Wednesday, May 29, 2013

Displaced, But Not Discouraged

This morning, I spent a good two hours staring through the glass windows in the living room that led to the gardens belonging to this house and its neighbors.  I stared and stared but could almost see nothing, as the autumn was giving way to winter and the trees were almost fully covered with a white mist.  Some leaves peeked through the fog, reminding me of their presence.

I wasted away the hours, partly because I needed time to finish my bowl of barley and oats with some honey and a serving of banana, the healthiest breakfast I had ever known, and partly because I needed time to reflect on my own displacement.

Like the garden, my life was before me but I could not see it clearly.  Everything was shrouded in mystery and suspense.  True, I had known better than to pin all my hopes to Sydney and My Gap Year, but still, there were times when I wish I could see the future, both immediate and faraway.

This displacement was self-imposed, planned, long-considered, and welcomed.  And yet, as I had not been fully transformed into perfection, I continued to be gripped by fear on seemingly futile nights of empty pages and silent inboxes, and visited by doubt on mornings that could have been beautiful had I been wearing my rose-colored spectacles.

I blamed God.  I questioned God. I begged of God to speak through my doubt and make me a happier, more hopeful person.  He who had carried me through all my unpreparedness in life, all my dependence, all my little indiscretions of the mind and heart - He always got the blame.

Someone told me that in this time alone, I should not expect all my life's questions to be answered.  Perhaps, he said, it was time to face the questions.

But the questions could be dark and depressing.  Certainly, they were not pleasant to the eye and warm to the touch.  They were cold and lifeless and unyielding.  I wanted everything to be handed to me on a silver platter, with a silver fork to consume it with.  I did not want to go through isolation and uncertainty.

There were days, not many, when I would grow tired of reflecting, and I would get restless.  I would look up options not really consistent with my life's direction.  I would make plans that had no signs of my passion.

Another wise fellow shared withe me that when he and his wife left the city for a while and tried provincial life, they got to know themselves better.  What he said was already familiar to me; however, the confirmation was real and reassuring. It was going to be worth it.  Jumping, leaping, to stay hungry and foolish, leaving behind all self-judgment at the lateness of the choice, closing my eyes to the doors that could lead to alternate lives where I could pretend to be another version of myself: happy enough, comfortable enough, and still asking questions; the words of those who had journeyed with me would be the silent force that would sustain me.

Something happened, both expected and unexpected, that displaced me once more.  That's why I had to sit, stop the aimless fluttering, and regain my bearings.  Where was I? Why did I go here again? Who did I want to become? What was being asked of me to do? What was the point of pursuing myself, when I could never be whole, when parts of me would always be scattered to the four corners of the earth?

I knew I needed faith, more than I had been used to.  No surprise there.  It was the grace which I needed all along.

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