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LOST; and in search of my inner Lesley Gore

12 Feb

Have you ever been lost?  Truly in a spot of unrecognized territory?  I have.  Once, while vacationing on the island of Oahu, Hawaii.  I took my husband and two children on an adventure we will never forget.  I am an avid hiker, at least the Rivka I am most familiar with, I can say, is an avid hiker.  So to an unfamiliar trail I took my family, the call of true adventure my thrill.  We began our trek to the hidden waterfall with somewhat of a visible trail to guide our way.  And though at many times we were unsure if our chosen steps were leading us in the direction we hoped to go, we were offered a smidgen of hope from a random passerby to assure us our desired destination did, in fact, exist.  So while we had a successful venture to the pool of water I had longed to see, our hike back to safety took a wrong turn.  The rain began to fall…and fall, and fall.  And with it, the trails were completely washed away.  Banana palm trees lay fallen in the mud.   Our once familiar markers were sailing down the, now flowing, creek leaving us truly lost and in a place of unrecognizable territory.  Gone were the one or two previous people who kept us on course.  Gone was solid ground, only slippery mud and a husband/father with a guitar (because every hiker totes a musical instrument, right?), a wife/mother with a bit of fear lurking inside her, an optimistic boy, and a little girl who promptly spilled the rationed trail mix as if paying homage to the ritualistic offerings from the island’s past.  In that moment, flip-flop bedecked, we the Bent family were considering how it might feel to sleep in jungle-like surroundings with no food or water left for sustenance.  Yet plenty of rain and who knows what else!  We obviously made it out, thanks to the guitar and the little boy.  No questions please.

Well, here I am again.  Lost.

Where is Rivka?  An honest to goodness question circling within my soul.  Hello…anybody home?

Oh the logistics of my whereabouts are accounted for, but the “me” I am so familiar with seems to be missing.  I am not depressed.  I know what that looks and feels like.  I am not oppressed, I have been there too.  I am simply too pooped to come out to play.  Every day for the past three weeks I have awoke in the morning and begun my search.  Or I lie awake through the night unable to properly sleep, thus getting a jump start on my quest.  I am looking for my Sunshine, Lollipops, and Rainbows.  I am hoping for the feelings of “everything that’s wonderful is how I feel when we’re together” to return into my view again.  You know, my Lesley Gore!

Yes I have been lost before.  However, I have never before been in a predicament of unfamiliarity as result of too much pressure.  I have been blue, I have been burdened, I have been overwhelmed, and I have been tired.  But being in a place of enduring the weight of too many difficult circumstances culminating simultaneously equating to a pressurized intensity unbearable to my body, mind, and soul, is new terrain.

Unable to speak.  Unable to write.  Unable to muster up the energy for thought.  Pressurized, and thus, vaporized.

I began to formulate an ‘SOS’ type text to send out to my girlfriends who I figured could handle a cry for help.  But even that weight felt too heavy to lift; end result, delete.  Prayer.  Ah, the Heavenward thoughts which unite the human spirit with the spirit of One.  Key word in previous sentence being, “thoughts”…mine are bankrupt.  Fill in the blanks.

As I sit here in my living room writing, post a three week hiatus, my husband enters into the room to inform me our plumbing has backed up yet again.  We have a root ball blocking our sewage flow.  Tomorrow the dig will begin, at least I will know where to find me…on another path leading toward shit.  I think I’ve written about that in the past.  Sorry, the color brown seems to suit me.  And a statement like that does echo the voice of depression, I apologize.  I am merely utilizing my literary license to invoke the melodramatic.  Truly, sewage problems I can handle…I know how to squat over a bag covered bucket!

Sunshine, lollipops, and rainbows…the search continues.  “Lesley, are you out there?!”

P.s. It is a good sign that I was able to formulate a post.  Cheers to that!  Now may you please enjoy the song, and remember it’s that time of year again when the baby king hides out in a cake.  😉


Daughter of the King

26 Dec

This past year, 2012, has been the hardest year of my life.  Now those who have known me, all of my days, know some of my stories.  They aren’t such easy stories.  Those same people know some of my recent years past.  Those aren’t such easy years.  So for me to say that this past year has been the hardest of my life…well, let’s just say the statement bears weight.

Now tonight as I was cleaning the kitchen, I thought to myself, “I am blessed.”  And you know what?  I am truly happy.  Yes, this has been the hardest year of my life, yet I am happy and I am blessed.

Is my son completely healed of his depression?  No.  Has the uncertainty of my husband’s paycheck changed?  No.  Has the mucosal storm within my lungs subsided? No.

Even so, the other day (Monday to be exact) I was driving home from the store my husband and I had just visited together.  We had arrived separately and in our own vehicle.  So when I was driving home I had a view of him in his 1948 Studebaker pickup truck within my rear-view mirror.  As I glanced at him behind me I couldn’t help but think, “now that is my true Christmas gift.”  Meaning, Brian is the present I get to enjoy over and over again.  And the thought made me happy.  Still does.

Here I am, tired and still coughing.  With the same life circumstances as before, in fact one more came just yesterday…Brian’s last living grandmother passed away on Christmas day.  She was a light for the four of us, Grandma Mae.  When we would visit with her I would call it “Mae Days.”  She was ready, and in truth we have been mourning our loss of her since this past spring when Brian’s uncle felt her being closer to him, in his home state, was a better choice for her.  Anyway, here we are still maintaining the present course of the past year coupled with sadness from another loss, yet within me I feel blessed and happy.  …go figure.

