Monday, September 08, 2008

Recognizing a moment

Today, between my regular routine of dirty dishes, laundry and scrubbing my never-will-be-clean-with-a-domestic-zoo floors, I watched the Ridley Scott movie, One Good Year. I've seen it before. I'm tempted to call it a sweet little love story, but it's more than that. It's a story about choices, values and identity -- good stuff handled in an easily palatable way. This movie goes down easier than Zinfandel. The real hook for me though is Provence. When it comes to eye candy, the south of France tops even Russell Crowe.

I enjoy watching the special features on DVDs, and today I decided to watch the music videos for the first time. I respect Russell Crowe as an actor, but never having heard him sing, I've wondered if this was just another actor on an ego trip thinking he could sing. (Bruce Willis and Eddie Murphy came easily to mind, and did I ever date myself by remembering their musical endeavors!) Instead I was pleasantly surprised. The music was good. Crowe has a nice enough voice. He doesn't push it to be something it isn't. I'd buy a CD. I wanted to get up and dance to Testify. I was touched by Weight of A Man, but One Good Year stopped me cold. This song spoke to and about my heart.

I had to go look up the lyrics to make sure I'd heard them right, and I want to include them all.

One Good Year by Cleaves/Brooks

It's New Years Day just like the day before
Same old skies of grey, same empty bottles on the floor
Another years gone by, and I was thinking once again
How can I take this losing hand and somehow win

Chorus
Just give me One Good Year.
To get my feet back on the ground
I've been chasing grace.
Grace ain't so easily found
One bad hand can devil a man,
chase him and carry him down
I've got to get out of here,
just give me One Good Year

I'm burning oil, engine's running rough
I drive from job to job, but it's never enough
I can't find the will to just up and get away
Some kind of chain is holding me down and making me stay

Chorus
Just give me One Good Year.
To get my feet back on the ground
I've been chasing grace.
Grace ain't so easily found
One bad hand can devil a man,
chase him and carry him down
I've got to get out of here,
just give me One Good Year

Bridge
It's a bitter wind in your face every day
It's the little sins that wear your soul away
When you start giving in, where do the promises all go
Will your darkest hour write a blank check on your soul

It's New Years Day just like the day before
Same old skies of grey, same empty bottles on the floor
Another years gone by, and I was thinking once again
How can I take this losing hand and somehow win

Chorus
Just give me One Good Year.
To get my feet back on the ground
I've been chasing grace.
Grace ain't so easily found
One bad hand can devil a man,
chase him and carry him down
I've got to get out of here,
just give me One Good Year

Granted, I'm struggling with one of the most challenging depressive episodes I've ever experienced, but I've felt like these lyrics for so freaking long. I know that feeling of trying and trying to change my life into something better and never really getting much of anywhere -- never feeling like I'm winning, just taking the blows and covering them up with the illusion of tattered dignity. My theme lately has been "I just want to get my feet back on the ground."

I'm tired of crawling on aching knees or worse, just being able to lie in a fetal position until I can try to move again. I went to the cemetery today, and I just wanted to lie down and curl up there beside my husband, like I've done so many times when he could wrap warm arms around me. That's not a life, but that's where I am. It's not where I want to be. I want to be standing on my two feet, taking care of myself and the people I love. I want to believe again in the possibility of joy, not just survival. Yes, that is indeed the giant roaring sound of self pity trying to suck me under.

Though I've said those words about getting back on my feet many times, the lyric that really slapped me upside my thick skull was "I've been chasing grace. Grace ain't so easily found." There are times I feel like I'm trying to tackle God, pin the Almighty down and demand, "Give me this grace that I want -- this kind of grace, the one I've thought out so clearly, and give it to me now! In one of the moments I have recognized as true grace lately, I've realized that in looking for something I've defined, I'm probably overlooking what has been given to me.

I always have to go back to basics, and though my Southern Baptist upbringing no longer fits me too well, the definition of grace I learned in that church has always been the most fitting for me. Grace is a gift that is undeserved and cannot be earned. It is a gift. It comes to you. You don't go out and grab it. It is not an accomplishment.

I'm not seeing things really clearly now. I don't think I'm in a position to recognize grace now, but I still believe in it. Grace is here, and I'm choosing to believe that there will be moments, like during a song, a movie, a conversation with my daughter or in opening an email, that I'll see it. Maybe just for a second, I'll be able to appreciate it. Maybe that second can lead to more.

grace

3 Comments:

Blogger emmapeelDallas said...

I like what you said about choosing to believe there will be moments that you'll see grace. I admit that I know nothing about grace, and yet I believe that if one chooses to look for and find those moments, they will surely grow to more.

Judi

September 08, 2008 9:56 PM  
Blogger Lisa :-] said...

Cyn...THIS is grace. That you have come here again, that you are writing, when a few weeks ago, you couldn't... I know you are still sad and lost and grieving, but I am doing little happy dances in my head for the little, incremental baby steps you are taking out of the darkness.

I read on of my old "Brainsurfing" entries the other night. Here is the link: http://journals.aol.com/lisaram1955/Brainsurfing/entries/2004/11/18/coming-out-of-the-darkness/419 (you'll have to copy and paste because I don't know how to make a link in this damn format...)

I thought of you when I read it, because I'd really like to punch through, reach my hand in, and grab on...to you. As you did for me back in the early days of my journal.

September 09, 2008 12:56 AM  
Blogger TJ said...

You are struggling and have all the reasons to validate this state of mind....you are a smart gurl.
Hang on kiddo, hang on.
Love TJ

September 11, 2008 2:58 PM  

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