Thursday, March 20, 2008

come out, come out, wherever you are

First things first: I'm sorry. I've been pretty silent the last couple of weeks, and I would never want any of you to think that I don't care. I do.

I'm not really sure what's going on with me lately, but I'm having a terrible time finding my little word-children. I think they're all playing an extended game of Hide-and-Seek with me. I'll catch a glimpse of one of them in my peripheral vision, but by the time I turn my head, it has scurried to some dark corner of my mind. But I have managed to tag a few of them.

I grabbed a hold of anxiety as she was darting between the sofa and the closet. I tagged withdrawal on the back of her heel as she was diving under the bed. I stumbled upon overwhelmed deep under the layers of my bedding. I think I even saw the toes of sadness poking out from behind the thick red drapes in my living room.

I'll let you know more about this after I've gathered a few more of them together. Maybe we can play Ring Around the Rosy instead. I'll hold the hands of my tentative word-children, and dance with them in a circle with that music throwing open all of the cupboards and closet doors. They'll come running from their hiding places when they hear those familiar notes. They can't resist those lyrics.

All fall down.


  1. yeah. silence. i think i get that.

    and as always, we're still here. {hoping your little word-children will cooperate, of course}, knowing that sometimes silence is needed.

    love you, girl.


  2. mm-MMM, i hear you. mm-MMM, this is hard. mm-MMM, i love you so much. mm-MMM, you still have a way with words and images, even in your bereft state.

    what a great way to help us know how this feels for you: to carry us along in your hide-and-seek seeking. now, if only those words knew that when they're tagged on the edge of their heel, they're supposed to become "it" themselves -- you know, spill their guts because the jig is up. gosh dang it, why must they be so wayward and make up their own darn rules??

    love to you in this place. and peace.

  3. The Pause; that impressive silence, that eloquent silence, that geometrically progressive silence which often achieves a desired effect where no combination of words, however so felicitous, could accomplish it.
    Mark Twain

    here's to cherishing the pauses.

  4. my computer's battery is dying (left the power cord at work) but before it does, i love you in your waiting and your silence and your hide-and-seek

  5. Ah yes, those temperamental words.
    They come when they want to come and sometimes the harder we seek them, the further away they seem.
    They will come when they are ready. Until then, may be at least some sort of calm and rest in the quiet.

  6. Terri
    I love this post. Hmmmm it is difficult to say much here so i will keep it simple.
    I am a sucker for poetry and the language is so poetic i love how you have painted this post with so much color using a paintbrush of metaphors. That writers heart still shines in the midst of darkness!
    That photo of the little girl, (i know you have your playground song here) maybe i hear Jesus loves me this i know. for the Bible tells me so. little ones to Him belong they are weak but He is strong.
    we never become too adult for God to see us as a helpless little child.
    When i get lost at sea (which is about every other day) this song is a lighthouse.

  7. who is that adorable little girl? i love your little word-children. they're just the kind of little ones i'd want for my own and would love the heck out of them. they'd choose you too. i love the motion picture you've created of the scurrying and the hiding and the coming together and the just being. touching hands. this is so good.

  8. I think the words you gave me fit here too... take all the time you need. Thinking of you on this Easter weekend.

  9. Those are powerful words for someone who is having a hard time finding words. It seems many of us can relate to this game of hide and seek. By the way, I would never doubt that you care : )

  10.'re precious! I love you so much!!

  11. Wow, I love the way you use words. I hope that you are feeling better, it's been quiet without you.

  12. Hey!

    i think i get it, maybe. (if we husbands ever do get it, i don't know)

    all those times when i say to you "how are you doing?" or "are you ok?" or "is everything all right?", and you say "i don't know . . .", it's all those little word-kiddies running all over the place!

    right? maybe, kinda? . . .

  13. P.S.:

    may i please have a sports analogy or parable or something related to a ball or stick? . . . :)

  14. kirsten: thanks for understanding. i know you're getting this from a similar place. bless you and love you right back.

    christianne: mm-MMM love you too. there is that element going on...the spilling their guts thing. they're not really wayward so much as doing what our words and feelings always do, coming and going when they're ready. but you know about that very well i'll bet. peace to you too.

    marcell: thank you for pulling exactly the right quote for me. it helps me feel less crazy.

    sarah: that makes your comment so precious to me...that you would use it's fading power to send me love. :)

    bella: you're right, it's really no use trying to strong-arm these things. children don't respond well to that. (at least mine don't.) they respond much better when i communicate all kinds of love and listen to them well.

    tammy: i love that little children's song. i'm glad this post brought its lyrics to your heart. i hope in the midst of your own stormy time it will keep you tethered to a safe shore.

