I want to understand.

I want to see what you see, feel what you feel, know what you know, hear what you hear - then maybe I can understand.

So often I'm flying blind.

I listen but I can't hear the unspoken words. I don't know all the faces - I miss the crowd - I'm in the City but where are the masses. I cannot loose myself in the group - there is no back row to sit in and observe, study - decipher and think. I'm too close and not close enough. To far and yet not far enough.

Trying to find that spot where life comes into focus and sound is sweet.

Desafinado reigns.

I need to change - I need to stop - I need to listen to them.

Learning to hear the heart is hard.

Loving is harder.

I am pursued by a love that I have betrayed, denied, forgotten, used, cheated, berated, been ashamed of, lied to, short changed, and ignored.

A love that I have not pursued, have not honored, or rejoiced in.

A love that I have not - cannot lose. AND what offends so many is that I would treat such a love this way. Indeed when I sit and think on my behavior I become still and ashamed - still and sorry. I am so inadequate in the presence of such a love.

My lady...

I am not your lady!...
I am not any kind of a lady!

I was spawned in a ditch
By a mother who left me there,
Naked and cold and too hungry to cry;
I never blamed her.
I`m sure she left hoping
That I`d have the good sense to die!

Then, of course, there's my father...
I'm told that young ladies
Can point to their fathers
With maidenly pride;
Mine was some regiment
Here for an hour,
I can`t even tell you which side!

So of course I became,
As befitted my delicate birth,
The most casual bride
Of the murdering scum of the earth!

And still thou art my lady.

And still he torments me!
How should I be a lady?

For a lady has modest and maidenly airs,
And a virtue I somehow suspect that I lack;
It's hard to remember these maidenly airs
In a stable laid flat on your back!

Won't you look at me, look at me,
God, won't you look at me!
Look at the kitchen slut reeking with sweat!
Born on a dung heap to die on a dung heap,
A strumpet men use and forget!

If you feel that you see me
Not quite at my virginal best,
Cross my palm with a coin,
And I'll willingly show you the rest!

Never deny thou art Dulcinea!

Take the clouds from your eyes
and see me as I really am!

You have shown me the sky,
But what good is the sky
To a creature who'll never
Do better than crawl?

Of all the cruel bastards
Who've badgered and battered me,
You are the cruelest of all!

Can't you see what your gentle
Insanities do to me?
Rob me of anger and give me despair! Blows and abuse
I can take and give back again,
Tenderness I cannot bear!

So please torture me now
With your "Sweet Dulcineas" no more!
I am no one! I`m nothing!
I'm only Aldonza the whore!

Now and forever thou art my lady Dulcinea!

The dogged pursuit of a love that will not let me go, and yet unlike Don Quixote's in a very important way - in a way even more powerful, deeper, stronger and truer - indeed a love that does as Aldonza demands, a love that takes the clouds from it's eyes and see us as we really are.

It loves not who we can become, but who we are. It knows the kitchen slut reeking with sweat - and it loves still.

It shames me - such a love - nothing I can do and nothing I have done merits it - it is too great - it forgives without memory, it seeks me out even when I run and hide in shame.

I can only accept it. I can only let the Lord's love do it's redemptive work. How is love redemptive? I won't pretend to fully understand - all I know is that all I want to do is love like I am loved. It seems like the only possible way to honor it - incapable of earning it, I can only share it. I can only point the way to the source.

A personal relationship with a loving God, with Jesus.

He understands . . .