I’ve been feeling restless this week.
The kind of restless that climbs into your bones and settles there…waiting and watching — holing up like a rattlesnake poising to strike out out at some unsuspecting human walking by. My restlessness doesn’t inject poison; it’s just full of feels. This happens every once in awhile.
A tidal wave of feels so strong will overtake me that I can’t sit or stand or lay still. When I was younger I would get into my car and drive, looping the same freeways over and over again until I felt like I could stand to be in one place again. Before I had my license I would find freedom in long walks through our suburban neighborhood, counting the giant squares of poured concrete sidewalk, naming the events each one held. The place where someone rode their bike through still wet cement. The uneven spot. The potsmokers. The house where he beats her and we tried calling the police and not much ever changed. That one small stained place that no one can seem to remove where that kid only a few years older than us shot himself outside of his girlfriend’s house, the one whose little sister I babysat for.
I still walk. I still drive. I still try to find a way to calm my restless soul by recounting the memories of what once was and all the things that are.
Justin sent me this article first thing this morning.
In it the author, Melissa Camara Wilkins says, “When I stopped judging my feelings, I could start supporting myself.” That’s true. I’m always trying to get to the other side of things when really I need to just sit in this moment. Dwell here and let the life slowly unfold.
Sometimes the drama of my soul gets the best of me.
I was talking to Cory this morning and he asked me how I was doing. We talked about how we were doing well, just exhausted because sleep was eluding us. “It’s been a rough week,” he said. I agreed, “I’m basically just like FEED ME PIE AND HOLD ME. But, wait, what are your motives…” My heart is still reticent after all the times I’ve held it out hopefully then had it stomped on.
I thought back to a conversation I had with Micah this past weekend about trust. “I think learning to trust slowly is the best kind of learning to trust,” he told me. “Yes,” I agreed, “And probably being put in situations where you have to trust is necessary, right? I mean you don’t have to learn to trust in a vacuum.”
And then the conversation devolved.
“So true. You don’t learn anything in a vacuum,” he said wisely. I parried, “Except about sneezing. But you can’t really breathe in a vacuum. No air.”
“And dying of aphyscxization,” his spelling was going downhill. “So many metaphor,” I proclaimed. “Such writers,” we internet like no one. “Also that word is spelled terribly. There is not one letter hardly correct.
“Autocorrect really let me down. I feel like I got the first three letters right, phoned in the middle, and nailed the ending. If I can do the same with for my life, I’ll be okay,” Micah is always profound at the most odd of moments. Writers. We’re an awful bunch. We ramble and then bring it all to a brilliant finish.
My restless heart is restless for a reason. It is wild and looking for a place where it can roam free. A place where it can be safe. I said the other night, “I think all just want someone we can call home.” It’s true.
“I saw this image and knew immediately that you would love it,” Cory said, when he sent me this still the other morning from a 1962 film called, Ivan’s Childhood.
And I did. I think I was in awe at the woman in it. It took me a minute to notice the man because I was completely astounded at the woman’s total trust. The only thing she is holding onto is him. Her feet don’t touch the ground or a bridge or even a branch. Her arms are only around him. Her legs hang loosely beneath her. She trusts him. Implicitly. I marveled at this. At that moment a piece of me came open as I began to imagine what it would be like to trust someone this much. It is then I noticed the man. He is steady and strong. A leg planted on each side of the ravine and arms wrapped firmly around her, there is no doubt he will hold her up.
As I type these words, I find my restless heart has stilled. It has been running away for so long because it never had a place to run to. Maybe it’s time to find a home. Maybe it’s time to stay. Today is November 4th. Today I’m thankful for all the beautiful men in my life who love me well and are teaching me that trust takes time and I have more than enough of it. Time is not my enemy. She is my teacher and faithful companion. Today I’m thankful I’m beginning to imagine a home wild enough to handle my restless spirit, deep enough to challenge my wild mind, comforting enough to feed me pie on the days when I can’t even, and strong enough to hold me up when I lean into it.