“The good news was that the buzzing in my head and queasy but some how exhilarating squeeze deep in my belly were reminding me that I might still, after all, be something else.”
-Julie Powell (p14 Julie and Julia)
Time has passed in such a way that come September, five years will have passed since I moved back to Texas after a couple of years in Toronto. My friend and mentor Paul bought me coffee just before I left. Paul listens well and tells stories. He knows about people. He looked me in the eye and said this: “Stay five years.” He chased those words with an explanation, that it would be good for me to put down roots after a lot of years of jumping around. He thought it would help me understand community and how to see people.
Five years, then, lived in the back of my mind for a long time as the target for this season. Texas (Austin excluded) and I are at odds in many ways, and I say that without intending to discount my amazing family and friends here. But my wiring-culturally, artistically, spiritually, and at the core of me-fits better in an assortment of other places. As this five-year mark approaches, I cannot help but wonder what happens next.
And honestly, I have no idea.
Last week I pondered the passing of time just north of Seattle with Carla, one of my besties. We have changed a lot over the course of our friendship, but a constant has been our willingness to listen to each other. Everyone needs a few people who get them through and through and who keep showing up, over the phone and coffee, through emails and chat, in bars and alongside of others. It’s a gift to have friends with whom the context doesn’t matter. We are.
Carla doesn’t have answers for me regarding what happens next. I don’t need her to. What I, what people need, need is time, to think and pray and listen and wonder and wander and fail and succeed, and this is the process of working things out. That is life happening. Put me on an airplane and let me out hundreds of miles away, and the fog of perception lifts to reveal that reality.
Life is happening. Sometimes I fear missing it, and fear cripples life, preventing the heart and mind from connecting and hearing God. It blares like a loudspeaker: You are missing it; you will never figure this out; you will never be content/rested/joyful; you are alone…
And honestly, I know better.
And honestly, that perspective makes me expectant and hopeful, putting that which was lame back into joint and smoothing the ground for feet to move not without effort but with ease.