Tuesday, October 11, 2011

i've carried

 . . . three - no, four - images with me for the last six years or so.

The first came compliments of college.  "Duc in altum."  Call it latin, call it generic catholic.  It was a summons to action given freshman year, very first day.  

"Go out into the deep."  Follow Christ, sacrifice the cost.  Walk the water knowing you'll sink and fall through.  But move.  Go.  Dare.  Drown to lift your head above water.


Second: sitting silent in a car with my best friend, lives intertwined at the time, looking at a bottle of water from Lourdes—and time standing still.  Lourdes represented every moment of forgiveness, healing and peace that I'd  been gifted in my life.  In my life, I tried to give every ounce and nuance of that understanding to him.  Three years later, it was and is a mystery why that reality was ripped apart.  But in those silent moments, there was no thought of repercussions.  No doubt—just joy in the grace and gift that was given.  Trust was a given.  Abandonment had reward.  Sitting still was an advancement in grace.

Third is, and will ever be, a roller coaster.  That term was a freaking mantra.  ALL, and I mean all, was chalked up to it.

When the safe box of: [history, call it smugness, call it everything I-thought-I-knew-so-well] - heh, call it a relationship - fell to pieces, there was nothing left to do but take a seat on the ride of life's brutish realities and peek open an eyelid with white knuckles.  I did not deny an emotion I had.  When I loved, I loved.  When I hated—and yes, I did—I saw it wide-eyed and pushed forward to peace.  I cried when I needed to cried; I dared to smile when sorrow started to drip away. It all was unpredictable in its motion, but reassuring in that yes, I knew I was on a ride.  Rides tend to go up and down, as rides do.  Who could expect less or more?  At some time the ride would halt to a stop . . . 

And now, creakily crawling off the nauseating, strap-you-in form of hell's amusement, I lurch to find the legs under me: shaky.  

Duc in altum?  I've been on dry land for a long time.
Forgiveness, healing, the goodness of what was?  Sure, those ideas can knock on my bullet-proof vest.  Take a number.
Who would've known that one can get used to a roller coaster—that the jolts can become meaningless next to hardened bones and skin, that a numb body no longer cares what it goes through?  It is what it is.  No discovery to be had.

I admit to it.  I am a gasping, shuddering, numb creature who sort of wants to crawl into a nice, motionless hole.  [Boring].  But isn't recognition the first step to recovery?

Fourth image—for oh, there must be redemption if I am writing this—is of the tomb of a slightly crazy little Italian.  

I consider him a good friend, and friends are allowed to tell their friends when they're being a little b*s* weird sometimes.


I spent hours being still there, closing eyes and saying hello, scribbling out thoughts to heaven and to Earth, smiling with the promise of things to come, bawling with the question "why" (mentally underline that a thousand times), returning again and again with gratitude to be there and hope in a promise.  

I move a lot, I go up and down, and I drown.  A lot.  Some days more than others.  

But in Assisi, I sat still.  

In my mind, I call back the sense of being there, miss it, and sit still once again.  

I get a little of the passion back again and say ~DUC,~ wooooooooo!!  and then drown (heh) and then remind myself again.  And sit still.

The essence of Lourdes and the sharing of that gift lose their sting, and I can look at their beauty once again, look again at the memory and the reality that is my life past.  And sit still with peace, once again.

The roller coaster soundtrack plays once again and the ground starts to lurch once more, but memories of truer knowledge, better promises, hustle in and drag me to solid ground.  And I sit still . . . prodding that calloused skin once again, opening those eyes closed shut to what could be ahead, taking those baby steps to trust little by little.

Waiting for the day when I can go back with the fulfillment of that promise and say: 

Here we are.

There you stand.

We rest and take a pause with you.

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