A friend of mine once described a faith crisis as being stuck inside a wall of live wires, suffocating in a seemingly random tangle of energy. I imagined her in there. No idea what each wire leads to, unsure of what will happen if she cuts through just one meandering coil, let alone all of them, to make way for passage or breath.
This description remains.
The girl trapped in a wall, surrounded by streams of current. Wires passing through to a place she cannot see, giving power to good or ill or neither. Even as they hang around her head and close in on her heart, she cannot quite bring herself to sever them because she does not know what will go dark once she does.
I’ve been waking up inside that space lately, not - this time - because of a faith crisis. Although, heaven knows (literally), that those are always happy to circle back around.
This time, I guess, I’m confident I can chalk it up to, among other things, being thirty-two. Pregnant for the last time, going back to mothering in the particularly physical, emotional way babies and toddlers seem to require. Marriage roles that have become more traditional as our family, Riley’s career and the needs of those around us have grown. Chalk it up to, among other things, that the needs of those around us have grown. That I started writing a book in the spring but a summer with morning sickness and two children did not let it breathe. That what I want - what I feel called to - doesn’t seem to exist in any system or -ism and I wonder if that is a call for general revolution or just personal psychiatric evaluation. That I thought knowing myself would make this well-worn transition different, but really the knowledge is just making my edges sharper and my soft spots bruised.
Even as I find myself bewildered and breathless, I know I’ve placed many of these wires. There are a few twining about my legs, pressing into my arms I cannot name, but most of them bear labels written in my own hand. Some scrawled hastily, others deliberately. I remember writing them, but as I hold the fraying lines up to my eyes it’s too dark for me to read what I once saw. Funny this. So much power and so little radiance.
Sometimes I wonder what would happen if I cut just one sparking wire and pressed one end into the skin that stretches across my head and one into the skin that stretches across my heart.
Would I light up this space? Or just burn?
(I don’t spend all my days in the wall.)