• Recently Browsing   0 members

    No registered users viewing this page.

SkyGirl

Lightbearer: Present

Recommended Posts

LIGHTBEARER: BOOK ONE

Chapter Four: Present

 

giphy.gif

 

The patter of the rain outside my window had faded somewhat, from its earlier angry rushing to a heavy drumming against the walls. The dinner dishes were washed and put away; I had measured out the coffee for the next morning, washed my clothes and scrubbed my face. It was finally time to rest. I settled into my blankets, smiling deeply as my tired muscles unfolded and relaxed into their reassuring warmth. I had been sick with a lingering cold for days, and my body sorely needed uninterrupted rest to fight off the last of the infection.

 

After I had adjusted my head into a position where the mucus was less likely to spill out of my nostrils, I automatically reached out my hand to pull back a portal. For the past few weeks, it had been my habit to open portals into Middle Earth and watch people in the evenings - as with the unstable portals I opened to speak with Ayre, I couldn't go through them or touch anyone I saw, but I could speak to family and friends, and sometimes simply sit and observe. People were used to speaking with me from afar, and I enjoyed feeling connected to them even though I was far from home.

 

But tonight, I hesitated. It was becoming clear to me that I was going to be stationed in the village of Greenlake indefinitely, and I realized it was time for me to start making a home here. I had moved from my tent in the Movement's camp to a small, neat cottage in the old part of town where the elders and young parents lived. I worshiped every week with the village's Lightbearers, under the guidance of Iskander the Teacher, a broad-shouldered man with a gray-brown beard and eyes that seemed vague under his shaggy eyebrows, but always seemed to be looking in just the right direction to see people who were hurting or in need. Several women in the group had taken me aside to tell me where they lived, so I could come and fetch them or send for help if I ever needed anything. Young couples invited me to eat with them or spend time in their homes, so I didn't have to be alone. I traveled the same trail every morning on my way to my work, serving as a liaison between the government scholars and the people in the region, and I saw the same tradesmen and landholders every morning. Sometimes they even gave me a friendly wave. 

 

I had come to realize that, when I spent too much time with my mind in Middle Earth, I was missing opportunities to learn more about my new home. The people I saw every week and day were curious about me and wanted to welcome me into their circles - if I were constantly looking behind me, I might miss the friendships and belonging they offered. My mission as a Lightbearer was to be an ambassador for the King, to be an example of what life in His service looked like. To tell them that they were loved - oh, so much more loved and valued and wanted than they realized they were. But I needed to be present in the moment if I were going to do that. I needed to be looking into the eyes of the people I was with, truly learning who they were and hearing their dreams and hopes, and fully engaged in introducing myself and learning how I was going to fit into this new community. 

 

But don't you want to belong to Middle Earth anymore? the Voice whispered urgently. I was tired enough that the Dark Elf knew he wouldn't make any headway if he appeared in person. Your family needs you. Your friends back home need you. Are you turning your back on them? How do you know you'll never return? 

 

"I didn't say I'd never return, silly," I murmured sleepily, groping out from under my blanket to find the soft handkerchief I had been gently wiping my chapped nose on all day. "I'm part of Middle Earth. It's part of me. It's always with me no matter how far I go. Of course I'll go back. Maybe even live there again. I hope so."

 

But look what being "present" looks like, it insisted, drawing my consciousness away from my painfully raw skin and into the silent solitude of the night. As happened every time I let myself slow down enough to think about it, I suddenly felt the great expanse of country roll out and press down on top of me - as if I could feel the consciousness of all the strangers and nearly-strangers all around me, the sea of people who would not answer if I cried out in the night, the silently boiling ocean of nameless faces that felt nothing when they passed me, the weight of the voices laughing and talking to everyone else in the world but me. This, of course, was why I hastened to open a portal every night and look back to Middle Earth. When I was watching what was happening back home, I could pretend I wasn't alone. But when I lay quietly and listened to the noises of the night around me, I had to face the feeling that I was floating in the middle of an ocean, very far from shore. I had to remember that I was Far Away. That I was Not Home. That a great expanse of unknowns surrounded every space on which I set my feet.

