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Showing posts from 2021

Something Worth Enduring For

I only endure the process of peeling and cutting potatoes because I like to see the joy on people's faces when they taste a bit of the Earth and find it be as God says, "Very good."  I think the worst part about struggling for anything is all the time I have to wonder.  I used to think I was quite good at patience and forbearance. You know, because I embroidered intricate, gorgeous scenes all out of tiny stitches. But then I could see my progress, feel it, and most of all know that my goal was coming closer, no matter how tiny my stitches might be.  The problem with real-life is you just can't know.  Ah, but to have the gift of hindsight. "See! I knew I would succeed!"  "One step at a time," they say. If only those steps were as visibly known as the tiniest stitches I embroidered. I simply don't know how close, if I am at all, to my finish line. And even worse, I wonder. "Is all this worth it? Or am I just wasting my time?" It's r

Little Devils Mimic Big Demons

Imagine being the oldest of twelve children and fifty plus cousins. You aren't sure if it is due to experience or your innate nature, but you are quite good at bossing all these "youngsters". You get huge things done with numbers at your disposal. You create economies and you are the bankster, your siblings and cousins your working class (or the counterfeiters).  Everyone honors you and burdens you with trust. But you are also the first one in trouble if something does go wrong.  Now imagine being told, "They are all looking up to you. Whatever you do they will do ten times worse."  You wish to wear a skirt that might show your knees if you sit down. "Yes, it's not that immodest," you are told. "But... if I allow you to wear that your little sister will want to wear a mini skirt when she is your age."  If you do this , they will want to that .  Be an example, you are told. It's even Biblical. You can't argue with it. And yet... an

Wearing My First Mask

This post isn't really about wearing my first mask. It's about why masks are so irrelevant.  * * * I began exchanging letters about two years ago with a young woman in jail. She is my age: twenty-four. All this time she has been awaiting trial for murder. Due to COVID, she hasn't been allowed to see her family (including her young son) in nearly a year. Even before that, though, she wasn't allowed to touch or hug them. Her mother contacted me last month. "Her sentencing is beginning of April." I'd heard Biden had mandated masks in federal buildings, no exceptions. "I don't think I'll be able to come."  What am I basing right and wrong on? I wondered. On whether or not a mask was to be required?  I laughed at myself. Here I was submitting to all sorts of other outrageous violations: TSA and paying car insurance, among many others. And yet I couldn't wear a mask to be there for a friend who really needed support and comfort?  Scripture

"Our God, Teach Us To Smile"

 I know we anti-maskers are supposed to flaunt toothy grins. But when I shop, I just want to get out and not invite any extra attention.  If I see an employee coming toward me my glare automatically sets in. "Don't mess with me," I want to yell. Or maybe cry?  I'm not really rebellious. Just stubbornly uncomfortable.  And then the employee often drops their mask and smiles. "Need any help, ma'am?" Then shame hits me. It's all I can do to hide my tears. "Yeah. Do you all have any eggplant?"  It's odd how at ease I am eavesdropping in other people's homes. And that I get paid on top of it. Ah, but I've been so tired these days. Not sure why I clean anymore. I don't really like money this much. In fact, do I like the money? No. I think I do because I want to be free from the burden of poverty. And yet, I'm still enslaved. I want time, not money. Time to write, read, sleep.  And eat. I never eat while I clean. Maybe that'

Just Want To Spit on Somebody: Fictional COVID Satire

I once worked in customer service. You know, the job where you paste a smile on your face when all you want to do is let that other person have what ought to be coming to them. But of course, you keep the smile, keep the words, and keep on serving. For the small, silly reason that you want to keep your job (though, those of us that have quit, know that we’d never take such a job back. Even when our bosses have told us over and over, “Oh, but you were made for customer service!”).  Hah. Made for it.  But how the world has changed.  Now, or so I heard, rude customer service is encouraged. Of course, only for the correct political reasons. Maybe I would have stayed in the business, had it been so in my day . . .  But then maybe not. Back then I definitely had my moments of wishing to spit in people’s faces. But now . . . with that warning constantly being bombarded into my eardrums, I’m sure I’d not be able to curb the temptation.  Back then I’d merely have been fired. I’m thinking it mig

Stopping To Start

  I haven't worn a mask since  . . . when did COVID start?  * * *  I didn't really mean to not wear one, to be honest. This summer I was applying for a job at TacoBell and thought I might have to go ahead and wear the thing. Life had other plans, I suppose. And then came pride. I remember being weirded out when I first saw people wearing them. I was shocked, humored, slightly scared.  The day before Trump announced he'd be banning international travel, I was laughing with my au pair family about whether or not this virus thing was worth worrying about.  "I don't think so many people could be that stupid," I'd said. "Just in case," my au pair mother said. "I'll buy some groceries." She asked me to come along and bought me a dirndl. I told her I thought I might like somebody. If I married him would she come to my wedding? She laughed. I'd been living with her for four months and hadn't mentioned the guy once. And we had bigger

