I love words. They are the tools of my trade, but the emotions they evoke against the starkness of the page, continues to surprise me. There are words that make my imagination soar, such as a pilgrimage on the Camino de Santiago, the flight of a hummingbird, or a hike to Hanakapiai Falls. A word like prayer claims my heart with its austere simplicity. The words slumber party can make be smile, along with belly laugh, and baby fat (alright, diamond ring makes me smile too). Then there are the words that spin my world, words like mass shooting, starving children, or cancer. These words change everything, incite fear, and physically drain my soul.
“Anxiety is the dizziness of freedom.”
I want to curl up in a ball, in the fetal position, and retire to the darkness of my room. There is much in life that I cannot control and this frightens me more than I care to admit. I know life is precious. I watched my grandchild come into the world, a bloody bundle of joy, equipped with all the necessary gear. It was messy, loud, exhausting, and unforgettable. It made me consider the idea of preexistence. Didn’t her full potential lay dormant in the egg and the sperm well before a physical incarnation? What defines life? Some say it began with the word, “and the word became flesh.” Our very existence is mathematically improbable or the movie Star Wars would be a reality instead of science fiction. We are either an anomaly or an act of God. I think it is incredible that a seed, a book, or a lonely prophet all have the potential to bring about new life. I consider these things miraculous, they defy explanation, and can only be understood from a place of deep faith.
“Into this world, this demented inn, in which there is absolutely no room for him at all, Christ has come uninvited.” Thomas Merton
I do not like change. I’m a preservationist at my core. I was a Girl Scout, a peacekeeper, and the most homesick kid you ever met. I still live two blocks from where I grew up. I preserve the familiar like Egyptians preserve their dead. I’m a pretty cool mummy (pun intended). I don’t like songs to end, a story to conclude, or a rose to wilt. I’ll put that song on repeat all day (ask my neighbors), I’ll reread entire chapters to stall the ending of a good story, or God forbid you are a flower, because I’ll press you in a book before I will let you go.
I preserve, it’s my gift. I don’t even like to dust. I should really work in a museum. I think this is why I write, I consider it the ultimate act of preservation, a way to exist beyond time. But the truth is, time continues to race, as I witness my experience with mere words. Is this the best I can do? I do not know what happens next in this journey of life, but from what I have gathered so far, it will exceed all of my expectations. I make assumptions. From all the data, it appears that Christ was ushered into the world through a feminine portal, I have to believe our exit will be the same. So while I am here, I rest in the womb of Her good grace. The words I tuck under my pillow at night read #Godhasthis but I expect it to get a little messy.
Drop a few of your favorite words in the comments!