 

I sighed and rubbed my forehead - was it possible for skulls to itch? - and addressed the voice. "Caranthir," I growled patiently, "that is why we need to be present. If we keep running away from the loneliness, then we won't reach out to the people who are here, and start finding friendships and people to lean on here. If I keep hiding in my house and pretending I'm back home, then I'm not really living in the world where I am. This is where we are. This is where we're supposed to be - right here in Greenlake, we are exactly where we are supposed to be. These are the people the King has brought to be in this next part of my life. That means they have important things to teach me, and important things to learn from me. The loneliness is not permanent unless I make it that way. If I embrace it and go through it, then on the other side I'll find family. And," I cut him off before he could protest, "that doesn't mean at the expense of the family I already have. It means my family will get bigger."

 

I turned away from the space where I normally opened a portal, and rolled over onto my other side to let my other nostril drain. Gradually my focus settled on one of the blank walls in my new home. "I wonder how I could decorate that tomorrow?" I murmured as my puffy eyelids began to close. 

  • Like 7

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

<3<3<3<3<3 yes!! big families feel overwhelming because there are so many people to keep up with - but also, on the flip side, there are so many people in this world who love you. 

  • Like 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

giphy.gif

 

HAI GUYS

 

So as I briefly alluded to in my intro, I have just finished being sick with a terrible cold for a full week, and I spent this weekend resting and recovering and mostly crocheting, and not looking at computers.  :)  Today I am feeling EVER so much better and I'm ready to tackle this challenge!!

 

giphy.gif

 

*has a sudden recollection that Amy is also Nebula and Endgame is happening in four days*

 

*bites lip in obvious pain and moves on*

 

The theme of this month, as I kind of sketched out in my intro, is to be more present. I finally admitted to myself that, in the evenings and on weekends, I do a lot of hiding from myself. I scroll through social media or put the TV on because the loneliness and homesickness is scary and I'd rather pretend it wasn't there. I don't have any specific goals lined up with this desire, but I'm trying to implement it daily - even in things as small as stopping to really look around my house. So much of my time is spent staring at a screen, but I want to see the spaces. See where I can put a new picture, notice my traffic patterns and where a new piece of furniture would be helpful, create more comfortable spaces for myself and others to settle into. Life doesn't happen behind a screen. Life happens where I am now. 

 

That extends to my community, too - this past weekend, I was delighted to run into two people whom I know, one at the library and one at the grocery store. Even though I was still sick and looked like absolute death, my heart rejoiced that I've spent enough time here that people recognize me and stop to ask how I am and what I need. (The topic of how many people have mailed me gifts, given me rides, checked on me, and sent kind words since I moved is enough for an entire essay on its own ... they're piling up so quickly that I'm not sure how I'll ever repay them all, but maybe that's the point??)

 

This month I'm not going to do counting-based goals ("exercise 3 times a week"), so I guess this is more of a battle log; but I have some things I would like to say I have accomplished by the end of the month:

 

  • Finish my friend's baby afghan. It's been many a year since I had the discipline to finish an entire afghan, but I'm determined to finish this one. One of my dear friends from college is having a rainbow baby (baby after miscarriage) and it's very important to me that I finish her gift. I'm more than halfway done and I'm enjoying it, so I don't think finishing it will be a problem, but I've definitely been known to poop out right at the end. Ergo, this is a goal. Hold me accountable.
     
  • Buy yarn for, and start, Tank Girl's afghan. Gosh darn it, the Princess of the Rebellion needs an afghan. I will have purchased her yarn and completed at least 1 unit of her afghan (unit = granny square or granny hexagon, haven't decided which yet) by the end of this challenge.
     
