My morning included an emergency walk around the block (just put your shoes on and get the fury and terror out of you) and a call to my sister (she’s not at work yet, she’ll talk you down), so you know it wasn’t good.
Forces were conspiring to make nothing work, to give me no good choices, to make me wonder, in fact, what the hell I was going to do with My Life, where was I going to live and how would I get money to make rent, and what did that say about Everything?
I was walking in August morning green heat.
I have seen two friends in the last two days, both have recently endured serious health problems. One said people tell her she must be alive for a reason. She said she didn’t know about that. The other said he is grateful it wasn’t worse, he isn’t sad or angry yet.
I go Job style pretty fast, I said.
I don’t think people live or die for any reason, not any reason I know. Dead people don’t argue with people who say, “Oh, well, it was her time.”
Both my friends were happy to see me, and I was so happy to see them, hugs, free language and talk about our families, where we’d been, what we had learned and done that was good.
One friend poured me a taste of the wine he made, it is made of grapes that are “brand new on the planet,” that is, have been just invented by scientists at Cornell.
It was excellent.
Another friend recently inquired about my prayer life, I didn’t know quite what to say, I am better at meditating than praying, what do I have to tell God? I understand it is critical to get quiet and still and clear and grounded, that is meditation, I think, which is a way in for God.
Only when I am really desperate, like the other night, and it was, as usual, around 11 pm. I was ready to converse in that obvious prayer type way, straight addressing God: “I have done everything I thought you wanted, I am a good person, I just want to do good things, why is this so hard? Am I not constantly letting go of things and trying to trust and this is how you treat me?” The usual Job.
My usual answer (from whomever, whatever) is: why don’t you go to sleep? You don’t even have to do yoga tonight, or meditate, if it’s too hard. Listen to a happy distracting podcast, lie cuddled in the dark, and give yourself a chance to fall asleep. You are tired. Give yourself a chance, to fall, asleep.
One Biblical idea is that the kingdom of God is now, that now everything is perfect in its own way, or that God is in the immediate, I mean right now now, not the now of when you hear about a job or you learn if you have cancer or not or after a glass of wine or after you get paid or pay off your credit card, but maybe now. Not even when I wrote this first part of the paragraph, but also now, when I am back adding to it.
I have been looking at old photos while back home, helping sort through boxes, and I am amazed at how from age ten to sixteen I was always hunched in and over, caving in my chest, which I felt strange about, my chest and thus my heart, which happens to be there as well.
I don’t look like that anymore. I only sometimes have to remind myself to push my heart out. It’s better.
Image: Esther Before Ahasuerus by Artemisia Gentileschi, Metropolitan Museum of Art.