Friday, December 19, 2008

Into the Void I Speak

I am at my parent's home, the end of day 1 of 10. This will be a quick 10 days - so much is going on with family, holidays and birthdays. I feel like so much is going on everywhere and I am unsure of how or where to focus, what to do, how to decide. What do I do about school? What do I do about a job? How do I balance? How, why, what? Flashing before and behind me are questions. And yet I tend to make nonsensical statements and seem to remain on a relatively irrelevent surface, brushing through the day to day.

It is nearly 10pm Friday, and I have, more or less, been up since 7:30 am on Thursday. It was intentional for most of it, then the terrible sleep at the airport and on the plane - that sort of blank sleep where your body feels numb and your brain shuts off but doesn't really rest. And then another hour of that on the couch in my parent's living room tonight. Then? I went to bed. That was at 8. Am I sleeping? No. Have I really tried? No.

I am, instead, writing and brewing tea. Listening to the rustling of leaves and the whistling of wind. Feeling at home and yet homesick. Like most things worth thinking about it feels like a paradox. There are two quotes I like of Madeleine L'Engles on the subject of paradox:

"The deeper and richer a personality is, the more full it is of paradox and contradiction. It is only a shallow character who offers us no problems of contrast."
(A Circle of Quiet)

"We cannot seem to escape paradox; I do not think I want to."
(Walking on Water)

We are always in the process of becoming, of being, of moving, flowing, rushing, like the leaves outside or the wind - like the flames beneath my kettle. Everything is in motion. Like our very selves -in motion, changing. I was told last summer that, not in so many words, there was something wrong with me for not having known who exactly I was by the age of 24, 25 or 27 - that I always had to find someone new inside me. That even now at 30 I have set out a new plan (grad school I presume they meant) to try to do that. I am okay with not having known, I like mystery, so does God, that's why He never gave us blueprints.

I think in many ways our core never changes, who we were made to be in the truest essence is consistent, but the process of emergence is different for everyone. Because we are never the same from moment to moment, thank God, we have the chance to grow into a better and more loving person than the one who you knew before. This is from The Developing Mind, by Daniel Siegel (an amazing book on neurobiology and interpersonal relationships):

"We are always in a perpetual state of being created and creating ourselves. We will never be the same, and we have never been quite the way we are right at this moment."

If that isn't an example of the craftsmanship of God, an example of His intricate ever emerging design, I'm not sure what is. I will never be the same, I am thankful for that.

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About Me

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Portland, OR, United States
I am a daughter, sister, friend, wife, counselor and colleague. I am a work in progress. There may be some pieces out of place and things might be messy, but it's okay. I would rather accept that I am still unfinished than think that this is it. You can find my comments on faith and spirituality on my blog: And my comments and anecdotes on life at:

Books That Matter. Well, some of the many that matter.

  • Magical Shrinking: Stumbling Through Bipolar Disorder, Chris Wells
  • Pride & Prejudice, Jane Austen
  • An Abudance of Katherines, John Green
  • Dave Pelzer
  • Franny & Zooey, J.D. Salinger
  • I Was Told There'd Be Cake, Sloane Crosley
  • The Cloister Walk, Kathleen Norris
  • The Developing Mind: How Relationships and the Brain Interact to Shape Who We Are, Daniel J. Siegel