  • Complete updated budget. This whole biweekly pay stuff is really throwing me for a loop - I'm trying hard to pay my bills on time, put money in savings, and have some left over to save for things like a piano and more furniture; but I'm so used to a monthly schedule that I'm really struggling to know how much to put in each category when I get paid. I found some worksheets this weekend, and I want to have created a biweekly budget and run it through at least one pay cycle by the end of the month.
     
  • Write an article. I mentioned last month that I did my first Lenten fast this year, and it was a truly profound experience that I want to reflect on. I don't know that I'll try to get it published or anything, but it's important to me that I write something cohesive about it before it fades, so I will have that at least drafted by the end of the month. 

 


I know those aren't fitness goals.  :)  I'm in a downswing right now where nothing really sounds good except walking (and actually, I thought about going to the gym this weekend, but due to being uncertain on my budget I wasn't sure whether I should spend the money). But coincidentally, this month we're having a nationwide walking competition at work, not only among our different teams here, but also between all of the different centers around the country; so I am highly motivated to walk a lot and propel my team to - well, probably not victory, but at least a darn good showing.  :D  

 

(Yoga will happen too. I don't know when, but it will. And some kettlebells, maybe some martial arts now that it stays light through the entire club meeting time. Movement will move. Rangers gonna ranger.)

 

OKAY GUYS LET'S DO THIS I AM PUMPED

  • Like 7

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Yeee! Good stuff happening!

 

Re: loneliness: getting used to being alone with yourself is important and useful, but also, if you’re lonely and need people you should listen to that. What if you schedule things with people for an evening or two a week? Then, not only are you guaranteed some time with (a) friend(s) (as opposed to them being busy when you decide you want to be around a people), but also it gives you something to look forward to and makes the loneliness on the preceding nights much more bearable. (If I have misinterpreted what you said, then ignore me. ;) )

 

You do yarn-y stuff? Me too! Do you knit or crochet? (I have this nagging feeling that I’ve asked you this before hahah)

 

I would be really interested to hear how Lent went for you! I was considering doing it, but I couldn’t think of anything to do. 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Walking's the greatest! :D And it might help with you noticing your space and environment more? Though what's the competition going to be like? 

I'm glad you're finally feeling better! I hope that the cold stays away for a while this time, perhaps its a response to the new air, water, etc, and it's calming down?

Related image YOUVE GOT THIS!

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
14 hours ago, SkyGirl said:

Life doesn't happen behind a screen. Life happens where I am now. 

 

Following!  This is good stuff above.

 

14 hours ago, SkyGirl said:

(Yoga will happen too. I don't know when, but it will. And some kettlebells, maybe some martial arts now that it stays light through the entire club meeting time. Movement will move. Rangers gonna ranger.)

 

This is also good stuff.  Rangers move across great distances:

 

original.gif

 

  • Like 2

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
19 hours ago, SkyGirl said:

Complete updated budget. This whole biweekly pay stuff is really throwing me for a loop - I'm trying hard to pay my bills on time, put money in savings, and have some left over to save for things like a piano and more furniture; but I'm so used to a monthly schedule that I'm really struggling to know how much to put in each category when I get paid. I found some worksheets this weekend, and I want to have created a biweekly budget and run it through at least one pay cycle by the end of the month.

I get paid bi weekly and Sra. Tanque gets paid monthly. We have developed a hybrid. We still schedule by the month, because that's how the bills run.

  • Like 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
13 hours ago, Shadri said:

Re: loneliness: getting used to being alone with yourself is important and useful, but also, if you’re lonely and need people you should listen to that

 

It's more like, I never give myself a chance to even tease apart that nuance. (Your nuances continue to wow me - your emotional intelligence is off the charts!)  :)  From the second I plop into a seat on the bus to the last few seconds before I fall asleep, I'm staring at my phone or my laptop or my TV. That doesn't really count as being alone, because I'm constantly elsewhere mentally. I'm trying to find ways to - not even enjoy where I am, but just notice it. Am I actually lonely, or am I bored? Why am I staring at my phone? Why am I on my laptop? What could I be doing instead?

