– Louise L’Amour
I am going to write “LOVE” on my arms in thick, black, permanent marker letters.
I am going to wear short sleeve shirts so that they can see the letters scrawled out where my scars used to be.
I want that sad, skinny girl to see it. I want that overweight, loud girl to see it. I want that young man cloaked in black to see it. I want that middle-aged woman with the tired, dark eye-liner to look, and see it. I want the man with the guilty face and the little girl with “SEXY” written across the seat of her hot pink pants to see my arms, covered in LOVE. I want them to know that Love is real. Hope is real. I am living proof.
Have you any idea how many people swarm around you on a daily basis with words branded on them: WORTHLESS. CHEAP. OLD. HOT. MISPLACED. RICH. ODDBALL. POOR. UGLY. LOST. FAT. CLOWN. ARTSY. DORK. HIPPIE. JOCK. HARD. PUNK. CRIMINAL. SMART. ANGRY. STUPID. Invisible tags, unseen labels- sometimes given by other people, sometimes etched by their own doing, but everybody’s got one or three. We all realize this, we all know it happens, sometimes the brand is embroidered on a shirt, or pierced through a body part, or stained on the skin as a tattoo, or worst of all, just silently, secretly held in the heart.
What would happen if I decided to choose my own brand, my own word, my own label? And then, what would happen if I decided to make it utterly and blatantly visible to all who see me- written on my arm? I hid my arms once- what if I were to forget all evasive tendencies and be bold about it?
What would happen if I chose LOVE for my word? I choose LOVE. I choose to accept it, I choose to give it, I choose to show it, I promise to live it. Can I do that? Is that allowed?
I am loved; I am covered in Love, all around me, underneath me, up above me, through and through me, soaked in Love. It’s not a Love that will not fail or fade, either. God Himself has set His love on me and it’s something that the world needs to see- because it saved my life, it rescued me.
LOVE. This is my New Year’s Resolution. A little early, I know, but it’s on my heart now so I might as well get it sorted out and set to the page. And when the marker wears off, I want the world to look at me and still see LOVE written clearly and boldly and loudly.
“Because Thy lovingkindness is better than life…..” Psalm 63
What will you write?
** To Write Love on Her Arms is a non-profit organization that aims to help people struggling with depression, suicide, self-harm and addiction. Hope is Real. Rescue is Possible. Love is the Movement. Check it out…. To Write Love on Her Arms
I have my tea, I have my iPod running through its list of old love songs and punky rock ballads. The lights are dim, the night is quiet and slightly soaked with rain- the timing is perfect. Blog, let’s talk. It’s been weeks since I’ve been able to scrape together enough minutes or words to make a decent conversation, but that’s OK. Somehow I know, someday, I can simply pick up the string of thought like it belonged to some long abandoned knitting project and start it again, loop upon loop, stitch after stitch, thought after thought.
My writer just has not forgiven me yet for accidentally erasing three long years of work. I don’t blame it. I don’t forgive me either. The words seem to sit in the far corner of my mind, just out of reach of pen or page, sitting- waiting- mistrusting. I coax, I think, I beg- but they come out from behind the block so unwillingly it stings. I may be able to persuade enough of them out to make a mediocre paragraph, but what I have to say seems so precious that as every word I am able to write falls out into the light I quickly snatch it back up, jealous that anyone else’s eyes might land on it. These things I tuck back in another corner and they wait as well, willing to be written, but I am the one that hesitates. It’s just no good.
So what’s to be done? I drink my tea, I sing along with the love songs and think about serenading the clouds outside, maybe I’ll knit for a while.
We did it. We went mainstream. We went real time. We went all out.
We have a Facebook page.
Check it out.
(go ahead, it’s the little widget to the right…..)
It’s my Happy Birthday, folks! Twenty-three years ago I was emancipated from the womb and let loose on this wide, wild planet – what a trip this life it has been, and I am thankful for every year that the Lord has so graciously brought me through!
23 things you never knew you never knew about
1) I am deathly afraid of anything with wings (even dragons and ladybugs)
2. I couldn’t whistle until I was 20 years old
THREE: When I was a kid I thought there was an entire civilization of tiny people who lived in between the couch cushions (I’m still not *totally* convinced I was wrong, someone must be blamed for all the things that supposedly get ‘swallowed’ by the couch, eh?)
4) I can scream loud enough to shatter eardrums and liquefy brain cells
(five) my brother and I had our own little record player and a stack of Jackson 5 records when we were kids (we were so *stinkin’* cool)
6. if I could pick three things I want developed in myself, they would be Cheerfulness, Thankfulness and LovingTenderness (did you like the clever way I slipped four things in on my ‘three things’ list?)
7) I am terribly allergic to dawn dish soap, tomato plants, hand sanitizer and hugs from people I don’t know
EiGhT- My literary hero as a child was Dr. Seuss. I wrote a Seuss-esque poem when I was in elementary school for The Doctor’s birthday. ***awwww***
9. My literary hero as an adult is Charles Dickens, because really, how can you not like a guy who breaks every single rule the English language has conjured up and yet is still hailed as one of the greatest writers that has ever lived? It’s so *exactly* the kind of thing he would have loved and it tickles me to no end.
*TEN* If I dressed exactly how I pleased, no one would be seen with me in public. Think hippie Tim Burton meets 1940s Britain. Yup.
11. I had a pig collection. not real ones, fake pigs. Of course.
twelve- I failed gym class. repeatedly. I was never the last one picked, I was the one the teacher had to *put* in a team because no one would pick me even when I was obviously the last one standing there. all alone.
13. (ten left- you hanging in there?) I am delighted by the most ridiculously simple things, and am usually pretty willing to show that delight to whoever happens to be standing near me at the time.
4teen: I dream of traveling to Europe and the Grand Canyon
15) I would rather be barefoot
10+6= I was in a rock band (sort of, for a short time, but it counts)
17. I am struggling to come up with 23 things about me that are even semi-interesting
18) I didn’t really sweat until I was 18, I just kind of overheated and then passed out. so that’s not even semi-interesting, but it’s pretty weird, huh?
nineteen- I became a Christian when I was nineteen years old
20) I’ve been pooped on by cows, rabbits, sheep, goats, cats, birds, chickens, snails and frogs- cow is the worst
**twenty-one** (two more, you can do it!!) I taught myself how to knit and somehow it worked out that I knit left-handed, even though I am a rather right-handed gal……
22- It is my heart’s desire to someday be married and have a bunch of children that I will dress in over-sized overalls and teach to sing in the rain and love God and not be afraid of life. I want to have children with cheerful childhoods to tuck in their pockets.
Three and Twenty: I love vegetables. I love them even better when they are deep-fried
So there you go, twenty-three things you didn’t even know you wanted to know about me! Now it’s your turn, if you so desire, leave a comment- let me know something about you, I’d love to hear it!
She’d a gypsy heart, and home-staying feet:
She loved campfires – and an ingle seat.
When summer rain shook its tambourine,
She snapped her fingers, but locked the screens.
She caught her hair with a high jeweled comb-
Then whisked egg whites to angel foam.
If stars inveigle her into the night,
She returned, like a moth, to the candle light.
For the Romany call in the South wind’s throat,
A kettle’s hum was the antidote.
She’d a gypsy heart, but it couldn’t pull
Her home-staying feet from their chimney stool.
– Ethel Romig Fuller