longing

Posted: October 8, 2012 in life
Tags: , ,

You are tired,
(I think)
Of the always puzzle of living and doing;
And so am I.

Come with me, then,
And we’ll leave it far and far away—
(Only you and I, understand!)

You have played,
(I think)
And broke the toys you were fondest of,
And are a little tired now;
Tired of things that break, and—
Just tired.
So am I.

But I come with a dream in my eyes tonight,
And knock with a rose at the hopeless gate of your heart—
Open to me!
For I will show you the places Nobody knows,
And, if you like,
The perfect places of Sleep.

Ah, come with me!
I’ll blow you that wonderful bubble, the moon,
That floats forever and a day;
I’ll sing you the jacinth song
Of the probable stars;
I will attempt the unstartled steppes of dream,
Until I find the Only Flower,
Which shall keep (I think) your little heart
While the moon comes out of the sea.

e.e. cummings

it’s  been a weird season for me recently. lots of good things, but also, the first time i’ve been able to sit back and appreciate what life is really like. i just spent a whole year working my ass off at two completely different but somewhat related jobs, without my usual capacity to function outside of work. i was on auto pilot for the most part, aware that this wasn’t really the fullness that i had hoped for when i decided to stay. living in some sort of intentional community that broke and completely reformed during the last year was yet another piece of the puzzle that was my life.

and now? well, i only work one job, and i got to eat a gluten-free cookie… nope, that wasn’t it. i work one job- the one that i actually liked- and i get to be deliberate about how i do that job- spend some time planning and preparing for it, collaborating with friends to make it a more enjoyable and enriching experience for them. (today? it’s columbus day over here, and whatever your thoughts on that, it means a day off school for most of our kids. garrett and i took 10 kids from our camps to Bounce U, a big inflatables place. it was a riot. and not at all what we planned to do, but hey- improvisation.)

mornings are a time where i get to run errands, plan trips, write talks. hang out with my roommates, see my friends (well, those who aren’t working a 9-5)and drink tea. it’s a lot more slow paced than last year, less frenetic, more measured.

this is the time when i have to start thinking about what i’m going to do with the next five years of my life. there is so much upheaval coming at work this year (it’s my second year directing-some would say first full- and my building is being renovated starting next month) and so many challenges facing me. i have interns who need my full effort, who want to succeed and who i want to see succeed. my kids are getting older, and more relational. one of my first kids is now one of my best streetleaders. they need the best effort that i have.

and this is an important year for me- getting the chance to see what i’m made of- can i do a good job of this? is this what i want to do for the forseeable future? i feel a lot better about it than i did the day that i first came back: my thought during closing program that day was, can i do this for another year? it all seems so pointless. i get that now. the point is just being there. and albert and i have very different styles.

all of which to say, i need to apply for another visa. and for the first time, i want to have a choice. i know i don’t, whatever the borders people decide to do is their prerogative, but i want to be able to choose this for another year, two, three. i don’t know. partly, because i want to reap the benefits of how hard this year is going to be.

and then there are the people.

i started the year with 5 roomies, which quickly became two, then three, now, for a while, four. losing and gaining people quickly was tough- it took a lot of the little energy i had left to begin to process the hurt that i had from the people who left us. january, february, march… those were tough months. we took some time to figure out what we were trying to do, brought another friend partially into it, and ran with it through the summer. when everything kind of broke again. schedule and routine has so much to do with our health. i’m discovering, as i get older, that i need a schedule. i need to give myself routines, expectations. summer flips things on its head. we’re beginning to restock and start again.

knowing your audience is half the battle, right?

michael joined us at the end of the summer as we were beginning to see that we needed to hit reset, and has created a conundrum for me. this person who has known me since i first arrived in camden, at this (my first real job since university) work, and who has been privy to all the joys and sorrows, struggles and frustrations that the past three-some years have held, is back. and for some reason holds the image of ‘home’ for me right now. brings up the longing for places that i cannot be in, and yet encourages me to remain steadfast in who and where i am.

and then there is circle of hope, and the people who are part of that.

and there’s a lot there too. people who are important to me, and who i care for deeply. the ways of relating in the US and the UK are so close and yet so far removed from each other. i am blessed to have friends here- particularly when they decide that i need to eat dinner and that i should also help make it… and then let me talk. so. i just talked through all of this. and i don’t feel the greatest need to rehash it again.

so i started with a poem.

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