All I can say is that I know my inner peace is directly reflective of the fact I am a daughter of The King.  My inheritance is rich, ripe, and full.

And now I must rest…again!

Merry (day after) Christmas



Sandy Sheets

9 Dec

Sandy Sheets sounds like the name of a woman.  “Hello, my name is Sandy Sheets.  No, I am not in the porn industry and that question, I assure you, is getting old!”  That mini monologue is a figment of my imagination…a segment from my non-existent stand up comedy routine.  There is no such person, that I know of, called Sandy Sheets.  Though I swear she was a visitor of mine this past week, for the other night when I crawled into bed after a long day, I felt an odd amount of sand under my hand.  My hand happened to be near my pillow and my pillow was at the head of the bed…where it belongs.  I thought, “hmmm…”.  Yep, that was the best I could think, I was tired.  I then adjusted my blankets and stretched my legs downward toward the foot only to discover more granules of sand; more than I cared to sleep with.  My entire bed was sandy!  What the heck?  Was this revenge of the body scrub (being I had criticized the directions on the Skin Food product in my last post)?  Now I racked my brain to try to remember what had occurred last in my bed chamber which brought part of the beach to my sheets, and since I couldn’t remember being the culprit, I realized “Sandy Sheets strikes again”!  Though sandy she may be, I assure you she is no lady!  “She” is actually my husband…a he.  A surfer, surf-a-holic, he.

Brian Bent artwork

A Brian Bent original, 1930’s inspired

Be ye Not alarmed…this is not an ‘X’ rated post!

This post is actually about lines.  Lines in the sand, if you will.  Lines we draw and expect ourselves, and others, to NOT cross.  Lines such as, “don’t bring sand into our bed.”  In fact I began early on in our marriage with having specific lines.  Brush your teeth with toothpaste, if you want to kiss me.  Cheat on me and we are done (he had that one too, in fact it’s still quite definitive).  Drunkenness is a no-no (a line he crossed early on, only to learn of what I call, “the wrath of Rivka”).  But it isn’t just with marriage that I have lines.  I have drawn lines with myself, my children, my mother, my employer, and probably a friend or two.  Perhaps my siblings as well…they can better say.  And just like the ‘no sand in bed’ line I had drawn a while back, my lines have been pretty solid for as long as life allowed me that luxury.  As we amble through life together, inching every day closer to our impending finish line, we find our lines, once solidly striped, become blurry (if not non-existent altogether).  Actually, I will keep to myself…my lines are blurred and some of them are disappeared, where once they were very much my gospel.

After discovering the condition of my bedding, my first reaction was irritation at the fact MY line had been crossed.  Yet something within me stirred and asked, “so what?”  And wouldn’t you know, with that simple question swirling around in my head, I decided to not let the sand bother me.  After all, Brian and I have both had our plate quite full with other emotional and physical burdens.  Yes it is true I could have called the less-than-desireable conditions to his attention (though I knew he would discover them soon enough), but in that moment I recognized it was a better choice to cut him some slack.  Especially as our life, in this particular season (and I don’t mean winter, spring, summer, or autumn), is not.  Wanna know something?  Sleeping with sand is not as awful as I had thought.  I’ll admit it is still not my favorite to share my bed with particles from the sea, but it didn’t kill me to ignore the grit and relax (FYI: there was too much sand to just scrape it off to the floor, I would have had to undo my bedding and re-make the bed…which I was too exhausted to tackle that particular night).  And I am finding more and more that “lines”, or my lines anyway, aren’t so necessary for having a fulfilling life.

Another example, last night us ‘Fab Four’ were sitting on the couch when Brian discovered a long black marking on the sofa cushion.  He quickly pointed out the streak and asked, while looking at our daughter Esther, “How did this get here?”  To which she replied, “My pen exploded when I was writing on my pad, while laying on the couch.”  They both looked at me as if a big problem were present amongst us.  I just replied, “Well, there goes my museum!”  Esther asked in confusion, “Museum?”  To which I explained, “Yes, long ago I had to decide if I wanted a home or wanted a museum.  So now, I guess what I have is a home.”  And she nodded with a smile of recognition knowing I had erased that line I had drawn, to accommodate for a loving experience while in my house.  (Though in truth I was reeling with elation that she had used the correct tense for the verb, lie). 😀

It isn’t an easy task, mind you.  In fact today while sitting next to the defaced cushion I had a twinge of my old line resurface in my thoughts.  My old line being the desires which are still within me to have something go the way I want it to go.  Of course I don’t want to have a streak of black ink on my yellow cushion.  Of course I don’t want to crawl into a bed visited by Sandy Sheets.  Of course.  But more and more I am allowing my lines to blur, or eradicate completely, because relationship is the trump card I wish to hold.  And the funny thing about allowing myself to really take down some of my ‘neatly, put in place’ barriers, is I begin to reflect back to times where my desires (or lines drawn in the sand) were really the cause of much stress for me, and probably for others.  And though this reflection helps keep me pointed in the direction I would like to go, I am still far from having arrived.  I can say that at least I am done with the condescending thoughts toward the trespasser.  Even so, one can still find me putting a coaster under a guests drinking glass if they happen to set it down upon a piece of wooden furniture.  I can only promise to not consider my guest a neanderthal for their lack of good breeding.  But watch out if they do it twice…all bets are off and the wrath of Rivka most likely shall emerge.  I am on the path, not quite at the destination! 😉

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