I think we all spend most of our lives looking for answers.
What should I grow up to be? Why am I here? Where are my keys? Is this the right decision? Where should I live? What is coming? What am I missing? What can I do? What should I do? How should I eat? What do I believe? What should I avoid? Will going blonde wash my face out? Is this all there is?
And on and on.
Some answers come. (Blonde WILL wash my face out.) Some don't. (I never found that set of keys my sophomore year of college.) I understand that it is just as well that some questions keep being asked until we lose our breath for the last time. Even if they had been satisfied, others would have reached out and taken their place.
I don't mind the work of asking. But I hate the quiet that often follows the question.
There are so many answers I've sought, worked for and fallen on my knees on behalf of - because sometimes, it seems, the only way to find what your looking for is to force yourself down while looking up - that still stay apart from me.
Some of the unfound knowns whisper ahead of me in the dark. I can follow the vibrations of their sound, can feel the places that used to be moist with their breath. I know, I know I will catch those answers someday...hold them in my hand and put them in mouth, chewing them up until they've been broken into pieces small enough for me to swallow.
But there are some answers that don't call from the places they've already lived. There are some answers that sit still in a far off place I can't fathom, let alone stumble upon or within. There are some answers whose reality can only be proven by the existence of my question.
I fell down again yesterday. To the place where my knees scrape against our wood floors and my hands hold onto each other as they seek the touch of something more knowing. I asked without the promise of answer. How will Riley and I survive? How will the children thrive? I asked. To see the dim outline of the future that is eating at our present. To be given peace. To be given something more than an assurance of eventual knowing. I asked. For angels and for eyes that could see the work they do. For transcendence - no matter how brief. I asked. For things I don't deserve. For things I feel are my due.
And then, once more, I listened through the silence.
This time, the whisper was closer and didn't run from me before I could make out its message.
There are some things that will move. And there are some things that are set. The ones that move belong to you. The ones that remain fixed belong to me. They can be beautiful. They can be shattering. There is joy in the inevitable even when it breaks the edges of your world. The joy is in the things that are left unbroken - your love for husband, children and God. Hold onto their eyes with your eyes, hold onto their hands with your hands, hold onto their hearts with your heart.
In doing so, you will become immovable and fixed yourself.
And you'll belong to me.
Then, quiet. The words moved ahead of me.
I stretched up, my legs stiff and my heart creaking. I held the answer in my hand for just a moment.
And then, I put it in my mouth and chewed it into pieces small enough to swallow.