Someone posted this on Facebook. It felt like it was pasted there really purposefully. For me. I have tried to take a hiatus from blogging because of one pressing deadline and wanting to get going on the other one due this summer. Feeling like lately the hiatus has been less rest though and more paralysis. But … My brain is turning. It’s been a fruitful month with a Presbyterian Mission Agency Board meeting, then the editorial team meeting for a special Young Adult issue that will be put out by Presbyterians Today, Presbyterian Women, and Unbound next May 2014, joining the Deeper Story writer tribe, and winding down with UKIRK for the summer (saaaaaddddd).
A lot going on but then with the horrible week of tragedies and defeats – like tidal waves one after another crashing down on the world – it felt like it was almost too much to try to make sense of … So I mentally crawled back into the bed under the covers and tried to pretend it was still night. That I could still sleep, and eventually wake up to a day where everything would be sorted out.
Not so much.
Sleep is not friendly towards us these days. But, that darkness seems to cling nonetheless.
I’m not going to lie. There are days I can’t help but be totally self-absorbed and consumed with the going-ons in my little corner of the world. A friend – who also has multiples – calls it the “vortex.” Which seems like an apt name for that time period post-nap up until heads are in beds. I’ve taken to calling it the same. The vortex is enough of a challenge (to put mildly) to try to survive the day-to-day with my three little monkeys literally crawling all over me All. The. Time. Miss Banana loves to jump on my back out of nowhere like a howler monkey. D-Money will climb Andy and pull himself up by grabbing a handful of Andy’s hair and end up standing on his shoulders. We are seriously physically fighting for our lives each day. When I have a moment to let my eyes glaze over I have little left in me to turn towards the happenings on the rest of planet earth.
But I trudge on. Some days seem quick. Others feel as though the minutes are an eternity. Still, I try to remember all those hours and what I have done. And my mind turns to Daylight Savings Day and how it feels like my body is still missing that hour. Did we really spring forward already? I am pretty sure the kids sprung forward. They keep making bedtime spring forward. I am playing catchup, I suppose. But the light stays longer in the evenings so it makes sense that the kids want to drink it in a little longer. And I admit that I feel that longing, too. After a long winter the sunlight is delicious.
“Someone I loved once gave me a box full of darkness. It took me years to understand that this too, was a gift.”
― Mary Oliver
I guess there’s something to be said about how the darkness makes the light all the more sweeter. And sometimes it’s only darkness that gets me to see and feel it all. Which in turn gives me something to write towards … And those words though they may seem trite and random do something to me, too.
Words traded back and forth, words mimicked, words slowly stitched into whole sentences. Recently, while cleaning out the attic, I ran across a note on my oldest son’s first full sentence: “Mommy come pick me up after work,” a life-saving sentence for him that I probably wrote down with mixed feeling about leaving him to go to work. Words in books, rhyming Dr. Seuss words, Good Night Moon, and books with only one or two words per page, picture books without words for which we make up stories. Words shared around the dinner table, words sung by heart on Mark’s lap with guitar about Casey Jones the railroad engineer, words rejoicing in worship, words debating language for God, words spilled in anger, words recanted. Words with holy potential. The Word as the holy itself. “In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God” (John 1:1). (From In the Midst of Chaos: Caring for Children as Spiritual Practice by Bonnie J. Miller-McLemore
But I know people will say, what about how the power of words has been abused and taken for granted by nearly all of humanity? Still, I need this imperfect and messy platform for expression and connection, I need words, to hear them, to write them, to speak them, and drink from them, whether from seasoned theologians or from pithy status updates on Facebook, or from the children. Because there is something holy there … and a gift … whether in the darkness or the light.