The other night I woke with this image of a large piece of poster board in my mind. I was holding the blank, white poster board up to God and saying something that wasn’t in English; it sounded something like “jabba janusch do ma” (which is probably a combination of “yabba dabba doo” the Polish name for Jonah, and a yummy dolma with summer vegetables.) My first instinct was that I was speaking in tongues from some deep part of myself; my second thought was that the church had finally succeeded in infiltrating my subconscious; and my third thought was, “Well, that about sums it up.”

The truth is that this blank piece of poster board expresses exactly what I know for sure about life right now. And the random syllables that I was speaking seemed to issue forth the jumble that are my thoughts and feelings these days.

Normally, I talk through things, write through things, think through things in carefully constructed (and might I add, grammatically correct) sentences. But these days, I get about two words into a thought, and the whole motion of idea gets derailed into, well, blankness.

I told my friend Melissa the other day that I think I’m going to take this time to grieve the losses of life and figure out who I am. Maybe I should see the blank poster board as that “blank canvas.” Maybe this is a “fresh start.” I should probably think that more. But to be honest, mostly I think I’m just a jumble of pain and confusion and grief and tiny, shiny shards of hope. “Yabba Janusch Dolma.” I hope God gets that.