Wednesday, November 9, 2011

find me in that burning sunset sky, keepme.

You know that thing that happens when you’re holding a little baby. A baby that’s about 6 months old and able to be pretty alert as you're walking around or standing in the front yard talking to a neighbor and getting your mail. The baby is so sweet, resting on your hip just looking at you, and then it happens…that cute and chubby little hand, with swift determination, reaches right up and grabs onto a tuft of your dangling hair. Its little hand gripping so tight that it would take the jaws of life to uncurl their little fingers from your locks. You immediately respond by bending your neck towards them, your hand over their hand, and ever so gently try to uncurl their fingers with minimal strand loss. It hurts, every time. And despite the fact that you can say, “owww sweetie,” or have tears well up in your eyes, the likelihood of it happening again is almost inevitable. That vision has come to me a lot lately while reflecting about my life. That little baby does not want to hurt you, in fact it probably loves you very, very much. That little baby does this, because starting at a very young age, we all want control. Even if it’s just as simple as grabbing onto what’s directly within arm’s reach, and holding on for dear life. It’s instinctual.

For the last few months, I’ve done a lot of thinking and feeling and reflecting. I have tried to let every day be what it needs to be today, and be fully present. I’ve done a lot of crying in my car on empty streets and have never laughed so deeply with friends & family. People have been so so good to me. They have surrounded me and been fierce and tender and love. People have cried with me when I couldn’t and let me laugh at things I shouldn’t. They have held my face in their hands, catching my tears and reminding me of true things. I have made mistakes and good choices, and forgiven myself often. I have thought deeply about what it means to be fully alive, when you’re feeling mostly dead. I have buried myself into the heart of God, and have never prayed harder in my entire life. For everything, and everyone. I have never felt such compassion for other people and the decisions they've made in dark seasons (past and present). I have looked at the sunrise and the sunset and the raindrops. I have danced a lot and run what feels like a million miles. I have kept dreaming and hoping for the things to come. I have been thankful for what has already been.

A friend showed me this poem recently which I’ve adapted as my mantra:

{It’s dark because you are trying too hard.
Lightly child, lightly.
Learn to do everything lightly…
Even though you’re feeling deeply…
Lightly let things happen
and lightly cope with them…
On tiptoes and with no luggage…
Completely unencumbered.}
-aldous huxley, 1894-1963 (adapted)

Lately, I have often seen myself as that little baby, reaching up and grabbing soo tightly onto that strand of hair. CLUTCHing the things I want to hold onto, refusing to let go.  Realizing that I’m not really controlling anything (there is freedom here). Life is ever changing, always. And maybe that’s where the comfort lies…not in the things that we are able to hold onto and keep the same, but in our ability to find comfort in the changing. For there will forever be changing. Life will never slow down, it will never get simpler. It will always get more full, and more complex. This is what awaits. This is the constant.

{Everything remains unsettled forever, depend on it.} – henry miller

There are things that I deeply want that have never been, and may continue to never be.  For those unknown hopes, and feelings without a home, I will keep reminding myself to ‘open up ma hands’ and learn to do everything lightly. I will let my sorrow be sorrow and my joy be joy. I will lightly let things happen and lightly cope with them. I will do the best I can, in all the ways I can, with everything I can. I will continue to become, who I’ve always been becoming.

{For we know the love G-d has for us, and we trust in that.} -1 John 4:16

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