Tuesday, March 11, 2008

I wonder ...

Being in a quiet introspective place is always interesting ... being open to the ebbs and flows to life around you, while you quietly wait for the "what's next?" moment opens your eyes to many things ...

The other night I was falling asleep while the tv was on in the background more for noise than anything else ... one of the cop dramas was on and the characters on screen were having a discussion about a missing woman they were searching for.

One of them said, "Let me get this straight. We're looking for a girl that we have no picture of, we don't know where or when she disappeared, and we don't even know where she works ??"

After a pause he said, "Where do we even start?"

As I floated in that ethereal margin between sleep and consciousness those words rolled around within me, and I wondered how someone could possibly disappear truly without a trace ... surely someone would miss them ...

In the next scene it was revealed that the only way that this woman was identified as missing was because her room mate noticed that the cat wasn't being fed ...

My last thought as I slid into sleep was - "Gee, at least the cat missed her ..."

The next morning I awoke with those snippets still roiling around within my psyche ... as I got my morning coffee ready I thought about an email I once recieved that asked if I thought about my value and contribution to the world (I posted it here a little over a year ago) ... it compared our life to placing our arm in a bucket full of water ... our lasting contribution will be the hole we leave when we pull our arm out ... and we will be thanked, and missed accordingly ...

It was a humbling post ... I've often thought about it ... I remember a mentor in ministry saying - "never lose sight of the simple fact that everything we do day and day out will amount to a line in the Church history that says - "so and so was here ...." followed by the dates."

I've always wanted my life to be more than THAT ...

Right now as I realize that so many of the labels that I have lived comfortably with for so long no longer apply to me as a person ... I have begun to wonder what my lasting contribution to the world might be ...

But more than that, as I watch my friendships with many simply ebb away for a myriad of reasons, and I find myself feeling more and more alone ... not lonely - but alone ... I can't help but wonder if I am becoming like that young woman in the cop drama the other night ...

If tomorrow, I simply didn't show up for work and vanished ... I wonder how long it would be before my absence was even noticed ... and even then, how many people beyond my children and a couple of dear friends would even care ... I have no doubt I would be missed eventually, but that would not be an immediate reaction. It would be more of a ... "Gee, I wonder what ever happened to him anyway?" sort of reaction ... I've experienced it clearly in the last couple of weeks as contact with "friends" has again been sacrificed ...

It's a profoundly humble place to stand ... In this moment I am able to look backwards at the path has been ... and simultaneously look forwards to the path that will perhaps be ... and to consider what our place in the cosmos really is: What is our lasting impression and impact on the world ???

I'm thankful that despite these ever continuing losses happening around me, I have a small handful of good friends that have continued to stick by me no matter what ... I'm thankful that I have my family, particularly my children who I KNOW would miss me. But the rest of it - particularly those who have become bell-weather friends and abandoned me in the shoals that we hit from time to time, I can only shake my head in sadness at the shallowness of what was supposedly a "strong" friendship ... and for my well being, I have to let it ALL go and focus on what is life-affirming, helpful and positive ...

A new layer is beginning ...

4 comments:

Indigo said...

for a completely pragmatic (not jaded or cynical) leaaning on the edge of reason point of view - it's one less Christmas card to write!!!

Indigo

Indigo said...

I Wonder, wonder, who

WHO wrote the book of love??!!

Anonymous said...

I think everyone tries to focus on what is life affirming, helpful and positive.. Although you often mention "friends" who abandon and let you down in your blog.. Have you yourself never let down or disappointed another? Have you never withdrawn or a kept a distance or disappeared as a presence in others lives because you had to for your own reasons, you're own well being? I think in our own sorrow and pity for what seems lost, we often misdiagnose or interpret the reasons for that loss, and it is easier to reason it out to someone elses shallowness, rather than face the fear of what it is about ourselves that may have contributed to or may have caused the disconnection we are feeling to them. These situations are seldom one sided. We can often appease ourselves by convincing ourselves that it's "them not me" and I'll be able sleep better and focus better if I can just shake my head in sadness at them and their thoughtless actions. Even in my conversations and counsel with others, I too have done this. I have not been able to reason out the situation and therefore withdrew myself from it. And it was at times easier to then feel that because I wasn't being sought after or run to, it must be the fault of the other, when it was I who dismissed myself and they too struggled to understand. Even though I've encountered these situations several times with youth, it becomes no less painful to hear or try to understand. All I can offer is for you to try to see that everyone has their own reasons for their actions, and whether it is clear to us or not, it is likely that all persons are searching and at least trying to focus on their own positives. I wish you well in your journey.

Pat S.

shawn said...

Thank you for your words Pat ... I would never say I'm blameless ... and I know there are always two sides, and I have much to account for ... I have no problem with none of it ...

I've been too needy.
I've been in a place of desperation.
I've imposed my burden on others.
AND I've acted badly ...

Overarching all of it is a two year stream of losses that have been unrelenting and devestating ...

my journey continues ... I just feel the sharp absence of some folks I've grown to care deeply for ... and I share the blame for that ... and that doesn't help my hurt.

SO life goes on ... one day, one step, one moment, or one breathe at a time ...

The healing continues ... at least this time I'm in a place of strength ... and THAT makes ALL the difference !!