Tuesday, January 14, 2014


Boards creak overhead in the middle of the day, and I tell myself what I've told myself so many times before: houses settle. Wood remembers old patterns, sometimes. But then: running feet up there. Too heavy, the steps, to belong to a child.

I walk to the bottom of the stairs and look up, watch shadows dart across the hall from our bedroom to the girls', and then a man-sized being emerges from the shadows of our room. It's somewhat transparent, pale and dark-haired. Its head's tipped downward; I don't see a face as it crosses the hall. 

As it enters the girls' room, I think with relief: it didn't see me. But then I remember: Clementine's napping in that room.


I woke with a start and started praying God's protection over my children. There was no going back to sleep, either. I've been prone to nightmares the last few years and so careful not to watch scary movies and shows. I've had so many zombie nightmares that I won't even allow The Walking Dead as background noise; Jim watches it only when I'm out of earshot. 

I turned this last nightmare over and over in my mind for several days. I turn everything over and over in my mind, all the time. I've been feeling angry and tired and tired of being angry. My face has forgotten how to smile. 

When Jim left, Saturday, I thought: music. I need music. I don't listen to worship music. I don't know why; I just don't: never have. When I'm low, I listen most often to Merle Haggard but sometimes to Billy Joel. Again, I don't know why; I just do: always have.

Saturday, I listened to Billy Joel, and at the end of "She's Always a Woman," he sings:

She is frequently kind and she's suddenly cruel,
She can do as she pleases, she's nobody's fool,
But she can't be convicted, she's earned her degree,
And the most she will do is throw shadows at you
But she's always a woman to me.

I played the song again. "The most she will do is throw shadows at you." I remembered the shadows in my nightmare and thought: what if it's me? What if I'm the zombie: lost up in my own head, throwing shadows at my children? And I don't think so because I don't typically frighten myself, but what a sobering thought, anyway.

Trying to be warmer, more alive, more present.

Self Portrait April 29, 2013


  1. Wow, I do think the Lord shows us things thru our dreams. I'm glad you listen to Him. The joy of the Lord is our strength. I'll try if you try.

  2. So sorry for the nightmares and the forgetting how to smile. Praying and entrusting you to the Healer of wounded hearts.

  3. girl get some praise music. listen to it whether you want to or not. there is power in those words. power in praising. and come against those nightmares in the NAME OF JESUS! we have authority.