I skipped the gym today.
Instead I ate a cup of pesto, boomer’s carrots, leftovers meant for A, a lara bar, pumpkin pancakes, and cashew butter when I really should have taken a nap.
My binge was premeditated in the shadows of my thoughts. I allowed its possibility to cloud my disposition with general unease. Unable to hide it yesterday at Trident, Soccer Dad asked why I looked so tired, so sad, so lifeless. I excused myself by offering the fact that I was beginning a new job and the nerves were getting to me. Today on the way home I could not help but cry. A asked why; I explained I was so very tired and besides which TSwift was on the radio.
Neither reason is false, but neither captures the complexity nor construes the enormity of my spirit’s vertigo.
I am happy. I am so so incredibly happy. This happiness is intense and alive for 12 hours of my day. For the other 12, it is patted down and submits to its enemy and opposite: indifference. It has been my mission for the past two and a half years to break free of the confines of boredom into the harsh sunlight of a brilliant life, the chafing wind of moving fast and relentlessly and freely, the lulls and swells of a love which dances with the sea.
maggie and milly and molly and may
maggie and millie and molly and may
went down to the beach (to play one day)
and maggie discovered a shell that sang
so sweetly she couldn’t remember her troubles, and
millie befriended a stranded star
whose rays five languid fingers were;
and molly was chased by a horrible thing
which raced sideways while blowing bubbles: and
may came home with a smooth round stone
as small as a world and as large as alone.
For whatever we lose (like a you or a me)
it’s always ourselves we find in the sea.
It scares me to live this way, in dogged pursuit of the world’s wonders and of my potential. When I tried to lived this way once, I was lonely. I was sick. I was obsessive and I was perfect and I was so goddam afraid. Physics terrified me. Running consumed me. Friends–I did not know what one was. Even God spoke to me in riddles I misinterpreted. The kind of life I thought I had, the kind of life for which my longing saturates every moment at the Rock: it makes me shake in my very soul. I doubt my ability to meet its constitutional demands without losing this person I’ve become; I generally like her and I usually care for her and I don’t want to lose her. But in my doubt I revert to the very person I was; she whom I worked to exhaustion without relief, she whom I punished with hate and she whom I deemed was never good enough.
From who I was to who I become, I transform in a manner only love can catalyze:
Being deeply loved by someone gives you strength, while loving someone deeply gives you courage. — Lao Tzu
Courage does not negate fear. But as A told me yesterday, we’ve got nothing to lose. No, not even a me. (Not even to the sea.)
The trouble is, it sits in me. It makes me ill, lounging there in the pit of my stomach. It throws me off-balance and nags when I don’t give it my mind. It wants me to subside in my current comforts so it can mount its attack from the front of boredom and regret. If I refuse to tread the path of least resistance, it launches guerilla warfare with achingly intimate knowledge of my vulnerabilities. How do I get past my fear, my destructive and debilitating fear?
It requires trust. It requires faith. These I am unable to adequately invest directly in myself; when all I seek is confidence, all I find are suspicions of my psyche. So, God, take my fears, take my worries. Take my love, take my hope. Guide my dreams, my thoughts, my words, my deeds. Continue to grant me Your comforts and Your wisdom. Please never cease to bless me with my family, Your sweet manna. Thank you for these channels of Your peace.
And when I tremble, tremble, tremble…help me to remember You.
1 From James, servant of God and of the Lord Jesus Christ. Greetings to the twelve tribes of the Dispersion.
2 My brothers, consider it a great joy when trials of many kinds come upon you,
3 for you well know that the testing of your faith produces perseverance, and
4 perseverance must complete its work so that you will become fully developed, complete, not deficient in any way.
5 Any of you who lacks wisdom must ask God, who gives to all generously and without scolding; it will be given.
6 But the prayer must be made with faith, and no trace of doubt, because a person who has doubts is like the waves thrown up in the sea by the buffeting of the wind.
7 That sort of person, in two minds,
8 inconsistent in every activity, must not expect to receive anything from the Lord.
9 It is right that the brother in humble circumstances should glory in being lifted up,
10 and the rich in being brought low. For the rich will last no longer than the wild flower;
11 the scorching sun comes up, and the grass withers, its flower falls, its beauty is lost. It is the same with the rich: in the middle of a busy life, the rich will wither.
12 Blessed is anyone who perseveres when trials come. Such a person is of proven worth and will win the prize of life, the crown that the Lord has promised to those who love him.
13 Never, when you are being put to the test, say, ‘God is tempting me’; God cannot be tempted by evil, and he does not put anybody to the test .
14 Everyone is put to the test by being attracted and seduced by that person’s own wrong desire.
15 Then the desire conceives and gives birth to sin, and when sin reaches full growth, it gives birth to death.
16 Make no mistake about this, my dear brothers:
17 all that is good, all that is perfect, is given us from above; it comes down from the Father of all light; with him there is no such thing as alteration, no shadow caused by change.
18 By his own choice he gave birth to us by the message of the truth so that we should be a sort of first-fruits of all his creation.
19 Remember this, my dear brothers: everyone should be quick to listen but slow to speak and slow to human anger;
20 God’s saving justice is never served by human anger;
21 so do away with all impurities and remnants of evil. Humbly welcome the Word which has been planted in you and can save your souls.
22 But you must do what the Word tells you and not just listen to it and deceive yourselves.
23 Anyone who listens to the Word and takes no action is like someone who looks at his own features in a mirror and,
24 once he has seen what he looks like, goes off and immediately forgets it.
25 But anyone who looks steadily at the perfect law of freedom and keeps to it — not listening and forgetting, but putting it into practice — will be blessed in every undertaking.
26 Nobody who fails to keep a tight rein on the tongue can claim to be religious; this is mere self-deception; that person’s religion is worthless.
27 Pure, unspoilt religion, in the eyes of God our Father, is this: coming to the help of orphans and widows in their hardships, and keeping oneself uncontaminated by the world.