I didn’t mean to write a post. I expected to write throughout the weekend, but I didn’t…until I sat down at the kitchen table on Sunday evening as the towels and sheets were drying. And then I still didn’t mean to write a post. But the words came, and as always in moments like that, I don’t remember writing most of them. Just…I opened the journal and picked up the pen and there was reality and God and whatever else waiting on me.
These are the kinds of things I’m now scared to publish. But, then again, we could just add that fear to the list. There are only about a dozen in the next couple hundred words. And just like two and a half years ago, I still believe in the truth. In sharing it. Even when it’s hard and the kind of petrifying that makes you believe in ghosts. I still believe in vulnerability and openness and honesty and conversation, even when they lead to hurt and heartbreak. So I’m publishing this and hoping that everyone who reads it finds some peace in their own questions, own waiting, own middle.
“I beg you, to have patience with everything unresolved in your heart and to try to love the questions themselves as if they were locked rooms or books written in a very foreign language. Don’t search for the answers, which could not be given to you now, because you would not be able to live them. And the point is to live everything. Live the questions now. Perhaps then, someday far in the future, you will gradually, without even noticing it, live your way into the answer.” — Ranier Maria Rilke
“‘What if I fall?’ Oh but my darling, what if you fly?” — Erin Hanson
I came to the beach, and I thought it would be better. Hoped it would, at least. And it has to some extent. But here’s the ugly, bitter, obnoxious truth: there is no magical potion. No new Bible study or book, or old house or beach, or spectacular sunset picture or break from reality is going to eliminate this hurt and uncertainty. The quiet helps. So does the long drive with just Grady sprawled out beside me. The front porch early on a Saturday morning, empty except for me, my mat and my dog. Wine in a solo cup and a walk around the island like a local, stopping only to give directions to lost tourists.
Family feels nice. Grandparents. Cousins. Little ones burying my feet in the sand. And the light and the breeze and the warmth remind me that breathtaking beauty is never that far away, even when the winter feels especially long and bleak.
I finished a book of essays, and I liked it, and there were some snippets of wisdom that spoke to me, the most prominent one being about how brutal the middle can be: when you’re trying to figure out the lesson — the point — and how ultimately fruitless that guessing game is. Continue Reading…