I keep feeling like people are looking to me for a statement.
That’s kind of a ridiculous way to feel, isn’t it?
And when I examine the curves of my heart, I realize I don’t really feel that way…I don’t think anyone is looking to me for anything.
Really, it is only me looking to myself for a declaration. Which is somehow more pressure than a collection of expectations. What kind of statement? One of fact. Of belief. Of certainty. Of life. Of death. Of anything I can muster, really. And while I’ve been holding my breath for a specific personal manifesto since last Thursday…it occurs to me that this feeling, this expectation, this bated breath is not really a new thing. For quite some time I’ve been out at night, hands clapping down around blinking lights - certain that this time, I’ve got it. And then, when I peek into my cupped palms they are still empty.
It doesn’t mean the light wasn’t there to begin with…it just means I haven’t been quick enough to catch it.
In the meantime, I think maybe the movements I make in the dark - cast against the flickering illuminants I can’t quite grasp - might be as beautiful as they are clumsy.
I’m sitting in a coffee shop right now. Sipping tea and eating toast with honey and goat cheese. It’s loud here, people clicking on keyboards and talking about meetings and plans. I feel more peace in this place than I have for a long time. Not just this coffee shop, this city. With it’s hordes of people and creed and opinion and religion and non-religion. My soul finds quiet in this noise. It’s not the only place I feel this way, but it’s one of the more profound peaces I’ve been granted in this life.
It’s really, really messy, isn’t it?
Even the seemingly clean moments can’t hold their hospital corners for long. Not that I’ve ever been one for much neatness.
The women next to me have out their planners.
“What should we get the kids for Hanukkah?”
“What have they told you they’re interested in? I’m hearing a lot about bikes and hoverboards.”
“Ha! Me, too. Also that book…what was it called? You know, the one Sam* saw on Amazon.”
“Yeah, yeah, you want to get them for him?”
“I’ll get it for him.”
“You want to figure out Hawaii while we’re here?”
“Yeah, let’s. I am so glad you guys are going. It’s going to be a great experience. Did Sarah get work off?”
“Yeah, thank goodness. The kids are excited, but listen this still means you get them for Christmas. That will be good, right?”
“So good. My parents are coming into town to see them.”
“Okay, so Hawaii in January takes your weekend, but you’ve got Christmas.”
“How are things going with the insurance?”
“Good, I mean stressful…still fighting about some of the coverage but good. You know, the kids are worth the work…even with these people, ha!”
“Yeah, they are.”
“Maybe the insurance thing will get easier in the new year.”
“I think it might. I’ve got that new job.”
“You want to figure out summer break now?”
“Yeah, let’s figure it out.”
I don’t know guys. I can’t stop crying into my cold tea. Salt in my elderberry and hibiscus.
So much of life is this. Maneuvering around the things we once were to provide for the things we hope to nourish now.
I’m sitting here cross the table from my past. We’ve got holy word and personal revelation between us while we try to figure out the best way to care for our future. Our future. That thing that belongs to both of us no matter how far apart our experiences drift from one another.
“You know, nothing has to be left behind.”
“You’re right. But I’m not ready to close off much yet, either.”
“Okay, well…do you want to figure it out?”
“Yeah, let’s figure it out.”
* names changed because…eavesdropping