Beyond here there's no map.

a year ago, i turned 29. one week after my entire life course changed. i spent the day antique shopping in mountain oregon with my best friend, wishing the entire time i could dial back the clock. wishing i did not have a new apartment.

How you get there is where
you'll arrive; how, dawn
dawn, you can see your way

clear: in ponds, sky, just as

woods you walk through give
to fields ....

but i had a new apartment. a new job. a new life. i did not understand these things at first. i did not understand me.

sometimes i still do not understand me.

but i understand that this that is, is. prickly misunderstanding and confusion has given way to the niche that God has carved for me. it is not a big space, generally and metaphorically speaking. but it is a space.

. And rivers: beyond
all burning, you'll cross on bridges

you've long lugged with you.

i don't know that i can define this next year. it's taken awhile to let go of this past year. i have never, never wanted a year to pass so quickly. i do not know how many times i said to myself, "i just want to feel better."

Whatever your route, go lightly,
toward light. Once you give away
all save necessity, all's
mostly well: what you used to

believe you owned is nothing,
nothing beside how you've come to feel ...

i have a little secret.

in the past few months, i started to let go.

of what i believed i was. of what i believe i should be. i feel what i feel in christ jesus. sometimes it's not very holy.

i tell him anyway.

. You've no need now
to give in or give out: the way you're going your body seems

i'm willing.

...Slowly as it may
otherwise tell you, whatever
it comes to you're bound to know.

welcome, 30th year. i didn't think i wanted you.

turns out i wanted nothing more.

in the car driving out to the snake river last thursday, i spouted a liturgy of the things i wanted Some Day.

marriage. children. (i did get an odd sideways look as my traveling companion was one of my closest male friends.) a master's degree. maybe two. maybe more. to write. to publish. to take more piano lessons. to learn the violin. to travel. to live right now.

i couldn't be more grateful for the place i'm in in this very moment, though there's so much that is so very unclear.

these people here? all very different. also? i've really only known them in the past year.

i'm grateful for them, and that they chose to celebrate with me this year.

and i choose to be grateful for last year.

and i am expectantly living out this year.

(big thanks to philip booth and "heading out" (c) 1990).


  1. t i m on July 6, 2008 at 6:18 PM

    happy belated birthday . :)

  2. Zoe on July 7, 2008 at 5:07 PM

    I love your deep thoughts. They really touched me. You are such a reflective, sensitive soul and a special friend to me.

  3. Jorge on July 7, 2008 at 5:29 PM

    Any road traveled is better when shared with friends. Happy belated birthday! Be well,

  4. Ronna on July 8, 2008 at 8:10 AM

    What a year you have had. What a journey of discovery. Sad and painful to be sure. But it is a part of sculpting the landscape of Lisa. It's hard for me to believe over a year has passed since that day we spoke on the phone and you told me of your broken heart.

    I am so proud of you. I miss you.

    I love you. I cherish the friend you are to me.

    Happy New Year.

    (And Happy Birthday too.)

  5. meg on July 9, 2008 at 12:09 PM

    I'll echo Ronna & wish a Happy New Year~ there is adventure waiting & you are in the right frame of mind to enjoy it.

  6. Fairlightday on July 14, 2008 at 10:33 AM

    Your in inspiration Lisa.
    That's all I can say.
    And Happy Birthday.
    It's good to have you back. :)


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