I’m Here and I Found Our Patronus

 

This is me.

CLEARLY I’m not in Oregon right now.

Also, despite appearances to the contrary, I’m not naked, either.

I’m in Mexico, friends! To work on the latest draft of my book proposal, thanks to a friend with a free-to-me condo. 😍 (EVERYONE GO MAKE FRIENDS LIKE THIS. It’s OK. Go ahead. I’ll wait.)

This is me trying to take a picture that shows I’m wearing something other than just flesh.

I like it because it makes me look far, FAR thinner than I am. I shall henceforth only take photos from this angle because I’m body positive all the time but I’m strangely body positiver when I feel like a pic is flattering. 

I’m part of the problem.

I’m working on it.

FYI, I’ve been working on said book proposal nigh about 5 years. That’s 35 dog years. And in that time, it’s morphed at least 3 times into wholly different books than when I started. That’s because I started by writing a book proposal about parenting, which HAHAHAHAHAHA turns out I know ZERO THINGS about. I’m trying to figure out how to human myself, by God. 

This is my whole parenting book:

First, figure out how to human. Be gentle.

Second, try to raise children who will someday be self-sufficient enough to pay for their own counseling. Also, be gentle.

Third, trust thine tiny humans. EARS WIDE OPEN. Their hearts are more clear and less clouded than yours. If you let them, they’ll teach you how to be gentle.

And finally, give grace, give grace, give grace. To everyone. Even yourself. 

The End

It was gonna be a real short book, friends. More of a pamphlet. 

But it led to where we are today, so hooray! And today means writing about murky things. And messy things. And mayhem and magic. And challenging what we thought we knew about how to live a life of freedom, community, and kindness, so we might be able to actually live a life of freedom, community, and kindness. Because — and I know this will surprise you, so buckle up — our culture may not have given us the Very Best Tools to build that outcome. WHO KNEW, friends? I mean, probably you. You probably knew. But NOT ME. I did not know. Thus I shall spend my time writing an entire book about it.

And I shall also spend my time taking selfies. 

This is me forgetting I have my camera screen reversed, for example.

And this is me trying to improve on the I Swear I’m Clothed pic.

That was with my tummy sucked in.

And that was my tummy back out.

See the difference?

In.

Out.

No, I don’t see the difference, either. My tummy’s not built for sucking, yet I keep trying. NEVERTHELESS SHE PERSISTED, friends. I should write a book about GRIT and RESILIENCE in the face of great odds. A book about TRIUMPH and HOPE FOR THE FUTURE. Relentless optimism. My tummy shall lead the way.

So far on this writing expedition, I’ve decided not to write the book, after all. At least a dozen times.  

I’ve also decided Deciding Not to Do the Thing is a critical part of Doing the Thing, so I carry on anyway and check Deciding Not to Do the Thing off my To Do list. I am VERY good at making lists.

This is the view from my pool chair.

Truth is, I’m not carrying on right this minute with book writing. But I have been carrying on. And I will carry on again. I find it best to believe in oneself despite evidence to the contrary. Believing in oneself means there’s a chance of success, where as not believing in oneself is a certain path to failure.

This is Greg’s left breast.

He prefers I call it a pectoral, but he also prefers I call his undies boxers instead of man panties, so DOWN WITH THE PATRIARCHY, I say. It’s a PROTEST. #ManPantiesForDayz

Also, we don’t call that front piece of armor a pectoralplate. We call it a breastplate. It’s a breastplate, Greg. It’s in the Bible. You’re supposed to clothe yourself with the breastplate of righteousness. The Bible says it, I believe it, that settles it. GOD IS ON MY SIDE. 

This is the view on the way back from the baño.

There wasn’t toilet paper this time, but there was all the other times, so I’m not complaining. Also, they distract you here with cerveza and sunsets, and I approve of their priorities. I feel like I should always be able to choose.

“Toilet paper or beer and sunsets, madam?”

“I’ll take the beer and sunsets, please and thank you.”

“Excellent choice.”

This is a picture of my finger. I feel it accurately represents how strong my selfie game is.

And this is a picture of my favorite activity in Mexico: finding our patronus.

In Mexico, they call it a patrono. A patron saint. Which, obviously, is more accurately translated as patronus. Used in a sentence? Harry Potter’s patronus is a stag. Ginny Weasley’s patronus is a horse. 

But if you or I had a wand — especially a wand in America in 2018 — and we were to cast a corporeal patronus, you know what would emerge? Or who? 

Judas Thaddeus. Otherwise known as Saint Jude, the Patron Saint of Chaos and Impossible Causes… OR, as he’s known in Mexico, the Patrono de las Causas Imposibles.

Coincidence?

I think not.

Truth be told, our patronus isn’t very easy to find. I usually have to search and search. Which just makes it more real since everyone knows your spellcraft must be magnificent to beckon your patronus in times of need. 

But find him I did! Eventually. In a tiny shop at the back of the market in a small drawer like secret treasure. 

And so I sit watching the night come, and reading the news, and listening to loud uncertainty all around us while yelling EXPECTO PATRONUM in my heart, which is a prayer, really.

Expecto Patronum. St. Jude, who understands impossible causes, carry my prayer. And come, Lord Jesus; listen to the cries of the vulnerable. May Love light our way home.

Waving in the dark, friends,

 

 

 

P.S. I picked up a tiny number of extra patronuses. Four, actually, which is all the shopkeeper had. I felt like there are some of you who may want one. An outward remembrance of an inner prayer. If you’d like one, email me at beth@bethwoolsey.com with Expecto Patronus in the title and your name and address in the message. Cost is $35 for the medallion and the sparkly chain I picked to go with it. Both are .925 silver, so they will tarnish and require occasional polishing. I WISH I COULD GIVE THEM TO ALL OF US. But this is not that budgeting month. So you know. I’ll pass along the cost to those who want their very own. You can pick PayPal or Venmo for payment. First come, first served, friends. And love to you.

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ABOUT BETH WOOLSEY I'm a writer. And a mess. And mouthy, brave, and strong. I believe we all belong to each other. I believe in the long way 'round. And I believe, always, in grace in the grime and wonder in the wild of a life lived off course from what was, once, a perfectly good plan.
7 comments
  1. i always seem to say the same things… you’re hilarious! you got me going with the breastplate and man panties….too funny. also your freckles are beautiful!

  2. I want to vacation with you, where vacation is sitting in one of those chairs, with that view (I’m less hairy than Greg… but I was really referring to the sunset and water and palm trees).

  3. P.S. I love you

  4. Wishing you good writing vibes because I want to read your book…like NOW! In the meantime, happy beers and sunsets (and hopefully, rest and Chaos and Impossible Causes)!

  5. Oh man, Beth, you took me from giggling wildly to tears in my eyes and a hitch in my breath. And I read the “I know this will surprise you, so buckle up,” paragraph in your voice exactly. LIke, I can picture the faux wide-eyed innocence with which you’d declare that bit. Almost like a quick visit with you (though sadly, not at a gorgeous Mexican beachside pool).

  6. You’re adorable. <3

  7. . Perfection. Also .

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