    di: i don't know who that little girl is...a picture i got off a photo website. isn't she the best? i really appreciate that you heard this with your heart and that you're sitting there with me, watching those kids flit in and out of the room.

    tom: thanks. it's funny, isn't it, that we understand things so much clearer for others, and get really confused about those same things when comes to our own lives. thanks for holding up the mirror.

    chloe: i really feel like this was so incomplete and undeveloped, but i knew that if i tried to refine it at all it would just skitter under the bed. so here it is. i'm glad you liked it and i know you understand what i'm trying to convey. and i'm really glad you know i care.

    mia: i love you too. madly.

    dean: thanks bro. maybe you can provide a little country sound track so my little word-babies can have a ho down. ;)

    dave: yep, you got it. they're slippery little suckers. kind of like trying to hold onto a muddy, wet football when a bunch of sweaty, burly dudes are trying to swat it out of your arms. :)

  15. awww you blended with my sea metaphor.

  16. Eeh ah kee....Can Terri come out to play? No, she's not feeling up to it right now. Well, maybe just to say a quick Hi.
    Thank you for painting in some of my blank spots with satisfying words Terri. Am now better able to picture those skittering little children in all their potential elsuiveness as being part of the challenge of my puzzle. Nope, they just can't be strong-armed....

  17. tammy: you know i can't resist a good metaphor...

    james: hey there hoppy! i'm glad this helped you articulate the times when you can't articulate. blogging is a challenge that you just don't get until you're on the other side of the keyboard. glad to have you here.

  18. AH Ha! Terri
    You should know that i would bust you out on that comment you left on Dean's blog. So you have found a country music song that you like? I am proud of you Terri, expanding your horizons and all. I find this interesting that you have not told me were trying to hide it huh? And whats with this "twang" thing?

    You know that Paul says bad company corrupts good morals, you will be singing some "twang" before the years out. Christianne wrote on my blog that she laughed that Dean and i are harassing you about country music. I told her that i could not resist dogging you. Nate is on break so I must dog someone and you are a good sarcastic target so it is too much fun to resist.

    By the way i am on the net checking out some of YOUR music. I assumed that i would like it. I was right.

  19. Tammy, I assume twang is what people say when they haven't learned to love the steel guitar. But we'll get her there, I'm getting a good feeling about your persistence.

  20. playing hide-and-seek...behind the door is 'surprise'..

    in the bath...lies 'patience'...

    opening the food cupboard.....'waiting deliciously'...

    hiding behind you....'friends'....

    touching your hair...'understanding'...

    and beside you....'holding your hands'...

    looking into your heart....'we love you'...

    1, 2,'re back in your own time.

    love you xx

  21. Even as I sit here to write a comment, I can't think of the words to write! That's how much I understand this place. I keep trying to push their buttons hoping that at the least they'll get mad at me and yell.

  22. tammy and dean: :)

    linni: oh you dear, sweet, munchable friend. thanks for playing along and calling out all the lovelies from their hiding places. yes, they are there too, and yes, i love you right back.

    heather: hey, are you the heather from kirsten and sarah and christianne's blogs? welcome! and i think we all know a lot about that frozen place where the words just aren't there. they are independent spirits taking their time all the more when we are in a hurry.

  23. Dear Beautiful Terri,

    When no words
    will fill
    the heart
    of what we
    to say

    We just need

    to breathe

    in the space
    where words
    have been

    And know that

    will never
    be enough

    to write
    what the heart
    has seen.

    Sending you my deepest love my
    eloquent, noble friend,


  24. hi cutie pie

    wanna come out and play?
    slide down my rain barrel
    climb up my cellar door

    have you ever ever ever in your long legged life seen a long legged sailor and his long legged wife?

    did any of that ever make sense?
    no wonder our little ones are confused

    no no no play mate I can't come play with you, my dolly got the flu
    boo hoo hoo hoo hoo hoo...
    ain't got no rain barrel
    ain't got no cellar door
    but we'll be jolly friends
    forever more more more more more!

    i get that part.
    love you.

  25. maithri: thank you for that love note. you make me cry.

    di: you play very nicely with your word-children. love you too.

  26. i was hoping to play nicely with your word-children here...but i heard they're playing hopscotch up the block so I'm skipping on over there now!

  27. Yeah. I really felt this. I'm so sorry that I have been gone for so long. I feel like I've missed so much.

    This was really moving in a subtle way. It spoke to everything I've been feeling lately. The hide and seek theme makes it all seem so simple, yet its not. Thanks for your nice comments on Nates blog.

  28. drea: no need to apologize, ever. we come and go when we can (or when we must.) glad this spoke to you.

    congrats again. chicago isn't that far away from here. if you're ever in the twin cities you should look me up!