Monday, December 30, 2013

2.7 Minutes of Bouncy

“Hang on a moment.”

I was cruising down 35W earlier this month, listening to Amy Grant croon out Christmas music, when suddenly I sat bolt upright.

“Hey!” I shouted to the car in the next lane. “Hey, I’m BOUNCY!!!!!”

Bouncy! Bouncy as in, if I had a snowball in my hand, the nearest person (friend or foe) would have a wet splotch on their back. Bouncy as in calling up friends for spontaneous midnight story walks through the woods when I tell about ghosts and pirates or committing daring capture-the-flag exploits or skipping down a sidewalk just for the heck of it or inviting 25 people over to my house for a full, homemade dinner or masterminding fantastic pranks or climbing the giant elm near my house or jousting on my horse or learning a new skill like racecar driving or fencing (take that, you blackguard!) or maybe even the bongos. I’ve always wanted to play the bongos.

“Hahahaha! I’m BOUNCY!” I boinged up and down in my car seat and turned the radio up and shrieked out IN EXCEEEELSIIIIS DEEEEEOOOOOOOOOOO at the top of my lungs.

And then it ended. 

But for 2.7 minutes, yours truly finally was alive again.

It’s been a long process of healing. I am, of course, referring to my Great Gluten Months of Doom. As you might recall, when I came to the US in August, I was struck by debilitating fatigue, among other things, and generally was barely qualified as one of the living. In mid-October, I was finally diagnosed with gluten-intolerance and removed the nasty protein from my diet. Within 5 days, I saw dramatic changes that gave me hope, and I even started tentatively plunking at the piano with all the grace of a beginner learning Chopsticks.

But, healing from this sort of thing takes months and months, if not years, and so while being at 50% capacity was a lot nicer than 5 or 10%, I didn’t have a lot of hope that I’d get anywhere near interesting anytime soon, much less in 8 weeks. But, since the first part of December, I’m delighted to announce another huge jump forward.

Yay for decorating!
Not only have I pulled out my flute and penny whistle and began learning new, complicated works on the piano (yay for Chopin and Beethoven and Debussy and Bach and Manneheim Steamroller!!), BUT I even did crazy things, including lots of GF baking and completely redecorating my mom’s house for Christmas in two days like a possessed woman. I started writing contemplative thoughts (soon to be marshalled into blog posts for you) and silly thoughts (let’s just say a horror story featuring snowflakes was in my Christmas cards this year) and even began wondering if I have some poetry buried deep inside. I started seeking out horseback riding/training options, began happily hiking through our snowy woods with the dogs (and not collapsing from weakness after 100 feet), and actually voluntarily joined friends for fun activities like caroling and Handel’s Messiah and parties!

But, perhaps the biggest sign of this next stage is that I actually pulled out my pastels and sat down at the easel and painted.

"In Mama's Dress"--Dedua; soft pastel on suedeboard, 2013
Before I ever embarked on my journey with missions and Bible translation, the Lord gave me a great desire to capture His world through art. By 7 years old, I had won my first major art contest, and by 12 I was running my own business. I thought I would pursue it professionally until God called me elsewhere (you can read more about my story here and Hannah comments on it here. You can also visit my art website here). I never intended to walk away from it, but with the busyness of college and the upheaval of my move to Papua New Guinea, I let it slip to the wayside, and except for the rare occasion, I stopped painting or creating art on a regular basis for the past 6 years.

But about two weeks ago, I finally tried again, in a different style and with a different subject matter than I’ve ever done before. It was truly terrifying, I will admit. I think I sat in front of the easel for a full 10 minutes before I dared make that first stroke.

"Amamas na Paitim Han!"--Adzera; soft pastel on suedeboard, 2013
But I did. Twice, in fact.

And for 2.7 minutes, I was bouncy.