Friday, August 04, 2006

an ongoing conversation

tonight i saw a movie about a young girl encountering her first job, trying to make her mark on the world and get her foot into journalism. her boss as we find out is made out to be the devil, but a devil with very human moments. my favorite scene and the one that is most gut-wrenching to me is when they are in a taxi in paris, talking about the cunning of the boss as she depicts deposing her enemy from stealing her job at the magazine. you find out that in her quest to cover her own self, she has backstabbed her "dear friend" instead. and you sorely realize our young heroine, who is trying to make good decisions as she forges her way, has done the same thing... instead of her following on her boss's coattails as they exit the taxi and the boss makes an outlandish comment that "everyone wants to be us," she walks the opposite direction- a veritable two weeks notice reverberating along that parisian street.

i leave the movie mulling over deep truths that exist under the surface, smile on my face, but questions and confusion pulling at my brain's mass. and then i see anne lamott in the lobby... anne lamott whose writings about her stumblings in and around faith have given mine a voice in a new, fresh way. and i contemplate saying something to her which in the end comes out in a garbled bit using words like "stupendous" and "transformed"- sounding hyperbolic, but emanating from the heart.

i wonder often what i am doing. as i approach 30, and look at back at my life, what have i done to make the world a better place? all the platitudes i used to (and still deeply, internally) believe in have become less reality and more concept-oriented. i have been wrestling with God for four years now on the same thing, but the answer never changes. and yet i keep wrestling, in hopes that my non-activity is actually tied to God and not to a pervasive fear that is dictating my steps. right now i am reading two books: "the name of the rose" and "the saint's guide to happiness." in the latter book, i am currently reading about deriving the happiness that comes from suffering and found this passage to be one to chew on for some time:

"Among the saints there are many similar stories that illustrate the capacity of suffering or misfortune to disrupt the force of inertia in our lives, thus releasing energies now available for a new purpose or goal."

i am not seeking out suffering- who does except for sadists and masochists? i want to BE fully in the space where i am, but there's a yearning, a restlessness that pulls and tugs at me. have i always been this unsettled about life? i would hate to think of myself as a cliche (with the whole brink of 30 at hand).

burned into the lens in my head is a snapshot of a younger me, one unlearned to the ways of the world, believing love to be the greatest force alive. i'm standing in a field with banana trees stretching far into the horizon to a range of mountains between which the sun is setting. my hair is disheveled and frizzy. my skin looks dirty and darkened by the sun. one arm is around a small honduran boy in tattered shirt to my left and the other clutches a boy to my right. my eyes glitter and gleam with such a ferocity, like a beacon calling out that this is home, that here there is fulfillment. i am poor but infinitely rich.

and yet this conversation continues... with resolution at such a great distance!


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