Monday, December 5, 2016

Clenching Mercy

Pivoting in short, choppy--often, incomplete motions.

Back and forth.

Left and right.

Can't forget this and that.

All of it matters.

Whatever you do, don't stop.

These snap shots have been my life for the better part of several weeks.

Some of it is has been expected and is a remembered part of this season, but a good chunk of it is new.

Managing deadlines both at home and work.  Looking down to see that both my belly and my ass have grown a little too comfortable making my jeans a little uncomfortable.  Realizing that my kid has a project due that isn't just his but involves three others and supplies and it's Sunday night.  Watching my five-year old daughter count down the days until Christmas, swearing that I'll order that thing this afternoon or carve out time to really decide what in the hell Santa is going to put under the tree.  Wondering why I took on that volunteer "opportunity" and how it is that I will have all three children in different spots at the same time? Trying to plan a meaningful graduate course terrified that the students will call me out as a fraud.

While I was doing the dishes and editing the grocery list and grabbing the towels...I heard the extraordinary writer, Mark Nepo define poetry as the unexpected utterance of the soul and the frailty of the human condition as:

And I was reminded, yet again that this deal we do is hard.  Let's not mince words.  From time to time, it fucking sucks.  A good chunk of it is spent enduring instead of standing open to the possibility of what the day brings.

So in that moment, I just stood


And breathed, a sigh of relief.

A really, really big breath.

And I closed my eyes and un-closed my fists and tried to receive whatever it is that the world had for me.

And while in the moment, I had to grin thinking that I extrapolate ad nauseam about the power of possibility and standing open to the availability of the extraordinary in the daily mundane....until it comes to me....and my life slowly turns into..."well, everything will be better once I make it to Thursday night or Sunday morning."  Meanwhile, a million moments go by and my teeth are clenched, my stomach is in knots, my mental to-do lists are cycled through repetitively and I'm just making it.  Most of the time, it's not a bad making's just a dulled engagement of what could be.

Mercy is trusting that you don't have to know.

It's the indomitable fact that you can't possibly be in control all of the time and that surrendering to what could be is the greatest form of inhabiting the moment as imperfectly and beautifully as one can.

And so this morning on my run, I released. little by little...unsure but hopeful...which I think is my mantra for the new year.

I'm done with knowing.

I'm in need of mercy and grace and the divine and the blessed possibility that comes with the great unknown.

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