I awoke this morning determined to actually do what my early-morning brain suggested I do. I think early morning prayers are the best because they are unencumbered by the mounting stack of unfulfilled objectives of each day. So this morning my first thought on rising was to go find the random word generator and sign up for a Word of the Day and then actually DO it! So that's what I did. When I finished writing and went to save it in my Object Writing file on my computer, I was so sad to see that in the file entitled 2010 I have a grand total of ZERO writings. Since today is Summer Solstice, exactly half way through the year (can you imagine???) I think I'll start anew. And the word that came up today, truly...this is amazing...was....
6-21-2010 Tabula Rasa
There was a store in the no-longer-in existence mall in downtown SLC called Tabula Rasa. Just outside the top floor of Nordstrom, where you left the children’s department and entered the environs of display windows and miscellaneous mood music wafting from little cells of stores lining the sides of the mall. Tabula Rasa was filled with yummy papers and note cards; lovely glass and metal pens with split tips and inkwells whose tops had been dipped in sealing wax. Books, bound in tooled leather with elegant clasps, or with strips of raw leather attached waiting to swaddle the journal: empty books waiting for the touch of ink from daring hands. The store was small and delicious, like a very expensive truffle. I loved visiting Tabula Rasa. My mom has a fabulous carved Nativity set she bought there, which I love. Lib puts it out on their living room mantle at Christmas time. It stretches across the whole mantle: elephants and camels and other creatures making their way to the Holy Family. It was a very expensive set. One only my mom would buy. I, on the other hand, would purchase three inferior sets for the same total amount of money and leave all three of them up in the Christmas cupboard because they just don’t quite do it for me. I wish I was more like my mom.
Tabula Rasa, it turns out, is Latin for “tablet erased”. Fresh start. New Beginning. Do Over.
I lift my hand to my mouth every Sunday afternoon. Insert broken bread. Tip my head back and let sacred water fall past my lips and into my throat. The very center of me knows what I am doing. I do it on purpose. But not always with purpose. Sometimes I’m tired. Sometimes I’m rattled. Sometimes I am pondering and still preparing for a lesson I’ll be teaching an hour later to my class of Young Women. But sometimes, when my heart is still and my mind is clear, I imagine the King of Kings sitting at His desk in His heaven-place. I imagine, in my odd way of imagining, that His desk in stacked with pink erasers. Mounded in an orderly pile like a stack of Lego’s, like a pile of pink bubble gum slices, like the countertop in the teacher’s work room the day before school starts; the erasers sit ready to be used. I imagine Him peeking over the edge of Heaven and watching me chew and swallow. He smiles, His eyes twinkling a bit in the sunlight. I imagine Him lifting my pink eraser from the pile…one with my very name on it…and I see Him rubbing the pages of my tabula. I think to myself how thin the paper must be getting by now.
I suppose I should look at my book of life more often. I suppose I should allow myself to see the pages are clean because He cleaned them, and I honestly believe He has the right and power to do that. I wonder why I would believe that. But I do. I feel peace in that belief. I suppose I should notice after I allow the sacrament bread and water to enter my body that my tablet is clean. I would be more gentle with myself then. I would be more grateful and therefore more conscious and therefore more ready for new writing on my tablet: good or bad. If I remember the erasers are ready then I might be more willing to live as I should live…willing to try more passionately because I am willing to make mistakes. Knowing, but not in any irresponsible way, that He can make my tabula… rasa.