Wednesday, August 24, 2011

to hear better

I hear the edge, sometimes, in my voice.
It's that same ragged edge I hear sometimes at the grocery store, that I heard in my own mother's voice. It threatens and pleads, and sounds a little shaky at the end.
It's our way of saying we need help, sometimes. It's not at all attractive, but it's real.

Sometimes I come to the end of my rope. I think I will scream if I pick up one more upturned shoe, wipe one more crumb, remind one more time. I think, how did I get so old?

Comparison is the thief of joy, someone said.

I am struggling today, Friend. I am not finding the peace, not hearing the whispers. Oh, they are probably there, it's just all the clang and clatter in my mind drowns them out. I am the whirlwind, overshadowing the still small voice in all my self-importance.

Anne Lammott says the two best prayers she knows are help, help, help and thank you, thank you, thank you.

It's not at all attractive, how consumed I am with my first world problems. How I feel my husband must see me sometimes. How I escape easily into the company of strangers while a strange anxiety keeps me from picking up the phone. The things I've thought to myself when I hear that edge in another woman's voice. How we live, alone on our islands.

I so want to be a person who lives a life of yes. Yes, I have time. Come over, we'll move the laundry aside, don't mind the dog hair. Have another cup. Yes, I'm not too tired. Yes, I'll read the story.

How do I go from I just can't to a life of joyful yes? I need more of the Vine, because I am spent.

I'm driving Nicky to school and time stands still for a bit. He sings me the days of the week, the months of the year. He tells me the story of the Prodigal Son. "He spent all his money on silly things," he says earnestly.

There's a whisper. I have to drive for a while, to hear better. At home, I clear clutter, evidence of the souls who live here, and ask for help.

And I think what my Friend is trying to tell me is that I have an inheritance too, and it is precious, and it can easily be spent on silly things. But even more than that, just that there is love. Love is waiting with open arms.

Love is not constrained the way I am, and offers itself to me.

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