Sunday, January 21, 2007

leaving is the only way home

I want to keep walking away from the person I was a moment ago, because a mind was made to figure things out, not to read the same page recurrently...
I want to repeat one word for you: Leave...Everything will still be here when you get back. It is you who will have changed.
- Donald Miller, Through Painted Deserts, p.x,xii -

the heat today is oppressive. it lays on you like a blanket, clogging your nostrils and making it difficult to breathe deeply. it’s sleepy weather, only just gone midday, but i could easily go back to bed, or go lie in my hammock out the back and drowse the day away. i think about turning on the air-conditioner - but that would mean closing all the doors and staying inside, and i think i want to be outside. except for the heat!

it’s warmer outside than in. at least in my lounge room the tiles cool the room a bit. out side where i’m now sitting, the breeze blows occasionally, like a hot breath through the trees, stealing moisture from everything it touches. i wonder if there is a bush fire somewhere. the wind is hot. my laptop is hot on my leg. i can feel sweat running down from my armpits and it feels gross. but it’s kind of peaceful out here; the music of the tree tops as they bend and sway against each other, the low rumble of traffic coming and going to places unknown, punctuated by birds calling and arguing and performing solos that go unapplauded.

 i think i can understand why c-- wants to leave & go overseas. why she feels like she is dying here. not living. because i feel it too. the mundaneness, the sameness, the weight of repetition, the monotony of a life where nothing really changes – different faces with the same old problems and fears, the same outlook on life, the same gods of wealth and success in the cult of the next best thing. and i am a fringe-dweller. made to feel like i don’t belong because i don’t want those things.
if i had nothing, would i still be happy? could i still be happy? the irony of the question is not lost on me as i sit here writing on my ibook, outside my house full of technology, music, books – more things than i could ever need, and less than i want.

but truthfully, i want more substance, not more things. i want to be able to see what i have [truly see rather than just glancing without appreciation], and live in that space where gratefulness is more natural than breathing. i want to be inspired by life. in the words of hansel [he’s so hot right now], i want to “grip it and rip it”. i want to know what bark is made out of, and care desperately about what i do and give it my best shot...

instead, i’ll push this restless feeling down again, go inside and do my work, write some invoices, do some wedding things that are beyond pressing and should have been done weeks ago – i’ll go and shoulder responsibilities that have become mine because of choices i’ve made. instead of breathing free i’ll take the shallow breaths of the busy as they hurry from one thing to the next forgetting that life is only this moment. everything else is either gone or uncertain.

maybe today i will learn to live more mindfully, and i can journey a bit farther towards being the kind of person that can see the marvel of eternity beneath the skin of the mundane moments that are the substance of life. & maybe today i will remember to be thankful for what i have and not worried about what i don’t - i will be grateful that i have all my physical needs met, i have a family who loves me, friends who challenge me, a job that i like and a future that is cradled in the hands of a God who is good. maybe today my prayer will be ‘thankyou’ instead of ‘give me’ or ‘help me’.

& in my restlessness, therein is found peace.

1 comment:

Jen Waddell said...

A poem I wrote in 2003:
"Sit quiet and still befre the Lord.
Listen for His whispers.
Sit there for as long as you need."