Cheap Cigarettes and Holiness

Something about these sweet simple words by rosie thomas stir a deep place inside of me:

so much for love
guess i've been wrong
but it's all right
cuz i'm moving on
i've got my car all packed with cassette tapes
and sweaters and loose change and cheap cigarettes
i'm gonna drive through the hills
with my hand out the window
and sing 'til i run out of words
i'm gonna stop at every truck stop
make small talk with waiters and truck driving men
i'm gonna fall asleep in the back seat
with no one around but me and my friends

it's gonna be so grand
it's gonna be just like my wedding day

i've had enough of love
it feels good to give up
so good to be good to myself
i'm gonna get on the highway with no destination
and plenty of vision in mind
and i'm gonna drive to the ocean
go skinny dipping
blow kisses to venus and mars
i'm gonna stop at every bar
and flirt with the cowboys in front their girlfriends

it's gonna be so grand
it's gonna be just like my wedding day

so much for love
i guess i've been wrong
but it's all right cuz i'm moving on
i'm gonna drive over hills
over mountains and canyons
and boys that keep bringin me down
i'm gonna drive under skyline and sunshine
drink good wine in vineyards
and get asked to dance
i'm gonna be carefree and let nothing pass me by
never ever again

it's gonna be so grand
it's gonna be so grand
just like my wedding day

These words stir a place inside . . .
A place that knows more about life and God and love than I do.
A place that is longing for real things and recognizes them when they are found.
What is so spiritual or real about drinking good wine and packing up loose change & cozy sweaters?
Surly there is nothing holy about a sweater. Unless you don't keep moth balls in your closet.
But this idea of packing up your favorite sweaters to keep you warm and mend your heart . . . there is something very spiritual about this.
I like this image.
I get it.
It has to do with healing and growth and hope.
And I do think God is in that sweater. Somehow. Not in a "everything is God and God is everything" sort of a way . . . there is a word for that which I learned in Seminary, but my mind does not hold non-intuitive, non-experiential information. So, you'll just have to figure it out yourself. But I think God is in that interaction between me and my sweater. When we seek comfort, whether we are seeking him as the source of comfort or not . . . we are seeking comfort . . . and when we seek comfort, I think he shows up too . . . just in case we choose to call on him. Because he so wants to comfort us.

He wants us to find joy in the simple things. In dancing with strangers. And when we blow kisses to the heavens, i think he catches them and puts them in the pocket of his beautiful patch work robe. Right next to the grizzley bear.

If God is an ocean, there is nothing more he wants than for us to skinny dip in him. Naked. Free.

He wants us to get in our cars, on our bikes, on our pogo sticks and drive, ride, or hop away from anger and sin and drive and drive until we see new life on the horizon. heartache and pain can come along for the ride. he will take care of us.
And somehow, maybe somehow, these sweet pleasures bring us joy not just like our worldly wedding days . . . but also like our wedding banquet we will share with the lamb.

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Blogger emm said...

Wow. Lovely and so true. My favorite line in this...If God is an ocean, there is nothing more he wants than for us to skinny dip in him. Naked. Free.

Thank you Cara.

3:19 PM, May 12, 2006  
Blogger Jennifer Coomer said...

*single tear*

1:52 PM, May 15, 2006  
Blogger hurricanic said...

skinny dipping in the vastness of God. huh. i'll have to think about that for a while. skinny dipping for me always feels dirty. and i'm so anxious about getting caught. or about someone stealing my clothes. or about a fish biting my ass.

10:08 PM, May 15, 2006  
Blogger Jennifer Coomer said...

Last night I was listening to the song and thinking of you while I was laying in bed. ha ha! I just wanted to say it that way to sound creepy!

I was listening to a playlist on my iPod and that song came on and I'm like-Cara was just talking about that song. I'm glad we've become "friends".

8:39 AM, May 16, 2006  
Blogger bansheewigs said...

glad you found rosie; she's an amazing singer and song writer.

10:56 PM, May 17, 2006  
Blogger travis said...

Have you heard of Johnmark McMillan? This reminded me of a song he sings, 'How He Loves.' You can check him out and hear this song on his site juke box at thejohnmark.com
Johnmark's CD 'The Song Inside The Sounds of Breaking Down' is the best CD I have heard in such a long time. Give it a few listens.
I have started a post on the topic of 'Home' on my blog site that I invite you to post a piece on.

9:18 AM, May 19, 2006  
Blogger travis said...

This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.

9:19 AM, May 19, 2006  
Blogger BJ said...

I'm in the middle of a Cara-drought. It's OK though cause I hope to get my fix tonight. In the form of Amy "The Goz" Gosney. I'll give you time to recover cause I know I'M peeing my pants.

In other fun and exciting news, little Levi Ortrie Cobb was born yesterday. he's one precious little mofo if i've ever seen one.

11:16 AM, May 19, 2006  
Blogger Cara said...

bj, you can only talk about a drought when you write in YOUR blog more than once every 6 weeks!
congrats on the little bundle of ortrie! i am so glad for them!

12:10 PM, May 19, 2006  
Blogger Cara said...

when you come out to visit this summer, we will have a naked day at the harjes haus.
get you acclemated to the idea of skinny dipping. you can play out back in the sprinkler.

12:16 PM, May 19, 2006  

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