Monday, June 21, 2010

Secret Me

I love the sound of a screen door slapping shut. I'll even take the hissssss-ca-chunk of a pneumatic screen door closer. Naturally, it is indicative of summer, but it's also more than that. It reminds me of my grandparents, Hank & Marna. I can remember from when I was very little a wooden screen door in their kitchen...did it have peely green paint...? Hank would be sitting at the table drinking iced tea, whistling "Go Tell Aunt Rhody" through his teeth. I would eat cold hotdogs right out of the fridge. The sound of a screen door brings back--for a moment--that happy secure feeling I had before life got so tough.

Have you ever heard a saying like, "I'm just a skinny person trapped inside a fat body" or about people who are "happy on the outside, crying on the inside"? "Tears of a Clown"--love that song. Here's a little secret: I am crabby on the outside but so incredibly happy deep down inside.

I am really shy. I wasn't always this way; I think I had it beaten into me by my peers. I do not interact well in social situations. I kind of panic and lose all oxygen to my brain. Sometimes I start blathering like a fool. Mostly I try to avoid people, although as a Christian, I know this is hardly an acceptable option.

Recently I ran across some old Pat Metheny cassette tapes and played them. My kids were going wild watching me dance around the room like they've maybe never seen me do, that they'd remember. Grouchy old mom was overtaken as joyful inner mom erupted from the depths of my soul--music can definitely do that. Music is very powerful and should be handled with care.

My painting has been criticized for "having no shadows" and for over-saturation of the colors. Partly it's immaturity, but partly, it's because there is so much happy colorfulness trapped inside me that it just comes squirting out like that. You'd never guess this if you saw me standing in line at the grocery store, scowling. I don't know what happens to me, why I get depressed and angry and impatient and upset. But when the secret me comes out, it's maybe just a little too crazy and out of control.

Anyhoo, I'll just keep trying to remember John 15:5 and leave it at that.