It was never intended for these pages to trickle into a diary. You know—”today I did this, yesterday I did that.” But it’s Spring. I’ve been through autumn and winter, and I realize that for six months I’ve been living a life I never saw coming. So, I find myself using these pages to write about a world that I would rather ignore because it helps me keep some semblance of sanity. The words I’ve written have felt, a little too often, dark even when the words themselves are bright.
But I wanna track back to the beginning, to the color, vision, and power of language. So in a hopscotch fashion, I have leaped around to land on: Strength.
Endurance, vigor, physical power, potency. How to define the ability to withstand and overcome the curve balls of life? I am not the only one with diary-producing issues. At least three people I know have lost parents; another had a serious operation; and yet, another has been trying to heal in the wake of separation from a 35-year-old marriage.
What, I ask my God, do you want us to learn? Could it be how to maintain equanimity under pressure? Perhaps it’s a subtle directive to keep our hearts open in spite of the ignoramuses we encounter (see?). Perhaps it’s as simple as a desire and need to find love within our courage.
I asked a minister if his faith was ever tested.
“Yes. Every day.”
“What do you do?”
No, I’m not a skeptic. I just want to hear what I know is the answer.
“Pray without ceasing.”
That’s all I wanted to hear.
I’ve been depending on the view from my window to help fill me up. In the morning, I watch the clouds gather. They are snuggled together like sheep, or like cotton balls with soft, tangerine colored edges. Some days they are scary in their weighted grayness. And some days, the sky has no clouds at all. I admit it: those are great days.
In the wee morning hours, say one ‘o clock, before clouds take visible form in the black-but-really-deep-blue sky, I watch the Moon through the same windows where the clouds will soon be. The Moon, in her guardianship of millenia of human genius and ignorance, is a tremendous comfort.
I willingly relinquish control to the sky, to the stars, to the deep blue infinity. In doing so, I somehow feel stronger. The time I spend trying to control what I cannot control is like fighting an undertow.
We cannot control the death of parents, and even though we try our best, we cannot control the destiny of our bodies. In spite of all the efforts we put into commitment, sometimes our partners will not be committed.
And so, I am taught to admit that great strength lies in surrender. There’s something zen about that, but I don’t really know what it is.