(I'm not at Starbucks at this actual moment...I just finished typing this into the computer from a beautiful journal. The journal and I were at Starbucks earlier.)
I’m at Starbucks…my heart is kind of aching at this particular moment in the whole space and time ‘where do we go from here’ wilderness of life.
And you know a weird thing about that location?
It kind of sucks…with a ‘Wow! This could be amazing Daddy! Take me on the adventure too!’ sort of sucky way. You know? The kind of thing that you know will be great on the other side, and there’ll be great stories about the incredible adventure. I mean, yeah, it sucks…but it’s so worth every bit of it!
Anyway—I’m at Starbucks. I’m writing as fast as I can—like a wild-eyed, rabid space monkey experimenting with high potency crystal methamphetamines—in a red journal embossed with ornate design and the reminding words “God is Love.” But just like every other journal I’ve ever owned (by the way, did you my favorite book genre is a blank journal?), but anyway, just like every journal I’ve ever owned has been a gift given in love by someone.
No, for real, of all the cherished, loved, insane-idea laden journals I’ve ever brought to life by marrying them to ink (preferably 1.0mm thickness), not a single one was purchased from the funds of the feeble financial account of the insane One, Ollie (with the exception of those journals Madame Hawt Mama Cristi purchased—but all I have is actually hers—I claim no ownership. So still, I’ve never purchased a journal.
I have bought a couple spiral-bound notebooks along the way—but the only ones I’ve embellished with any words of consequence were those given to me by my sister K Carla. She gave me a couple of really cool spiral bounds, with 3D images of Phineas and the words “He Thinks Big!”
But see—all these treasured, precious, priceless books—where my brain and heart place my crazy ideas—my plans—my schemes—my manifestos for loving, brightening, changing the world—the safe keepers of my insanity—were all given as GIFTS to me.
Someone, or someones, people, people in and out of my life—people who have, who do, who will—LOVE ME, me, this frail and failing, inconsistent Ollie—undeserving of title—inadequate of pomp—have loved me enough to have transferred to my care…BLANK PAGES!
I LOVE BLANK PAGES!
Did I mention I’m at Starbucks? Yeah—I know I did. (I just really don’t why I always ask these kind of questions, I guess to make sure people are awake or something…or, maybe its just like an Ollie-ism that you have to accept since you’re required to love me! The Bible says so!)
But anyway, yeah…I’m at Starbucks, and I came in with a heavy heart, my phone, my ear buds, a Starbucks gift card (that someone gave me) and this journal, of which I’ve already written…but, I was missing a pen. (You’d think by the fact my poor car looks like a mobile scene from Sanford & Son’s Junk Yard, I’d surely find a pen in all those mounds of refuse, but no—nothing.)
So I came in, ordered my venti Pike’s Place in a “for here” cup, and set about forming my beggar’s countenance. I asked the barista (I love the word barista—I’ve often times considered filling out an application, just so I could be “Ollie…the Barista”) but I asked the barista, if by chance, she might have a spare pen I could borrow. I told her my heart was a little heavy and I needed to write it out.
She was kind in the shadow of her Starbucks cap. She checked around the counter area, held the Bic Ultra Round Stic Grip towards me and said, “You can use my pen.”
I asked, “What if I forget to give it back?”
She said, “It’s okay! It’s a gift!”
It’s a gift!
It was a GIFT!
I started thinking about what’s “mine.” (Here’s another Ollie-ism, maybe –ism #8, or maybe #12, I’ve lost count.) But I actually DETEST possessive words like “mine” and “my,” etc.
But like I said, I started thinking as I held this journal, this pen, this coffee, then I started thinking about all the gifts and abilities and every other thing in my life—my gifted, on-loan life…every bit of it—this breathing in and out—this beating heart—these tears that sting my eyes—this obnoxious laughter that embarrasses my family—these friends and family I hold so dear—the arms that wrap around me, and let a 6’4” man be a crying child—these gifts. The words I stand and speak in love. The passion I feel for loving the world. Even the words I scribble of on this gifted-to-me journal, with this gifted-to-me pen—the all of the all.
It is all a gift on loan—
This whole life, and all it entails, is a gift, on loan—
And I will manage it well.
I love you…I love you how?