Sunday, September 24, 2006
I've run the gamut of emotions this week.
And though I've felt them all profoundly, to my very core, I love that this quote - found in my Moleskine quote journal on the page titled "A Life Worth Living" - reminds me that even out of this, happiness can be born.
I've watched one of my very best friends suffer unspeakable pain this week - the kind of agony that only ultimate betrayal can produce. It's been heartwrenching to see her process the details and deal with them. She's strong, and then she's broken to pieces. She's stiff with rage, and then she's limp with sorrow. I keep telling her that the anger she feels is justified and even healthy. I'd be worried if she weren't angry. Then, I'd also be worried if she weren't devestatingly crushed. She's both. She swings back and forth from one minute to the next. When she's with her closest friends, talking through it all, she feels strong. But then she climbs into her car, and Carrie Underwood comes on the radio, and she sobs. And wails. "Jesus take the wheel, take it from my hands, 'cause I can't do this on. my. own." She has the capacity to feel deeply. It's what makes her heart break so completely. It's also what makes her such a beautiful servant of God.
Darren is a simple man. Wait. Let me explain that. He has a brilliant mind, and he's a profound thinker. But he doesn't need much out of life. He's okay with macaroni and cheese for dinner. He's content with his old collection of classical music CDs, WRR public radio, the Weather Channel, and books. He's grateful for back rubs from a wife who gives sorry ones. He chops down dead trees with glee, and plants new trees with pride. He asks me to take photos, so that we can document the process that makes this old house OUR old house. He doesn't need much - just a glass of ice water, a slight breeze on a warm day, an occasional nap on the porch swing, and a wink and a smile. He has the capacity to enjoy the simple things, and to enjoy simply.
Dani laughs. Seriously. That's her email addy. She laughs a LOT, and loudly. (Wonder where she gets THAT from?!) She often laughs at things that others do not get. What's so funny, Dani? Oh, nothing. BWAHAHAHAHA. She's not afraid to have an opinion. And if she's wrong, she's learning to accept that graciously. She doesn't share my philosophies just because they're MY philosophies - she has her own theories and ideas and understandings. The whole rest of the world thinks Matthew McConaughey is HOT? Well, she thinks he has a big nose and needs to shave his mountain man beard off, and NOW. Her belief in God and her faith in His promises is strong and mature, and it's her own - molded from her own life experience and her own study and prayerful interpretation. She's prone to arguing, but that's because she thinks freely. Frankly, I'd rather have a daughter who argues with me when I'm wrong (or even when she wrongly thinks I am, haha) than a daughter who blindly believes whatever I (or anyone else, for that matter) might say. (Please don't tell her I said that. She'll think it's an invitation to argue about EVERYthing. ;))
Change is hard, whether you're expecting it or not. My beloved sister is here. She made a decision 5 days ago that will change her life and the lives of her girls in unmistakable ways: she's leaving her husband. And though she's comtemplated it for a very long time, and thought it through, and talked herself out of it, and tried to "fake it 'til you make it" with him, and ultimately decided that this is the best move all around... and even though she struggles with the knowledge that God hates divorce, and she worries about supporting herself, and she frets over burdening my and my family... even so, after 14 years of unhappiness, it's time. And even though it's time, and she feels mostly peaceful about it, it's still scary. She's all settled in upstairs, and she's ready for tomorrow, and the next day, and the one after that and.... She has the capacity to risk life as she knows it. She's full of gumption and will, and faith. She'll be just fine.
This week, I wept with a friend. I raged with another. I cooked and cleaned and laundered and even MOPPED. I entertained, I chauffered, I babysat. I nurtured, I held accountable, I encouraged. I said yes to the PTA after saying no twice. Why? 'Cause I was needed. I have the capacity to be needed. If happiness comes from that, then need me all day long. I'm here.
Dear loved ones, I pray for you. For release, for forgiveness, for honesty, for courage. I pray for the capacity to feel deeply, to enjoy simply, to think freely, to risk life, to be needed.
For out of those things comes happiness. And that's what I pray for most of all.