I always think I’ll journal my way through the most turbulent and changing times of my life, the times of our lives that most shape who we are. In the end of it all, I wonder how anyone ever does that–because my reality is that it takes almost all of my strength and courage and dedication just to hang on.
That doesn’t sound like a particularly profound piece of life experience: “Well, mostly I just hung on.” But sometimes I wonder if anyone ever really does more than that.
I’m writing a little again now, but I know perfectly well that’s because I’m between waves. When the next one hits, I don’t know that I’ll have anything left to give to writing, again. But part of me says, “There is this little spark. It must be kept alive.” So between the waves, I make another little desperate foray.
What do I say to you, if anyone is listening at all? It’s not that I don’t have things to say as much as so many things seems to cut more deeply than words can express–or, at least, my ability to wield words.
I am learning to be grateful for things I never considered being grateful for before. Like dirt. Not even good dirt–rocks bound together by hard clay. For sore muscles. For people who help you eat cake. For dish clothes. For golden rod. For freezer space. For vegetables.
How do you explain this? It seems sometimes that it’s only when you feel the cut of lack that you rejoice to taste the joy of having it again.
I don’t have any intention of convincing anyone they should pine for sore muscles or be filled with wonder by the ground under their feet. It’s just that the earthquakes rending the landscape of my life have left me grasping for any things of value or goodness, struggling to sort out the rubble and find the things worth keeping. There’s more than a small amount of desperation in this–it’s no sea-side stroll of leisurely beach combing. It’s confusing, and frightening, and opens up more deep and probing questions than I can count that I thought I had relatively settled in my mind–or never dreamt existed.
And yet the words are “fear not” and “I am with you” and “do not be afraid.”
The confusion has not abated, but the fear ebbs and wanes.
Don’t be afraid of the darkness, friends. There is a light that shines in it, brightly, and it is worth the following.