 

But I do want more people in my life too.  :D 

 

13 hours ago, Shadri said:

You do yarn-y stuff? Me too! Do you knit or crochet? (I have this nagging feeling that I’ve asked you this before hahah)

 

If you have, I don't remember! I do both knit and crochet, but I'm better at crochet.  :D  Once upon a time I also did cross-stitch, but I don't have the attention span for that level of detail these days.

 

13 hours ago, Shadri said:

I would be really interested to hear how Lent went for you! I was considering doing it, but I couldn’t think of anything to do. 

 

I promise I'll share when I've written it!! This was my first time ever and I learned so much!

 

13 hours ago, Infinity.Creates said:

Walking's the greatest! :D And it might help with you noticing your space and environment more? Though what's the competition going to be like? 

 

 

The competition is super loosey-goosey! They even have calculators on the website that turn other activities (weights, swimming, etc.) into steps to count for the challenge. They're trying to use competition to motivate us to be healthier, so they don't care what we do or where we do it, just that we do something!!

 

13 hours ago, Infinity.Creates said:

I'm glad you're finally feeling better! I hope that the cold stays away for a while this time, perhaps its a response to the new air, water, etc, and it's calming down?

 

I actually think I caught it on the train??? The reason I say that is because I ran into another lady on the grocery store who was sick with the exact same thing, and she said she had been on the train right around the same time as me and thought she caught something at the station. So maybe someone sneezed on a railing or something???  :P 

 

There is a TON of pollen in this area, though, so I guarantee that didn't help!!

 

10 hours ago, Moros said:

This is also good stuff.  Rangers move across great distances:

 

Yep, and I haven't been as rangerly as I would like this past while.  :)  Spring is here - no more excuses!!!

 

5 hours ago, Tanktimus the Encourager said:

I get paid bi weekly and Sra. Tanque gets paid monthly. We have developed a hybrid. We still schedule by the month, because that's how the bills run.

 

Yes, that mismatch between the monthly bill schedule and biweekly pay schedule is what keeps throwing me off. I meant to work on my budget tonight, but I wrote letters and texted with my mom instead.  :)  Another attempt will be made tomorrow.

  • Like 6

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
2 hours ago, SkyGirl said:

 

It's more like, I never give myself a chance to even tease apart that nuance. (Your nuances continue to wow me - your emotional intelligence is off the charts!)  :)  From the second I plop into a seat on the bus to the last few seconds before I fall asleep, I'm staring at my phone or my laptop or my TV. That doesn't really count as being alone, because I'm constantly elsewhere mentally. I'm trying to find ways to - not even enjoy where I am, but just notice it. Am I actually lonely, or am I bored? Why am I staring at my phone? Why am I on my laptop? What could I be doing instead?

 

But I do want more people in my life too.  :D 

 

Ah, gotcha. I had a feeling I may have not picked up on exactly what you were saying, heh. :) What would you rather be doing instead?

 

(Also, thank you for the compliment! That means a lot. ^_^)

 

2 hours ago, SkyGirl said:

If you have, I don't remember! I do both knit and crochet, but I'm better at crochet.  :D  Once upon a time I also did cross-stitch, but I don't have the attention span for that level of detail these days.

 

Nice! I did cross stitch for about two days once, lol. I knit and crochet too! Sort of in equal amounts, I guess - depends on what I want to make. I also have dabbled in spinning, but I haven’t done it in a long time.

 

I look forward to reading that article! :panda:

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Your intro story is one of your best IMHO.  I was very hooked into it.   I  love how you slowly introduce context yet remain narrowly focused on the idea of the portals.   we all live at least in two worlds.

 

we all swing back and forth in our fitness; but our conviction to improve is the hearts of what this place is all about.

 

I look forward to seeing that play out in your life.   following!

  • Like 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
12 hours ago, SkyGirl said:

Yes, that mismatch between the monthly bill schedule and biweekly pay schedule is what keeps throwing me off.

