a million questions,and one answer.

question

When I first started this blog, I was so proud that I’d decided to start writing again that I wanted to tell everyone. “Guess what random-person-at-the-coffee-shop/long lost relative/ old friend/every person who has ever met me? I have a blog!!!”  Then I realized that causes people to ask me a question I have no answer to.  When I tell people I have a blog, they ask me what it’s about. And every time, I have a similar response… I stare blankly at them, stutter a bit, “Uhhh it’s about my thoughts on… um… I don’t know, drrrrr, uh, I like writing…words.” Then of course, I feel incredibly silly, because most people write blogs ABOUT something, so I should too right? Maybe I also feel silly because I’ve just managed to forget how to speak English while telling someone I’m a writer. Awwwwkward.

Maybe I’m so tongue tied because while someone might think they are just asking me what topic I am focusing on, to me they are asking the question I’ve been looking to answer my whole life. For a few weeks, I got stuck on that question, what it’s about, and couldn’t get myself to finish a single entry. I started a few entries and scrapped them, wrote a few fragmented poems, but as for a real blog entry, I felt like I needed a purpose, or it would be a waste of words.

So, I took a hiatus, searching for a purpose for my blog. At the same time, I’ve been somewhat forced to take that same hiatus in my life. Never having been a fan of down time, I got busy searching for a purpose. Which is a bizarre thing to actively do, and somewhat anxiety inducing. It’s challenging to stay in the present moment when you don’t feel like you have figured out where you are supposed to be or what you are supposed to be doing. The irony of course being that each of those moments is most likely exactly what we are supposed to be doing, and a purpose in and of itself, and the minute I stopped searching, I realized that.

I guess that’s the point I was missing all the times I’ve spent seeking the meaning, looking for an answer to that intoxicating question, “What is it about?” That question was the reason I started undergrad as a chemistry major; I wanted to look at all the little pieces and understand. After a semester, I switched majors, because I was terrible at equations and I’m sure at some point they’d have banned someone who spills coffee on herself almost daily from using anything combustible.  I hadn’t found the answers I was looking for by analyzing the physical fragments, so I  majored in philosophy, thinking I would find the answers by reading and intellectualizing. Instead of atoms, this time I chose to break down ideas into tiny pieces and examine them from every angle. It’s also the reason I’ve spent years exploring world religions, faith, metaphysics. I’ve always been curious, and I think the question I’ve always asked myself was, what is it about? So when someone asks me about my blog, what is it about, I feel like I should have a brilliant answer, or at least a clue.

I’ll be quite honest, the last couple months have been challenging, because that “what it’s all about” question has been on my mind. I’ve put on a smile (and on occasion, a Santa hat) but often I’ve felt really lost and like the ground beneath my feet suddenly was gone. For the last year, the kids at work were my purpose, and they blessed me with a reason to wake up in the morning and be loving and kind, gave me a reason to challenge my old ways of thinking, and to step beyond my ego. I knew it was time to move on, and I left my job with a peace, because I trust that the person who stepped into my place who will both love and appreciate those children for the whole of their being.  But in the meantime, I’d temporarily lost my sense of purpose…or at least that’s what it’s felt like, and that left me spinning.

Yesterday, the ground underneath me stopped moving.  In a moment, it all made sense. What I realized is that my purpose has always been here, long before anyone or anything showed me what it was.   Those amazing kids at my last job let me step into the purpose I’ve always had, which was to learn to find the love inside of me, and to share that love with the world.   That purpose has always been in me, but I’ve  needed this exact combination of experience to remove the fear that kept it hidden.

So what is it about? It’s about love.

Today I woke up grateful for all the experiences that have brought me here, and the future experiences I have as I decide how to share that love with the world.  I also am grateful and have so much love for the person who first showed me what it felt like to live in my heart, and who has waited around four years for me to understand who I was.   Yesterday I think I finally understood what somehow he has always known, especially when we recognize that life can change in an instant, love is really all there is.

As I begin planning my trip to Thailand ( I will be leaving in the spring to teach English)  I know I can’t begin to imagine the things that will change.  I’m starting to accept that I don’t have all the answers, but I have the one that makes sense.   The biggest question I’ve been facing is how I wanted to spend those last few months, what my purpose would be.  I don’t want to spend the next several months dreaming of future adventures and missing the now.  Yesterday, I felt a shift, and suddenly I knew that I’d found my purpose again, and it’s so simple.  The  next five months I plan to spend as much time with the ones I love as humanly possible, because today I realize that’s what it has always been about.

love

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foreshadows, warmth, and burning blessings.

housefire

I saw them coming.

These burning blessings,

Disguised as tragedy.

Aching, searing, fiery.

Burning the walls to the ground,

Making ashes of the foundation.

Destroying all I loved,

Yet I never pulled the fire alarm?

Did I light that match?

The remains of my old life glowing

like hot coals.

And I know I need something

Something to fuel the fire.

Before it dies out.

I’ve been throwing paper onto the flames,

Trying to create warmth with junk mail, paperwork,

Certificates of accomplishment.

But I need something lasting.

Books? So many.

Stories I’ve been telling myself.

I toss them in and let them burn.

And minutes later, gone.

I scramble… how to keep it alive?

I don’t know what I’m saving.

These flames that stole my shelter

Yet keep me from freezing.

Fear ripping me open,

To fill me with light.

But how do I find peace

When the smoke of all that is lost

Makes my eyes water.

Lost in words;

“This hurts.”

“I have nothing left.”

“Why is this happening to me?”

Why is this happening to me?

Because I chose

To be alive.

“I’m here!”

I cried on my way into the world

and I demand answers!

I need to know!

Then…

A rogue spark of understanding,

Leaps from the flames.

If I knew the last page…

I would never open the book.

As I toss my questions into the fire,

I am surrounded by the eternal warmth

Of the unknowable.