Wednesday, December 1, 2010

Dear Valerie, in case of your accidental personal amnesia:

Dear Valerie, in case of your accidental personal amnesia:

On overcast days with cool winds that whips your hair across your eyes, you feel young and complicated. You squint out of unreadable eyes and take deeper breaths. You remember James as new to you, with his music and his hurt and his arms around you.

On cloudy winter mornings, early, you feel busy and industrious. Like a pioneer, like your mom. All you want to do is set bread to rise and go out to find a blood drive.

February is the right time for malaise. For things to go badly, suddenly. It makes the most sense, because it is dark and cold, and nothing is going right anyway. And you can love how much you hate February because it is so short, and if things are terrible now, then they just have to get better. The world will owe you better.

January is the time to get a cold. A terrible cold that sends you out to buy tissues which you never normally buy, but have some sort of menthol in them which makes them your favorite things in January.

Early spring, with its bitter winds, is hard. It is without motivation. There is no happiness in those early Sunday mornings with the shock of cold on your legs and the wind that blows your hair into a mess you'll never repair.

Summer is a sadness you can never name. A time of holding on, evenings so perfect they leave you anxious, they will leave so fast.

You will sometimes drive at night in the summer. The windows will all be down, and you will feel a kindling fire in your heart for all you have yet to accomplish. Stoke that fire. You will need it to burn hot as can be come winter.

Summer days are the time to try and be carefree. Though, you must be careful that the business of being carefree doesn't become work. Sometimes you let it become work, with lists and conditions. Eat a popsicle only if you want to, not because you wrote it on a list.

Long summer evenings, when you can leave for a run at 7:00 and finish 5 miles just as it's getting too dark, when, during your ending sprint, your running skirt edges up higher than you wear your skirts these days, or, really, higher than you ever wore them. When your legs feel long and your breathing is steady as heartbeat. When you can feel all of the world rotate around you. That is when you feel like yourself. The time when you feel truly at home in this skin the Lord has given you. When you feel most like the person I want you to be.


  1. This. Is beautiful. Thank you for this.

  2. I have never met someone so affected by seasons, except myself, and oddly I prefer the cold. how is it that we have been friends for so long....perhaps you make me happier in summer, and I try to make you happier in winter. like the days when we would run and I wouldn't want to but you would, or vice versa.... my only conclusion....

  3. I wish I were you. Well, I wish I could at least be like you. You're pretty much the most articulate person I know. Maybe it's your incredible vocabulary. Or maybe it's just your soul, and the way it perceives the world.

    Miss you lady.

  4. Valerie, reading your posts always inspires me to write. But then I compare my lack of eloquence to the amazing piece of work you have here and end up blogging about my new jeans. Somewhere, I'll find my own artistic genius. Until then, thank you for sharing yours.

  5. Liz, thank you for that. Thanks.

    Shiloh, it's an interesting observation. Maybe that's why we're drawn to one another.

    Sus, that's interesting, because I was just thinking the other day about how I wish I were you.

    Brooke, thanks for such a sweet comment. p.s. you got new jeans? can't wait to hear about them.