I was blessed with another beautiful, overcast morning. It is under these conditions that I seem to come to life in some unexplainable way. There was a time when I disliked sunny days, it was always too bright for my eyes so as a default I welcomed today's conditions, but I don't necessarily feel that way any more. Lately, I prefer the clouds because here in Arizona, they are a pure novelty... people love the novel. With a small stretch of the imagination I can imagine I'm somewhere, well anywhere but here... perhaps Seattle, I've always wanted to head that way.
Nearing the end of Donald Millers book, I picked up a new one this weekend. It's one that was recommended to me by Tracey titled, A Severe Mercy by Sheldon Vanauken. I like the sound of his last name, it's kind of fun to say aloud, try it.
Now to say this is a "good" book would be like calling Monet's Water Lillies, "pretty." Not only a gross understatement, it just wouldn't be quite accurate. I think C.S. Lewis makes a similar distinction in his Abolition of Man, where he quotes a comment Samuel Colderidge made regarding proper adjectives used to depict a waterfall. Although descriptions may appear purely subjective, perhaps some are closer to the truth than others.
Honestly, I haven't been able to put the book down. It's brought me laughter, heart ache and tears, to feeling warm and fuzzy, to places of deep reflection. It's a memoir, so it's non fiction, but truly reads like a grand novel. Vanauken is an intelligent writer, interweaving great moments of truth, with creative story telling and poetry. This book is a love story, a conversion story, a story about immense loss and ultimate surrender, a story about life.
I'll have to dedicate a blog to some of the ideas, but perhaps at a later time.
At the moment, I just have so much going on in my head, in my soul... I want to put words to it, but I don't know really where to begin.
I feel ok. Perhaps quite restless and completely disconnected... but in some strange way, I feel comfortable with that. I feel like a drifter, though I live in surroundings almost too familiar to me at times. I feel liberated from neediness, though on any given day I may fall on my knees on numerous occasions. I feel free even though I fight a constant threat of being closed in...And though I deeply long for community, I am also becoming ok with allowing the longing to be left unfulfilled, In some ways I feel a strange freedom from others.
This is not to say I don't appreciate my friendships, I just don't need a group of people surrounding me to give me a false sense of worth... I don't need to be everybody's favorite person, life isn't a political campaign, and to borrow from Donald Miller, a lifeboat or a circus.
At the end of the day, I feel that I am at least nearly doing the best I can with the cards I've been dealt... and I must find contentment in what I have and also in that which I don't (of course i'm not talking about literal possesions). Everybody is dealt a hand in this life...and I'm learning we all have our own unique situations, different destinies, realities...and these are in turn influenced by a number of other factors (who we are) which only provides more possible cards in the deck. (I realize I could define this more succinctly but I'm choosing to remain somewhat ambiguous intentionally.)
When all is said and done we have to be ok with our place in life we have to be ok with life, our lives... I must do life, I must do my life. It may not in anyway reflect the reality of another, at least in specific terms, but it's what I have.