and breathing,
    a chance to be alive and breathing.

    This body holding me reminds me of my own mortality.
    Embrace this moment. Remember; we are eternal,
    all this pain is an illusion.

    - Maynare James Keenan

  10. I understand, Annie, and I'm behind you a thousand percent. There is light at the end of this tunnel. There is. Just put one foot in front of the other and keep on keeping on. You know I love you and pray for you every day. The upcoming new year WILL bring you peace and light. I just know it. xoxo

  11. I remember the global disappointment. I remember the pretending for my son. It gets better, I swear to you it does. Suffering and then healing. And then, hopefully, happiness for you. You will feel like you lived part of your life in this dark tunnel. Once you come out on the other side, you blink, blink, blink...what is this...light? And then, in place of the global disappointment, there is global celebration. Okay, maybe not global. But it replaces the disappointment on a global level. I ripped my band aid off. You are peeling yours slowly. It's wretched, but it will be over one day and you will throw that bloody tape away and smile. -Young One

  12. There is this time in between. It’s when the truth has to stand in spite of the pain. The pretending doesn’t work anymore. life has to be lived in truth even if painful for everyone. I remember a Christmas like this.

  13. Like Marion, said. Keep your head up, girl. It's a new year soon :)

  14. It is a high window in a high ceiling, and I so far down below it.

    this took my breath away ... so very much the everything of our search and experience ....

    maybe it's small comfort that God's probably looking in and thinking much the same but in reverse ... i just hope S/He doesn't see me as harshly as i see myself ...

    be gentle with your You, dear heart!

  15. Christmas always heightens the tension. It's a strange time of year -- so much potential, and yet the expectations can make it almost unbearable.

    In Japan, it's not much of a holiday -- in fact, unless it falls on a Sunday or Saturday, it's just another work day. I don't know why or how it got started but for young couples Christmas eve a bit like a Valentine's day -- where you are supposed to have a date or else. And for kids parents often buy fried chicken and have Christmas cake. For some kids Santa leaves a small present the next morning, and for other he doesn't. It's not a big deal. Not many that I know exchange gifts.

    Christmas lights are gaining popularity because they are fun. Some people leave them on the whole year round.

    Living in Japan, I always feel a lot of emotional ambiguity around Christmas -- and nobody around me ever seems to get it -- but how could they?


Thank you for listening.