Wednesday, August 12, 2009

Caught In A Storm

You say you're close, but I can't feel your embrace.
You say you delight over me, but I can't see your smile.
You say your love is everlasting, but I don't feel your presence.

If I am too small to reach you, and you won't pick me up, then why wouldn't I feel orphaned, widowed and estranged?
Like a baby in a crib, crying to be held and comforted and loved, whose parents turn their backs and walk away, she knows no comfort.

If what I experience of you is fleeting then how can you expect me to know closeness?
Or intimacy?
Or warmth?

How can you expect me to know love or kindness or hope when there's always something between me and you, or even me and someone else?
Something that cannot be easily breached?
Something few dare attempt to breach or even approach?
Something dark and fierce and cold.
It has a name. Mistrust.

How can I know love or hope or faith if I cannot be touched?
How can I be captivating or beautiful or anything good if I am not pursued? Embraced?
The beautiful ones, the captivating ones, the good ones...they are pursued and embraced.
They are wanted.
They belong...

Not I.
I don't really know what that's like.
I don't recognize it.
It is a glamour.
It entices.
It teases.
It promises delight and delivers emptiness.

I know orphaned.

You say, "I love you."
I hear nails screeching down a chalkboard, fraying the senses.

You say, "You are precious to me."
I hear words, words, words wordswordswordsWORDS...

You say, "Trust me."
I say, "Why should I? How can I? I don't know how..."

You say, "Let me show you."
I say, "Go for it..."

Saturday, August 1, 2009

Dead Weight

My heart has been stirring in me for a while now, directing me toward a big move. This will be the biggest move I've made since graduating high school.

I grew up in the Houston area. After high school, I moved to the Dallas-Fort Worth area to attend college. I've been here ever since.

For the past few months, I've been feeling the pull to relocate to a new city. This means a new job, a new place to live and a completely new life. It's particularly challenging because I'm not one to just up and leave.

I've worked for the same organization for 19 years. I've been in the same apartment for 16 years. During the course of my time here I've accumulated stuff. A lot of stuff.

This week I started the process of downsizing. I'm giving stuff away to friends or donating it to Goodwill. Some of the stuff might be considered valuable.

I had a bunch of etched glassware that I gave to a friend. She asked me if the pieces are antiques. I think, since the pieces are at least 70 years old, that etched glassware might be considered antique by some. I don't really know. I don't really care.

I do know that, regardless of how old these pieces might be, they're just stuff.

Really, they're just items. Things. I don't really need them.

There's a difference between what I need and what I want. Most days, I forget that.

So, now I'm in the process of downsizing. I simply don't know what to do with some of the things I've been keeping. Old slides, photos and yearbooks, where the only people who might have some emotional attachment to them are dead.

The question that comes to mind as I process through things is this - When does it become dead weight?

I'm admittedly at the early stages of recovery from being a packrat. The easy way is to hang onto stuff. It's also a bit lazy, I suspect. Just put it way and don't think about it.

The problem with being a packrat is that, eventually, a time will come when the hard work of cleaning house is necessary. We can't spend our lives lugging around things that have been passed down from earlier generations. A lot of it proves to be dead weight.

This is true of emotional and attitudinal things, as well. Downsizing takes work, particularly if it hasn't been done in a while. But I don't think we can live in freedom without it.

As you look at your life, what are you hanging onto that's become dead weight?