Month: June 2014
The clock in our office is five minutes slow.
As a result, or maybe for reasons having nothing to do with the clock, we start late and end late.
Each morning we sit around the round table in the middle of the room, talking about the weekend or the sunshine or a recent trip or traffic or childhood memories or previous jobs or whatever. It’s morning prayer time that always starts with conversation. We can’t help ourselves. We like being together and sharing life.
Each afternoon, we sit at keyboards clicking frantically.
“Go home!” our boss calls at us as he packs up his bag.
“No!” we yell back and give him one reason or another that we need to stay.
One afternoon it dawned on me how ironic this exchange was. I’m sure few employees argue with their boss to let them stay later.
The clock shifts methodically beside us, it’s hands stiffly ushering in each new minute. Under its watch, we send out teams and we travel with them and we pray for teams and their funds and their unity and their impact, most of all. We process paperwork and make calls and write and set budgets and book flights and problem solve.
Time doesn’t seem to follow the methodical measured nature of this clock It wanes and waxes, speeds and slows. Draws in breaths and exhales.
The nature of travel, our livelihood, is strung to this clock, yet how arbitrary it sounds, in its constant ticking.
That boy – the one I thought I was going to marry – is married now to someone else.
When I found out, I was strangely unphased, and phased, at the same time. He had been engaged for what felt like six years. It’s about time, I thought.
At the same time, it was a unsettling and anticlimactic conclusion to a chapter that should have been closed along time ago. He was the only one who ever had real potential. Our relationship was not a fantasy or a fairy tail like many others had been. It had all the uncompromisable parts, and some added bonuses too.
The night I broke up with him on the phone, he told me he would come find me in two years. He never did. Instead he met a girl on a plane. No one ever meets the love of their life that way.
I have wondered what would have happened if he had shown up at my door after those two years instead. And immediately when I have that thought, I’m glad he didn’t.
I know it happened the way it should have.
And then I wonder.
This is the tension between what’s lost and found.
Sometimes the things that drain you are the same things that refill you.
Dear present moment,
My eyes have been red for the past month — sometimes from dryness of the sun and the heat, sometimes from tears, sometimes from the long hours I have required of my contacts.
I can feel the fatigue ebbing and flowing in my veins. I can see my to do list growing longer, not shorter. There are fewer check marks by that list that I would prefer.
I can feel the sorrow and uncertainty gnawing on my peripheral consciousness. I am worried for the man who was always a source of strength, from my time as a little girl with pig tails to the woman I have become. There has always been more heartbreak mixed in with the adventure than I would like. But this kind is contains a special suppressed panic. I am so scared. I am so scared.
I can feel the the weeks slipping by too quickly. They are like sand in my fingers, pulling from my reach. Disappearing into the anonymity of the sea shore.
I can feel the joy, in the thick of it all. I can feel His whisper, telling me yet again to trust Him.
I wish that I could freeze you, stretch you into something longer. So I could get it all done. So I could dance with him a little longer in the midst of his uncertain future. So I could relish the sunshine and the trees and the mountains more. So I could listen closer for His voice.
If you could pause, just for a moment.
He was perfect.
He was tall and dark and had an essence of mystery about him. He was kind and open and honest. He had a little curve to his right upper lip that pulled up when he smiled. He knew how to look at me and really see me. He made me feel beautiful and smart. He was adventurous. He could talk with me for hours and then stop when it was important to. He eyes were sympathetic. He had a great laugh. He was honest and raw and powerful with a pen.
He was perfect except when he was not.
Except when he waffled between women who loved him. Except when he broke promises. Except when he loved me and then didn’t. Except when he was reckless with people’s hearts. Except when he was toxic for me and then came back to apologize. Except when the apology made everything worse because it just made me love him more.
Except when he made me realize that no one is perfect. Not ever.
He wasn’t even perfect for me. He might be for someone else. But even that is not any kind of perfection. That’s the thing about it. Perfection is a mirage you think you see in the desert. Fleeting and unreachable. For a moment though, you think it is in your sight. Until the picture wavers and flutters against it’s real backdrop.
He was perfect in my mind, for a moment. And now I know he is not. And the act of knowing, the process of realizing, cost me.
In some ways, I barely recognize the house I lived in when I was 12.
Instead of the simple four walls in a neat box, dormers launch off its roof and angles fetter its corners. It’s shingles are a darker tone. A deck adds an element of luxury I never experienced as a resident.
In others, nothing has changed.
A piece of scrap carpet still softens the cement floor in the living room. The bathroom still has a wood floor and a tub trimmed in exposed sheet rock. Its kitchen still lacks doors on its cabinets. There are always mud footprints across the kitchen floor and a stack of ruffled papers on a desk.
This house will probably always be a work in progress — a masterpiece not yet mastered. That is the fate of many a home of a contractor.
When I was young, it was an adventure. We helped pound nails and oil siding. We got dressed near the fireplace because its heat didn’t reach the back rooms. We were excited at every new development.
When I was a teenager, it was an annoyance. I just wanted lush carpet to sprawl out on and working facets and a house that was like everyone else’s. With six people and only three rooms, it was noisy and messy and full.
Now, it is a refuge. It is refreshing stepping back to this home. In all the upset of it’s constantly morphing state, its walls provide a slice peace. Life is simpler here, without cell phone reception and no TV as a centerpiece to its living room. It is tucked in the trees off a Montana dirt road. It is set on a hill over a lake. It is always green here, always lush. The air is clean and the night is so still, sometimes I can’t sleep without noise to fill the vacuum.
And tonight, as I listen to the rain on the roof of the newest room added to this house, it still feels like home.