I’ve been thinking a lot about how we say God gives and takes away.
We focus on how God, in his almighty power, has the right. He has the right to take what He thinks doesn’t belong out of your life. We solemnly agree. Yes, God is just.
But like, I just don’t think we’re really getting it.
God gives, man. Like, he really gives. He gives and gives and gives.
And we, all like sheep, have gone astray.
God, how have I lost sight of it?
You know it used to be, about a year or so ago, I could take my makeup off for the day and look like a child.
When I was a child, I spoke like a child, I did childish things.
Now when I wake up tomorrow and I am bright-eyed and bushy tailed and decide to go natural for the day, I’ll see it. Or rather, I won’t see it. The child’s face looking back at me in the mirror.
We all, like sheep, have gone astray.
There are some whom, upon arrival, cannot sit still. They cross, back and forth, back and forth.
I am one of these. I am downright fussy.
Do you know, when I moved here, I did not know what I was doing. Hadn’t the faintest idea. I just knew I was moving. From one place to another.
And I’m good at it. I can make the split decision. I can do abrupt.
I can do it.
But what about you? What are you good at?
Some people see the beginning, middle, and end. They think. They detach, and, they calculate.
I am not one of these.
But it is okay. Why?
We compliment each other.
I got ready for the day. And it happened.
My mom once told me this story that, once she was at a restaurant right? And when she got there she spilled her drink across the table, and onto everything. She didn’t make it into a big deal. She didn’t cry out in alarm. She simply cleaned up the mess. She said to me,
“If you don’t make it into a big deal, will anyone else? Will anyone even see what you did?”
I’ve been living my life like that ever since.
Do you understand?
I don’t want you to see the mess I make. The broken glass on the floor that will cut your toes if you don’t wear socks.
But I want you to love me, anyway.
Sometimes, and only sometimes, this life feels so mundane. Like I’m walking through a desert ghost town in the middle of the night, waiting for someone to turn their light on, come outside, and offer to walk with me. Not to anywhere specific. Such is the way of things. Where will we walk to? I don’t know, nor, do you.
We get ashamed and self-conscious of the mediocrity of our lives. Working, sleeping, twiddling our thumbs. Staying awake at night listening to the cats breathe and the fan run.
If you don’t make it into a big deal, will anyone else?
I think I think (yeah, that’s a mouthful) that a lot of us say we want to be found as we are when in reality we want to be found as we’re not.
Huh? What does that mean?
You’re not a princess. Or a warrior. Or a warrior princess.
But you want to be. Don’t you? Or at least thought of as one. I mean, the actual job title might be a lot to measure up to.
While I lived in San Diego I took the same road to get to work consistently. I never took another road, I only took the one. And on this particular road, I not being the only one who perceived it, there was this one spike in the road that all drivers tried to avoid when bypassing this lane. There would be a string of cars in front of me I’d literally see curve in front of me in a U-like fashion, just to avoid this spike in the road. I followed suit. We all did it.
In a similar fashion, it’s always when I’m doing this one optical repair I hold my miniature screwdriver in such a way that I have a permanent hole in my hand from where I repeatedly stab myself in this one spot.
Could I hold the screwdriver differently? Sure.
Could someone remove the damn spike in the road? Yeah sure.
But I want you to see me as I’m not.
I want you to hear me, as I am.
And then I want to salvage the two.
There’s this patient that comes in right?
He filled a prescription with us quite recently, not even a month ago. Every time I see him he has a new bone to pick with his glasses.
The core issue?
“I should’ve just bought a new frame,” he says “instead of using my old one.”
Shoulda woulda coulda. But really! What a fussy little man, I think to myself. So much regret over such a small thing. So much angst. The same ground we cover again and again and again. Yes, you should’ve gotten a new frame. But you didn’t.
But you didn’t.
So I’ve been thinking off and on all day. About these little regrets we carry with us throughout the store. How even a bunch of tiny little regrets like this one can weigh just as much as one big one, if only we give it enough thought.
Consumption of the mind.
I was washing dishes earlier today, quite in a hurry. I mean, dishes man. Enough said. But as I was finishing up draining the sink I kind of told myself:
Don’t forget to empty the coffee grinder. For the love of God don’t forget to empty the coffee grinder.
So I didn’t. I really didn’t. Because in the process of doing such I ended up spilling the grounds right onto the floor and missing the garbage can by a good twenty feet or so.
I grabbed the broom and dustpan in a huff and just stopped.
I thought of that pointless, tiny, little shell of a man.
And I cried.