Friday, 21 March 2014
None of us are any one thing.
We seem to carry the capability to be everything inside our selves.
Therefore I wonder, is it possible to be honest?
Or on the contrary, are we honest then all the time?
I don't mean honest with our words, but honest with our actions.
Words are only words. They are what moves my soul
But I am also well aware of the limitations of words.
That they can never fully express what we can never fully express.
Which is everything.
That's why these lines of poetry appeal to me:
"Between the lips and the voice, something goes dying
Something with wings of a bird, something of anguish and oblivion.
The way nets can not hold water.
...and only a few drops are left trembling.
Even so something sings in these fugitive words.
Something climbs to my ravenous mouth.
Oh to be able to celebrate you, with all the words of joy."
I am more aware now of the complexity of our natures.
I understand better than I did before how possible it is to be many things at once.
And I feel that all of these things can be honest reflections of who we are.
I feel the soul is trampled by the noise of the world.
By the excess of information available constantly to us.
There is no relief from the tension of it.
I feel more tense than I ever felt before all the details of everyone's lives were so readily available to ,me. I recognize that I am tense every evening when I read the news. I am tense when I spend time on facebook.
Somewhere deep inside, I know I wasn't made for this.
I remember how it felt to not know; to curl up in the evening with a good book or a movie or a good friend and just be present. I remember how it felt to truly enjoy nature. To not be so distracted. To give my full attention. To be mindful before it ever became a catch phrase, something people hold up as the ultimate goal now. Living mindfully.
Perhaps it is the ultimate goal as a persons general attention span becomes shorter and shorter.
I remember how it felt to just live. Without advertising it. To travel for months by myself and do truly amazing things without anyone else knowing about it. To take photos simply for my own enjoyment because the thought of sharing them with anyone other than good friends and family would have been absurd and strange.
I think one of my deepest desires is for peace.
Peace is elusive. Peace is troublesome.
Tension and noise are easy. They are dulling and numbing.
Peace is difficult.
Peace cuts and destroys until it is achieved.
I'm trying to clarify that peace is not the absence of conflict.
It's something more, something deeper.
Something that is missing.
It isn't being numb, having the senses dulled and deadened.
It's something that is missing.
I want to find it.
I try to remember, what activities used to give me peace?
Reading poetry. Listening to music. Writing. Being in nature. Traveling. Praying. Being truly present with other people. And strangely enough, to me, one of the most peaceful activities I can think of is picking blueberries. When we lived in Mandal I would go out into the forest across from our home and sit on the earth in the sunshine and pick blueberries for hours. My fingers would be dirty and stained and the scent of earth and foliage and slight decay was all around me. I was alone. I was surrounded by silence. As I would pick each berry, I could feel a tangible peace settle over me. A release of everything else. It reminded me of how it felt to be a child and I would think how much I missed being close to the earth. How much I missed lying on it. On the grass, on the sand, without worrying about whether I would get sand in my hair or grass on my clothing. How much time I used to spend outside. Maybe doing nothing. As a child though it never felt like doing nothing. It felt right. Beautiful. Expansive. It felt like life.
I still feel deeply and intensely how it hurts to live separated from the earth. The pain of that lack pulses in my heart. Always trying to tell me "you weren't made to live like you are". And I think maybe none of us were made to live as we do. As though we were separate from the One who created us. As though we didn't need the beauty of the earth. As though we could be filled with things that can never touch our souls.
When I was growing up, we lived on the prairies. Do you know what I mean by "prairies"? I mean endless. And you can never get this endlessness out of your heart and soul, no matter how far you go or how old you grow. It never leaves, this craving for space. And you never want it to either. The scent of wheat hanging in the air. The shifting light. No, you never want to give it up. Our house was on the end of a street with fields on two sides and no streetlights. You could see forever. After growing up there, no where has ever felt "big" enough for me or empty enough for me. As I grew up I often came home very late at night and every night, after whichever friend had dropped me off would drive away, I would stand in our gravel driveway and stare at the sky. On the hottest summer night or the most freezing winter night. Endless. Ethereal. The world in my small town was silent. Nature was everywhere with nothing in its way. The stars. There were so many. In the winter, everything glowed surreal. The snow stretched farther than the imagination and it was beautiful too. Sparkling and pure and untouched by anything. The winter nights were bright because of the snow. The summer nights were dense and black with the buzz of insects, busy and undisturbed. Each night coming home, I would stand in the darkness and I wouldn't rush in. It was peaceful. I was grounded. I miss the night. I can never really find it here in the same way.
These are the things I want to tell you. They aren't the "big" things. But they are the things I want to tell you. These things were "peace" to me.