27 April 2011

Come Unto Me

Tired hangs off him like a million-pound weight, drips off him like he'd run through a summer thunderstorm. He's working and studying and daddy-ing and husbanding and it wears him thin, and I don't always know how to meet him there, how to touch that and bring him rest.

Rest is a hard word, hard for us right now because it feels like not working, and when we're not working we're not sure where the next dollar will come from or if we're striving hard enough to build a future. And it's different from falling into bed and sleeping at the end of a day spent rushing and fighting life and feeling like the best we can do in this life always falls short.

And yet rest we must. "This is a season," we say, and we both nod before we head back to work or collapse, to veg or sleep because the energy is gone. Rest . . . rest is what will keep us going, what will help us see our way through this season, what will help us see the answers and the open doors that are staring us in the face.

But it's hard to stop. It's one thing to open hands and hold plenty loosely, and quite another to hold lack, need, and unknowing. It's easier to let go of something than to open hands and realize the offering amounts to . . . nothing.

The call, though, is not to offer something of worth, for that's largely illusion anyway. The call is to offer the present, to present the present and ourselves in it as an offering. Because that's all we have, ever, even when life would have us believe something different.

17 April 2011

When it's Silent

On days when God is silent, I try to listen anyway. If I can't hear him, I try to listen to the sun and the wind and the little voices and the big ones, hoping that I catch a word that spans two worlds.

Lately, it's hard to hear him, and hard for me to discern his voice when something comes and I wonder. I wonder if I don't hear him because he doesn't speak, or if he's speaking and I'm too confused or afraid to hear. I wonder if the words are pouring over me, but all I hear is the wind ripping across these plains. I wonder if, somewhere in the baby's babble, are his words for me, if I could just separate them from the nonsense.

Sometimes, though, I wonder if he's just not speaking at all.

God speaks through people and music and prayer and art and dance and in more ways than I can fit into this sentence, but sometimes he's silent. I'm tempted to think that he's an introvert like me, that sometimes he just needs to step away so he can be fully present when he steps back in.

But instead, I think he knows the place of silence, knows when his presence speaks louder than any words, and when it's enough to be near. I don't think he ever speaks when there's nothing to say, and that he knows how limited words can be.

And sometimes I think that's what he wants from me in return, someone to offer presence, not because he needs it but because he wants me. Words can bring us together but they can also help us keep ourselves a safe distance apart. That distance hurts him, the one who made us because he wanted to be with us.

So on the days when it's silent, I try to listen. And if I still don't hear anything, I try to be, to pull close and curl up and sit, until there's something to say again.

13 April 2011

Wandering Words

What to write about?

Should I tell how she climbed on my lap yesterday, fever making her so sleepy, and put her head on my chest and slept? How I knew I should wake her, if I wanted her to sleep overnight, but I held her instead because she was beautiful and warm and sick, and because I miss getting to hold her when she sleeps?

Or maybe I should talk about how I feel, connected to my body in a way I haven't felt (indeed, that I'd forgotten) since the days of hook kicks and ridge hand breaks and Basai Dai? How it feels so good to push myself, to find out how far I can go, even when I'm the weakest in the class, and usually the slowest, too?

Maybe I could find the words to talk of disappointment and hope, of waiting and waiting and waiting for the future. I could tell you of impatience, of angry words and fear, and also of rest and peace and joy, when we finally see a road sign.

Or maybe I will just wander with my words, touching here and there but never landing. Maybe I'll toss out hints and see what becomes of them, throw out the first part of a sentence and see how you finish it. Because thoughts don't come whole and life isn't tossed around in digestable bits and pieces. Sometimes, I have to chew a while before there's much to say.

Back with Imperfect Prose today, where it doesn't have to be polished or fit in the nice little box with the ribbon.