 

One thing that Ms. Moros have done (we both get paid bi-weekly), is to build up a balance in our checkbook, so that we have a cushion for bills.  That's obviously hard to do, but have given us a lot of stress relief over the years.  Also, seeing if you can move due dates for some bills can really help...

 

Your mileage may vary.

 

 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
13 hours ago, SkyGirl said:

From the second I plop into a seat on the bus to the last few seconds before I fall asleep, I'm staring at my phone or my laptop or my TV. That doesn't really count as being alone, because I'm constantly elsewhere mentally. I'm trying to find ways to - not even enjoy where I am, but just notice it. Am I actually lonely, or am I bored?

 

This is an interesting thought, because I've very much been both very intensely at times, and for me it's a real distinctly different set of feelings for each.  I'm crammed to my phone a lot - or my laptop on lunch breaks - and often times I'm neither lonely or bored, sometimes it's just force of habit...

 

Good luch with the budgeting; I recently went from bi-weekly for the past 6 years to weekly and it's BLOWING MY MIND AAAAAAAAA WHAT DO NOW

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

DenseRapidGazelle-small.gif

 

HI GUYS!!!

 

It's been a busy few days! Work has been super busy; my team is in the middle of the pack for the walking challenge; on Friday I attended my church's small group for the first time; and yesterday was a crazy day that included going with a family from church to a local airport for a pancake breakfast, making a short stop at the church potluck (because the family and I got back late), and traveling 2 hours each way by train to watch Endgame. The busyness of the day left me groggy and with an upset stomach all day today, so this evening I'm resting, watching the final episode of Voyager at last, and eating/drinking comfort foods (Cheez-Its and a banana/almond milk/peanut butter/honey smoothie). 

 

Movement has happened despite the busyness! I've done yoga a couple of times, including a difficult one this evening; took a very long walk on Saturday; and got a solid cardiac workout at the movie theater last night.  :D  I still haven't been as active as I'd like - even the easy yoga routine I did the other day felt much harder than it used to. I'm trying not to sweat it too much, though. It comes and goes. My weight has been consistent and I actually cooked a couple of times, so I've been mostly eating real food eating more real food than usual; and this pay period has fallen at an awkward time of the month, so I'm trying to hang onto my money, too. I'll get back in the gym soon - maybe even this weekend. Until then, I'll keep walking and doing yoga.  :D 

 

And, hopefully, getting more sleep??? Always the elusive dream ... Voyager just ended AND THEY'RE FREAKING HOME so I'm going to go cry in the shower and head for bed.  :D 

 

came up with so many good story snippets at work today of course and couldn't write them ... I'm developing a collection of sticky notes with incoherent phrases scribbled on them that I bring home, look at and sigh, and tuck away for ... whenever the writing bug happens to hit me in the evening.  :(  One of these days ...

  • Like 5

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Hey Sky good to see you ! 

 

you sound good, and BUSY. Glad you are taking it easy tonight. 

 

Dont worry about the writing, you will find time/have the urge soon :) xx

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

source.gif

 

Last night I went to bed early, only to bolt awake at 5:30AM with nightmares and feeling sick ... I remembered later that one of my Facebook friends made the confusing decision yesterday to post a photo of their child immediately after he had vomited all over his shirt; and since I have irrational emetophobia, my subconscious remembered while I was asleep and woke me up to remind me that it had freaked me out. Anyway, I was awake for an hour and then fell back asleep just long enough to feel groggy and miserable when I woke up; but I mercifully made it to the bus on time, and felt much better once I got some coffee into me. I honestly haven't felt all week like I ever recovered from my strenuous day on Sunday, so I'm looking forward to a quiet weekend.

 

Work was very quiet last week and in the first part of this week, but in the last two days I've been assigned three new projects, including one that was casually referred to as a "lynchpin" in our upcoming campaign.  :o  So THAT'S not terrifying at all. Some of my older colleagues have referred to me recently as "more than capable" and "good addition to the team" and so forth, though, so it seems they trust me.  :)  I'm trying hard to not rely so much on other people's opinions in assessing whether my work is good; but at the same time, it's awfully reassuring to hear that my colleagues are glad to have me around. 

