Back in December when I started thinking about writing more consistently on this blog, it was a challenge to align my heart with my mind. My heart was completely on board but my mind kept telling me to not get ahead of myself. There was a faint whisper reminding me to look at the space between my posting history if I needed further proof of my lack of consistency.
My mind has been reluctant to admit this has been a sweet surprise to have posted every Monday since the beginning of January. My heart swells and pumps an affectionate response of knowing it was always possible.
I thought from time to time, I would share an update or another thought related to a previous post or a short tip for living a slower life. These posts will be shorter in length and perhaps give the writer and the reader a little breather (wink).
On Wednesday I finished the book from last week’s post. I choked up several times while reading the last several pages. For those non-book enthusiasts, I won’t write at length about how the sentiments of happily ever after felt more applicable upon book completion.
Last week, I was reminded of a piece I wrote for an online writing class I took in 2005. I started this blog the following year. I posted those words as my first attempt to share with others. So much has changed in 15 years but so much has remained the same. I am including a paragraph excerpt without revising it. There are sentence fragments and during this time, I loved using the ellipsis. Because this is my writing from the past resonating with the present.
There are many times that I feel as if my bookmark has fallen to the ground. I scramble to pick it up as if by simply holding it in my hand, it will magically replace itself. I rifle through the pages trying desperately to find my location. Where am I? If I backtrack needlessly, it is fruitless…territory already covered. Lessons learned and vision restored. If I jump ahead of my place, I will only be skipping important details that are essential to any good story. Oh, it is so tempting to sneak a peek, just one juicy tidbit to keep my interest engaged, but that morsel will be all the tastier when it is revealed at the proper time.
Why had my bookmark fallen? At that time, our children were 16, 12 and 2. We were at the beginning of one of the deepest, darkest times of our lives. It was a prolonged season of loss, grief and immeasurable pain. I recall being asked to speak at church possibly in 2007 and expressing how it had been the hardest season of our lives. I would advise never saying those words because life can get even harder. The crush of those years has passed however I don’t know if anyone ever fully recovers.
I cannot count the number of people who are suffering today. They are people I know and others I won’t ever meet. To be honest, it is overwhelming. To them, life is not simply a book to be leafed through. It’s an assigned textbook too difficult to comprehend or desire reading. It’s not being able to articulate a sentence which has changed days and life as it once was. Many days, I can remember wishing to go back a few chapters, before our narrative changed.
I weep with you today.
One hard reality I remember during our times of trial was how some people will come close and others will withdraw. Pain is uncomfortable. I will confess to wanting to help others but also not wanting to hover or intrude. I have learned drawing near even in silent presence is always better than quiet from a distance.
I extend my arms toward you today if you are in a hard place.
If no one knows your pain, text a trusted family member or friend. Don’t live in silent pain.
If you know someone in pain, reach out even if you feel you don’t have adequate words or might say the wrong words. Presence wins over perfection every time.
If you feel you have no one who can share your pain, my email is on the sidebar.
You are not alone.