When the curtains of quiet pulled down forty-plus days ago, I have to admit: I was scared. I’d never chosen such a complete reversal of everything-I-did to just sit silent and listen. And now I’m here, in the everything-I-am-now.
The strangest weaning was Facebook, after all. When I signed off, a friend of mine was awaiting a baby. Another was struggling with illness. Two days in, and I was begging for relief; I wanted to click that little blue box and know what was going on. It didn’t take me long to realize that I had been subbing Facebook interactions for real relationship. I picked up the phone and called the sick friend. I emailed and sent love to the pregnant friend. I wrote a lot of letters, emails, made connections. Connections I realized I hadn’t even quite realized I had dropped. I only occasionally visited Twitter, mostly on Fridays, to share the link love and check in.
I Instagram-d like nobodies business. And in the process, I fell in love with social media again. I remember what social media was always about for me: telling the story. The people I love to interact with online share the story from where they are at. Their art. Their kids. Their loves. Their triumphs. Their failures. Their faith. Their journey. And I remember what it was I loved about blogging- the combination of images and words, prose and poetry. The view from here.
I’ve come to realize that when I forget that there is a Story, and an Author, and that we’re all characters in the mix of this amazing creation called human life, I lose the joy. You get tunnel vision, you know? Sometimes, it’s getting too focused on our own tragedies. Sometimes, it’s getting too sucked into a story that isn’t ours. Sometimes, (frankly), it’s reading stories we shouldn’t be reading. We know their poison, and we drink it down anyways. And that crowds out the things we should be living for, the chapter we’re supposed to be writing, the poem, the script, the book, the novel, with the Author and Creator of us. That’s the beast hiding in the pretty bushes when it comes to working and writing and reading in an online world, and it’s as old as the centuries; there is an Enemy of our souls, and he’d rather drown us in overload. If it’s all noise, we can’t discern.
The here-I-am-now? The delight is back. I’ve spent nights in delicious sleep. Afternoons quiet, curled with a good book. (Ok, mentally quiet. In point of fact, the kiddo noise in the afternoon can be deafening!) I’ve just been me. Mother, wife, friend. Artist. Getting better cook. Leaning into the curl of his arm lover. Seeing the joy. Playing. Turning Scotch and Irish music waaay up, and dancing free. Loving my red-brown hair for the first time since it dawned after the pregnancy with Isaiah, nearly eight years ago. And the silvered grays that are peeking about in places… and paint. Paint on my fingers. Paper in my hair. On my cheek, where my beloved laughingly brushes it away when he comes in the door. Oh, I’m sure of the storm on the horizon, but I’m also sure and solid now, firm on the rock. Let them come. I’ve got a big God, and He’s writing my Story. It’ll be okay, even when it feels like it isn’t, and even when I can’t see it.
My birth-day may have been way back in September, but these last forty days have felt like a preparation and celebration of where God is going to take me in my third decade; I’m not scared anymore. In fact, I can’t wait to see what He’s calling me to next. He carried me through the craziness of the last few years, and I trust Him wherever He has planned next, even it’s back to the depths. It’s okay. I’m just going to dance.