Tuesday, December 23, 2008

Continuum: A continuous nonspatial whole or extent or succession in which no part or portion is distinct or distinguishable from adjacent parts.

"I am still every age I have been. Because I was once a child, I am always a child. Because I was once a searching adolescent, given to moods and ecstasies, these are still part of me, and always will be.... This does not mean that I ought to be trapped or enclosed in any of these ages,... but that they are in me to be drawn on; to forget is a form of suicide; my past is part of what makes the present...and must not be denied or rejected or forgotten."

L'Engle writes to explain what is not putting away childish things. She continues in this passage from A Circle of Quiet: "If I can retain a child's awareness and joy, and be fifty-one, then I will really learn what it means to be grownup. I still have a long way to go."

Today for the first time, I feel older. The passage of time has caught me; I am aware. I see who I am in this moment, made up of all the moments I have already lived, all the child I was, all the girl I have been.

I think I will remember the last weeks and months I have lived as a Long, Slow Sigh. Freedom, pain, relief, memory, hope, fears - a long-held breath released as I exhaled years of pent-up air and found myself acutely aware of the now in which I live.

I like the person I am becoming, I think. I have grace to live with my flaws, and God works imperceptible, ongoing change in my heart. I can look at stark reality without dreams and not despair. I haven't plumbed the depth of my identity, and I don't need to know it now, but the things that I know about me are genuine.

Still inside me, and now in the air around me, is who I have been. The past enters the present and the old ache swirls, unfulfilled desire thrust into the fulfillment I own today. Juxtaposed against the happy, the lines of the old pain are cruelly dark, unrelenting and bold.

I ask the question; there is still no answer, and I sigh again to release the breath that caught my throat. I would not wish the ache away, but I do not feel its beauty. Unresolved, it lingers, and all of me - happy, sad, past, present - is reaching out for Him again. He knows the beauty of this marring pain. He knows how time is real to me, how every moment seems eternal when I mark it.

I make peace with it now, and it is here. I no longer need to escape, but to bring it to the light. To know it is part of my happy, part of mine, part of me.
Is there anyone who ever remembers
changing their mind from the paint on a sign?,
is there anyone who really recalls
ever breaking rank at all
for something someone yelled real loud one time?

~John Mayer, Continuum
I won't yell it real loud; it is not all mine to cry out. But I will break rank. I will be changed and I will remain and I will love and I will believe that this mark on my soul is a Father's mark on my heart, the ache that made me His own. The point where I learned of sacrifice. The sacrifice that taught me His Life.

I feel light fall across my face, and there is my shadow behind me. The sigh mingles with a welcoming breeze that brushes eddying autumn leaves aside.

I am aware now. I hold joy. I am no longer childish, but I am not grownup. I am whole, yet in Him I am becoming.

I still have a long way to go.


dancebythelight said...

Wow, this is a beautiful post, capturing a lot of thoughts I too, have had.

"I would not wish the ache away, but I do not feel its beauty. Unresolved, it lingers, and all of me - happy, sad, past, present - is reaching out for Him again. He knows the beauty of this marring pain." This reminds me from a quote from Nicole Nordeman's song, "Someday" (which is really beautiful):

"I believe it's the human condition
We all need to have answers to why
More than ever, I'm ready to say that I
Will still sleep peacefully
With answers out of reach from me . . ."

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