Author’s Note: this was written May 2, 2009; I was in a different place, but I felt the urge to repost it to remind myself of some of the growth my journey has taken.
While reading the NY Times, my eyes focused on an advertisement for a church service that said “Leap and the Net will be there…” But it made little sense to me, today, because I am lost in monkey mind, filled with screeching, wild little monkeys racing through my head. And statements like that tend to piss me off when days like today occur: the kind of day when even catching my breath and breathing deeply is an ordeal.
I find leaping shear dread, especially when the leap is one of faith. For you see, most of the time I am a coward, one who fears even his own shadow.
As Annie Lamott once wrote, “If you give the Devil a ride, sooner or later he’s gonna be driving.” And the devil and his legion, my demons, have been holding the wheel for a good while. I’m lost, in addiction, in fear, in stupid decisions, in caring friends gone amok. I’m lost in myself and I can’t seem to find my way back Home.
But as painful as that is, I am right where I need to be – in the moment.
The way is made along the way, the old Spanish adage goes, but how does one find his way along the way when he is truly lost along that very way? (re-read that again…if you need to)
I am made along the way as well, by grace that eventually comes, sometimes softly, sometimes as a storm awakening, but come it does. And I write this is the thick of the grand mess called my life. I am not writing this from some mountain retreat center with my soulful dog at my feet, no I write this from a friends’ tiny flat in New York’s Upper West Side, between Yorkville and Spanish Harlem. And let me be clear in no uncertain terms: I am not a big fan of NYC. It’s too much for me…
I’m at home in cities that have skies or anywhere I can see mountains in my line of vision and my dog as well. I’ve spent the better part of my life, over half to be exact living in urban America, mostly Washington, DC and some time in Philadelphia. But my heart lies in the mountains, be they Blue (as in the great misty Blue Ridge Mountains of Virginia) or be they Green (those delicious Mountains of Vermont).
And now I’m forcing myself to write just to try and save my rear end. Because when all else fails, follow the advice of great, earthy artists and writers, “Start with what you have” (not with what you don’t) and “Start with where you are…and kill that doggone self critical editor” (at least in the beginning of the writing).
So here I am; or am not. If I feel at all, it is little; or a torrent of dread, fear, and demons that hold sway in my little brain and squeeze the life out of my soul and heart. Squeezing out the Grace that God so generously gives to me.
Darkness is no friend or foe, it just is: penetrating, thick, the kind that feels disorienting when there is no adjustment to this type of darkness. It’s a bit like night blindness, something I am starting to have ‘issues’ with out of my left eye at night (the vision is sometimes darker, blurrier, and has no real adjustment period, it merely stays in the original black fuzz).