 

I planned to go to the gym this evening, but there were bad storms in our area this afternoon ... I came home and changed and ate a quick dinner and was prepared to go, but the sky was really black and I was afraid it would storm again while I was there, so I stayed home.  :(  I did do a little yoga. Honestly it probably isn't the worst idea to take it easy since I've been so tired all week. I've tried to be at least a little active every day.

 

Tonight I'm going to try once again to go to bed early ... I've been sketching out my next story segment and hope to get to it this weekend!! It's very exciting!

  • Like 6

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

that's a wonderful compliment at work; and while maybe not as significant as say a pay raise...

 

please feel free a certain joy that things are working are going so well.

-its ok, to do that.  its not braggy or anything.

 

 

  • Like 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
9 hours ago, SkyGirl said:

ne of my Facebook friends made the confusing decision yesterday to post a photo of their child immediately after he had vomited all over his shirt

Probably fishing for sympathy.

 

You were wise to stay home and Yoga instead of gymming, aside from the storm, it was probably more rest for you. The 5:30 wakeup may have been as much about going to bed early as the dream.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
On 5/3/2019 at 6:22 AM, Salinger said:

Glad you updated, sorry you woke to nightmares, hoping you sleep well tonight :) xx

 

Thanks Sal!! I slept much better the past two nights and am feeling much refreshed today.  :)  I'm just turning into one of those old people who gets worn out by travel, I suppose ...  :D 

 

On 5/3/2019 at 8:22 AM, TGP said:

that's a wonderful compliment at work; and while maybe not as significant as say a pay raise...

 

please feel free a certain joy that things are working are going so well.

-its ok, to do that.  its not braggy or anything.

 

Thanks TGP! It does feel a bit weird to say "yo dudes, I'm doing awesome at work", but when it's coming from other people and not me, I guess it's not bragging.  :D  My parents asked yesterday if I was feeling proud of myself; and honestly this whole thing still feels so fragile and mind-boggling that I'm not settled enough to feel proud, I think. Like, it still feels like it *has* to be too good to be true, somehow. Or like it can't possibly be permanent, like I'm just passing through. I don't know. It's weird.  :) 

 

On 5/3/2019 at 8:47 AM, Tanktimus the Encourager said:

Probably fishing for sympathy.

 

You were wise to stay home and Yoga instead of gymming, aside from the storm, it was probably more rest for you. The 5:30 wakeup may have been as much about going to bed early as the dream.

 

I'm sure they were, but - even people who DON'T have panicky fears of vomit definitely don't want to see their child covered in yak.  :P  :P  :P  I felt the same when another person posted video of their dog peeing on the couch. Really. I have great sympathy. I do not want to see it, however.

 

Anyway, it was also hot in my apartment and I haven't turned my air conditioning on yet, so I think that contributed to my not sleeping well, too.  :)  Last night I had bizarre dreams but slept great.

  • Like 3

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
12 minutes ago, SkyGirl said:

I'm sure they were, but - even people who DON'T have panicky fears of vomit definitely don't want to see their child covered in yak. 

 

THIS.  I never get why people post photos of their kids covered in barf/pee/poop/whatever.  I had a FB friend a while back that posted a picture of her like, 4 year old son after he had crapped himself on his their way to the doctors AND IT WAS QUITE GRAPHIC AND I'M LIKE.  WHY?  WHY????  Needless to say, that's a big unfriend from me, phew.

 

HIHIHIHI glad you are hanging in there and it sounds like work is going well!!!  Thank goodness for weekends where we can recover, yeah?? <3

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Create an account or sign in to comment

You need to be a member in order to leave a comment

Create an account

Sign up for a new account in our community. It's easy!

Register a new account

Sign in

Already have an account? Sign in here.

Sign In Now