Wednesday, July 27, 2011

But the places that used to fit me cannot hold the things I've learned

(If you haven't yet, please do take a moment to advise me about what my blog can or should look like in the future: everything is changing! Please comment.)

Today I was walking back home from Central London. I crossed the Thames and navigated past Waterloo Station during rush hour, then made my way to the flat of some friends who have been gracious enough to let me consider their place home while I figure out what I'm doing with my life.

I decided to pull out my ipod - after all, most of the other people walking on the streets had headphones. Apparently that's what Londoners do. I'm all about cultural adaptation.

The second or third song that came through my mix was "Painting Pictures Of Egypt" by Sarah Groves. By the middle of the song I was struggling with tears. Why was this, I wondered. Was it because it's a beautiful tune? Well, honestly, I've heard better. Maybe the words? So I rewound to start the song again and started to pay close attention.

And I was take breathless. This woman was singing MY heart!

(let this be a warning to any of us who think song lyrics don't really matter - somehow they went straight to my subconscious without passing through my noticeable brain.)

Here are some excerpts, some of the lines that most touched me. Note the boldface especially.

And the places I long for the most are the places where I’ve been. They are calling out to me like a long lost friend.

It’s not about losing faith, it’s not about trust. It’s all about comfortable when you move so much... and the place I was wasn’t perfect but I had found a way to live.

The future feels so hard, and I wanna go back! But the places that used to fit me cannot hold the things I've learned. Those roads were closed off to me while my back was turned!

If it comes too quick I may not appreciate it. Is that the reason behind all this time and sand?

You see, this morning as I was praying I was reminded of how much fear is in my heart. The excitement of transition, of a new phase of life, and of being in a place where I can cook and walk (!!) have helped to distract my heart from the sense of dread that I just might not make it. I can't help but wonder if I'll only last three months and hit the road again, because transition is all I know how to do... or that I won't learn how to live in community, instead hiding my head in the figurative sand of wherever becomes my home and never learning to share anything. Then there are the little fears, that the various practicalities of moving to a new place won't work out.

While I know I need to do this, it's so much easier doing what I've been doing. The future feels so hard and I want to go back! Well, I don't really want to go back, but I know how to do that. I don't know how to do this.

Because I'm worried that the places that used to fit me, before this decade of insanity in my life began... I'm worried they can't hold the things I've learned. I'm worried that the roads of friends, relationships, a home, a routine, that those roads were closed off on me when my back was turned.

I'm full of hope for this exciting new phase, but... yeah.

(this would have been an imperfect prose post, but as we say in Arabic, MABROUK to our lovely hostess Emily who just became a mother once again!)


happygirl said...

Oh Kati, what a perfect lyric for you to experience in your transition to "home." I know this feeling of wanting to go back, but the road being closed. I'm a mom. I wish I could go back and re-parent with this accumulated knowledge, but that road is closed to me. I can only move forward and do better with this new knowledge. And while doing better, I'm building new roads. Good luck in the construction. You can do it.

Babci said...

I think you and Sarah Groves may be right that some roads and doors seem to close off to us when our backs are turned. But I also believe that sometimes that is only our perception (i.e. the barriers and obstacles are not real) and other times there are alternate routes to “home” (or wherever else you want to go).

Surely, the important places that once fit you will expand to hold who you are today and tomorrow. Love knows no bounds.

You are more than the sum of what you’ve learned and experienced. Your heart is what we love. Stay full of hope.

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