Monday, February 20, 2006

Not that it matters, but I've been gone on vacation to Southern California and Maui for the past 10 days. I've met some fun and interesting people in these few days. I hung out and laughed hilariously with my family. I swallowed a ball of wasabi. I risked. I got to know my brother just a little bit better. I kissed my mom on Valentine's Day. I delivered overdue gifts. I read a book- cover to cover. I buried my feet in the sand. I acted like I was 8 again. I sighed. I took a bjillion pictures. I asked God "why?" I witnessed beauty in many different ways. And yet, when I walked in the door just now I felt so very alone. I love being with people. I'm struck by the thought of how many times I've had this thought. Alone sucks. What I wouldn't do to share half my sheets and the rest of my life with love... And now I'm tired. At least I think I am because right at this very second I wanna cry. I know that I'm not supposed to-I'm a guy. Is there such a thing as holy discontentment?


Pete said...

Reading your note makes me wish I could spend my days responding to what you've written and what others write. Business gets in the way of life, it seems, so I don't have time to write much but I feel compelled to say a few things. Know that the reason I called last night a couple times before you made it home at that ungodly hour and one of the reasons for our conversation this morning was that I knew you would likely feel like this. Significant loneliness can come from having significant fulfillment.

I'll also likely get called for a "charging foul" but I'll say it anyway: lonely sucks; alone doesn't. By separating the two you can draw strength when it seems only discontent and emptiness are hangin' around. How else would you have had the nerve over the past year or two to become the good writer that you're becoming? How else would you have taken the time to put the issues "on the table over there" and learn from / teach your boys the way you've been able to. How else would you have learned to take risks in befriending a woman when the common sense thing would have been to run from the invitation.

And who the hell wrote the book on that "supposed to" bullshit? The more you become you, the less anyone else's supposed to's get in the way. Go ahead and be pissed (that probably crosses the holy discontentment line, but I'd guess people said the same thing about some punk carpenter who decided to just upend all the tax collector tables onto the sacred steps of the temple).

Give yourself the gift of your own consideration and kindness. You went out of your way to do that for another friend yesterday morning - you deserve that kind of attention and understanding as well. If you don't get that from others - and many times it's just not possible - you still have the chance to look in the mirror and see the same kind person that others do. Treat the person in the mirror with dignity as well.

I recommend gehaak and yearrappls.

Smaklik aetin yungaa.

Anonymous said...

Yes to the Holy Discontent. Alone can suck. Loneliness can be a gift. 8 is a cool age. Crying is a way of life. To love is to feel loss on occasion. Pete is a good man. Glad your home and posting again. I envy your trip. I care that your well or not. I miss your voice in my world, which is why I hit your blog every day with few exceptions.



Steph said...

You know I used to "travel" for a living and if I let myself, I would have been hit with this feeling every time I came home - more times than I can count actually. I would love to have someone "share half my sheets" or share half the parenting. Truthfully, sharing half the parenting isn't nearly as important as sharing my life. But...and this is a big BUT (kinda like mine! :)...when I walk in my house after a long time away, I'm just thankful. Thankful that of all of the circumstances that God could have handed me, He handed me these; the fact that every dream of mine has been answered except one. Who can say that? When He has given me everything my heart has ever desired except one thing, can I really complain? My life is so full, so blessed. Do I have the nerve to demand EVERYTHING? I know He wants to bless me, and He has incredibly. I also know that I've got two little girls who would look at my life thinking that they want the same thing when they're older, so who am I to tell them it's not enough?

I'm not trying to lecture you on seeing your glass half full - I know it already is. The richness of your life, and your awareness of that richness, is what makes "holy discontentment" possible. Thank God for that.

John said...

Thank you all three of you! Each one of you has been instrumental in my life in significant ways.
pete-thanks for helping me shed the 'supposed to' parts of my life.
mark-thanks for helping me learn how to listen sensitively and sensibly.
steph-thanks for showing me what balance looks like and for your incredible perspective.