[We] must be [people] of ceaseless hope…Every human act, every Christian act, is an act of hope. But that means [we] must be [people] of the present, [we] must live this moment - really live it, not just endure it - because this very moment, for all its imperfection and frustration, because of its imperfection and frustration, is pregnant with all sorts of possibilities, is pregnant with the future, is pregnant with love.
- Walter Burghardt
Last night I attended Candlelight Carols at Trinity Church in Copley Square. The choir performed beautifully, the candlelight processions were enchanting, and a packed out church singing Carols together finally brought out the Christmas spirit I knew I still had in me. What truly touched me, however, were the readings. I know many around me found them boring and were merely sitting through them before the music returned, but I found them to be inspiring. In an attempt to once again begin living life, not simply enduring it, I will be posting these readings as we lead up to Christmas. This posting is more for myself than anyone else, but I hope that others will be equally inspired.
I find that I'm letting myself find more happy or peaceful moments in my days, but I'm still scared. Every time I feel an ache in my ankle, I worry the tumor is coming back. When I make plans I look forward to, I prepare myself for them to go awry. What bothers me the most is the fear I have for the future. I worry my future children will have health problems much worse than my own. When I hear siren coming down the street when James is at school, I momentarily fear something has happened to him, or that something will someday soon. These fears are always fleeting thoughts, but the are more frequent. As I said before, I dread the loss. I want to be back in a place where the future holds hope. For now I hope that the positive moments of the present will eventually find their way back into my dreams of the future. Prayers for this are appreciated.
Ok, I thought I would post how I am progressing with my 30x30 goals. :)
1. Purchase a pair Warby Parker Glasses 2. Drink a cold Sam Adams while looking at a "cold" Sam Adams 3. Go to Wilmington and take cheesy photos :) 4. Take the trolley to Doyle's 5. Attend an author signing 6. Skate at Frog Pond 7. Work through my french text book 8. Attend one of Boston's quirky brunch options 9. Check a new state off the list (virginia beach) 10. Complete the Independent coffeeshops of Boston list (4 down, 9 to go) 11. Hug James as much as possible! 12. Decide my next career path 13. See Grace Potter & the Nocturnals in concert 14. Run a full 5k 15. Photograph the Polar plunge 16. Send more letters and cards 17. Own a pair of TOMS 18. Cook Julia Childs Poulet au Porto with Artichokes & hollandaise sauce (successfully) 19. Sing along with Carols by Candlelight at Trinity church 20. Watch the Godfather trilogy 21. Surprise someone 22. Take the girls to the Zoo (it keeps eluding us) 23. Enjoy a trip with James that does not involve work, school, or anybody we know! 24. Learn how to whistle loudly 25. Make good use of my library card 26. Swim in Walden Pond 27. Spot a classic Boston celebrity 28. Camp @ Boston Harbor Islands 29. Complete the Walks of Greater Boston list (one more completed, a few to go). 30. Be tumor free!
This is one of those songs. The kind of song that makes you want to stand alone, with falling snow kissing your lifted face, and simply breath. deeply. I apologize for the delay, though whatever I would have pulled out of my hat/rear on monday would not have meant as much as this song does.
This week has been heart breaking and cathartic. I have grown so tired. Times have been hard before, but there is something different this time around. Something very personal and difficult to explain. There are moments I can speak of, pain and revelations that I have shared with my closest friends. I have, inappropriately at times, publicly aired my frustrations through a variety of mediums. I have unashamedly given in to, nay, welcomed a murky world view... I felt I was drowning in that half full glass which I was desperately clinging to.
While hoping to not sound overly cliche, I have been a stubborn and terrified wanderer on an arduous spiritual journey. A journey where the guide seems bent on breaking me, or possibly just insisting I finally admit I'm broken. I have put up a good fight. I have stuffed my emotions until they finally started escape through the cracks. I questioned my sanity when trite television dialogue would make me weepy, but written it off as fatigue. Turns out I was not completely off base... I am tired. So very tired. Tired of disappointment. Tired working so hard at life with little visible pay-off. Tired of questioning the validity and value of my relationships. Tired of the pain of letting go. Tired of the contempt our society holds for each other. Tired by the knowledge there are people more worse off then I, tired that I can't sufficiently help them, tired of the fact that I often lose site of them. Tired of misunderstanding. Tired of my broken body. Tired by reality yet exhausted by those who can't acknowledge it. Tired of watching those I love be overlooked. Tired of being wrong. Tired of being right. Tired.
What I ask for are explanations and resolutions, but what I really am searching for is meaning. That is as clear as I can be. I don't know what I want, but I know it is more than this. I don't know what is coming from being broken and can only trust that I'll be stronger. But trust is hard. Trust is terrifying. Trust is something I am wary of granting, something incomprehensible during times of wretchedness. Times could be better. Times will be better. But I fear the better because I dread the loss.
I struggle with God. Not in His existence, but rather what I'm supposed to do with that, with knowing Him, with this relationship that is so unclear. I'm angry with God, even though I know my anger is misguided. At times I wish there was such a thing as Karma, life would be simpler than. I could believe that in my next life I will be a Muppet and the douche bags of the world will be stink bugs. I think that would make life a bit easier. Sadly, I do not believe that we know God because He makes our life easier. In fact, I'm sure he doesn't. One could argue that I don't know how much easier God has made my life, but face it, God did not force a fair existence upon us (thanks-ish). As much as I was "informed" growing up that my goodness will "add more jewels to my crown in heaven", I don't believe heaven is a place where people have bragging rights, and frankly, I've never been one for jewelry. But that promise of peace... that peace is something I desire now, and am still unsure how to procure it, or even understand it. I seem to find it in fragments.
Yesterday, it was in a pine cone. More specifically, the pine cone sitting in the base of my "christmas tree stand". A pine cone found by my husband, on our hunt for holiday decorations. A pine cone whose potential existence was the reason for James to get me bundled up and outside, out of my bed, and to stop my tears. It was something I could work with, something I could make beautiful and useful, and in that I found peace. Throughout our search, we also may have ripped a huge branch off of a tree at a nearby school, to fill in as a Christmas tree in our home...but that's a story for another day and another topic. :)
Today, I find peace in a song. As it washes over me, I stare at the pine cone and find hope in the reminder that I have someone to take me by the hand and help me stand tall. I think for now, that's all I can do.
"And there will come a time, you'll see, with no more tears.
And love will not break your heart, but dismiss your fears.
Get over your hill and see what you find there,
With grace in your heart and flowers in your hair"
I love food. I love cooking. I love making grocery lists, especially when they contain ingredients for a dish I have never attempted before. This week I will be preparing a chicken pot pie, black bean chorizo soup (with a hint of orange), and a russian vegetable soup. Comfort food for the cold and dreary days (temperately and emotionally)? Yes, please!
I have been saying this for 6 months now, but I will say it again. I would love to disappear to a cabin for 6 months or so. Bring James, some books, my camera, a couple of kayaks (apparently in this daydream I have some money to spend), our cribbage board. Basically venture into town for food and head straight back. To ponder, to write, to daydream, to enjoy the quiet... to live simply and to heal, this is a dream that will have to wait.