When Life Isn't The Colors You Want

"You have such a colorful life," many a friend have told me in recent years. I always smile (in bright pink or yellow, right, though my teeth remain white) and say thank you (with a respectful shade of brown), and say it's all fun (green is life ya know). But something about the statement of my colorful life irks a dark, black part of my conscious. You see, my life hasn't always been colorful. Or wait ... it always has been colorful. But not with the shades or colors I like.  You see, much of my life has felt grey. You know, dull and pointless. It had its times of pastels ... almost, there were colors I liked, but "Why did they have to be so faded and out of reach of what I really wanted?"  Or, those times of life, when everything was awkwardly fluorescent shades of "I'm trying to colorful, but I'm really going to hurt your eyes". You see, my life has ALWAYS been colorful. But it's only now that it's of the colors th

Cleaned out the Korner...

With a touch of wistful melodrama, I'm here to announce this happy day! The Korner is no more, but Keturah still intends to poke around on the blogging world for some time yet to come ;D  Guys.  I did it.  I changed my blog name. Keturah's Korner has become a huge part of my identity, as was all that pink and green. For nearly seven years!!!  And now it's... all gone.  Changed.  Refined and narrowed.  I really like how it's looking and feeling around here.  I hope you all do, too!  I finally made the big decisions this last week when one of my houses was canceled. I had most of the day free. And so I sketched the image for the banner. (That sketch took me hours. ) And made all the appropriate changes.  This place also now has a "real" website.  www.thesocialporcupine.com Well. Not much else to say... you can see it all ;D 

A Defense For Small Talk

 "I don't know how to say what I need to say."  "Let's just chat for a bit then." And so we did.  Somehow, for a moment, all deep and difficult things became irrelevant, or at least a bit less serious, as we laughed and appreciated the simple blessings that were ours. In those moments of small talk, all the right things were said.  If we are honest, I think that deep conversationalists must envy small talkers: can they ever attain the spontaneity and freedom of simply not having to take care of every word? Indeed, all the "real" moments and discussions are but servants of light-hearted joys.  "Personally, I have a hard time finding friends with which I can have a real conversation," I've heard many say. "I just don't do small talk." I enjoy provoking, insightful dialogue  very  much. Obviously, or I wouldn't have  this  blog. Nor have the comment section open, etc. That being said, I think that small talk can too eas

"Why weep for your hair when your head's cut off?"

"I want to live life," I said.  "You may!" Called all the books on the thrift store shelves. "Own and us a million lives shall be yours!" And yet, how easily I forfeited those lives when one particular life beckoned me to lay my bookish self aside and  travel.  I stopped hiding my hair under a plaid hat and became the fiery, sweet  Ruby girl  that one either loved or hated. I never had time to read, but I was making time to write stories, my only solace through those days when I wished for less drama and more tolerance, where I hated that I always had to defend beliefs I cared little for as I inwardly battled deeper questions none could understand because all they saw was that I wore dresses and didn't celebrate Christmas. I stepped on my first plane and sat by a boy for two weeks, a feat for a timid girl who couldn't carry a conversation with  any  guy, as I learned about some of what I  might  believe. I learned to love hiking, and suddenly it wa

"Let Me Settle With You"

 A faded grey sparrow's bright tune is abruptly interrupted by a strange sight. A young girl cradles a frog in her palm. Fear sparkles and falls from her eyes.  "Ought I to break your spell?" she asks the frog. "I could never bear to have you settle for me."  "Never would I settle for you! Nay, rather I yearn to settle with you!"  "But the first kiss may be unpleasant . . ."  The bird wonders over all this; at a pretty girl holding an ugly frog. It was clear that it wasn't so much she thought kissing this slimy thing would be distasteful, but that the creature would be disappointed by herself.  "It's not the first of which I dream, but each one that shall follow," the frog says.  "But . . ." Her lip quivers. "I'm such a horrid girl."  The frog croaks, "It is I that am the beast. Your kiss will save me."  The bird watches as the girl hesitates, fighting some uglier creature locked away, deep

When The Shoes Run Away

Once upon a time, I wrote letters and I remembered people's names.  Last year I determined to do so again.  I want to be thoughtful; to put the right thoughts into my heart. Somebody told me, "How are you able to offer what people need if you're not putting yourself in other people's shoes?" Feeling misjudged, I wanted to retort, "But why must my own shoes not matter? Am I only to be judged by how I'm failing, my own insecurities disregarded?"  I never said those words, but I felt them for a long time. Bitterly. Part of me did want to be kind and understanding. But a large part of me wanted to be understood . And so, I stubbornly kept my worthless shoes on and refused to try on anyone else's.  (Isn't this a weird analogy? I mean who seriously wants to swap shoes? I don't want most people putting their feet into my shoes, I know. And my sarcastic self keeps thinking, "And it would be so pointless to try and walk around in some of thos