Tuesday, August 2, 2011


(this one has been sitting in drafts for a week . . . finally hitting publish).

Of the most important things in life there are only moments, never enough...





rich conversation

snickers chimichangas . ..
(oh yes you read that right; there is a snickers bar cozied under that mess of goodness!)


The most precious times and people are the most difficult to write about.  We ate too much and slept too little and didn't stop talking for four days straight . . . exactly what I hoped the trip would be and more.  

And coming home was magical, too . . . the sweet faces I found waiting for me at the airport.  
For days, I couldn't stop touching them.

I don't know why I am this way, but transition sends me underground, every time.
It is this in-between place so hard to find my footing . . .  
leaving one good thing to go to another, 
I get stuck in the gap. 
I do not know what to do with it. 

I heard it described once a long time ago on npr as though the plane has landed but your soul was never meant to travel so fast, it can't catch up with your body and is still trailing mid-air, suspended on a giant umbilical cord somewhere between Denver and Cleveland.  
That's the way it feels.

But I am learning to accept it, to give myself the time and grace to feel my way in-between.

The thing is the good-byes, the either-or. ..
they were never meant to be. 

"The problem with good-byes is how much they feel like death . . ."
so begins the book I began on the plane,
and I felt this feel of death acutely while I was gone, the empty spaces around my knees where children are meant to be . . . and back home the empty spaces of friends I left behind.
I don't like it.
I want my friends and our talkingtalkingtalking and the calories and my husband and kids and you-are-my-sunshine and red rocks and big sky and silence and city-
I want them all, together.

And so for a few days I hug my kids and stumble around the unpacked suitcase-
and then there is another transition, more good things:
a few days on the farm,
 a favorite aunt moving close,
aunts, uncles, cousins.

Driving home finally one daughter in the backseat, so much like her mother, 
she's weeping.
She'll be fine when she's home, but it's the car ride that hurts,
the in-between;
leaving one good thing to go to another-
it was never meant to be this way,
she's convinced.

Me too.

I think it is the Fall that we feel- 
why my daughter weeps.
Good-byes feel too much like death,
they send us reeling, spinning.
There was this one moment of Earth-as-it-is-in-Heaven-
we peered in it's windows, remembered it's scent . . .
now try as we may we find ourselves still falling, flailing,
all off-balance, in-between;
homesick for the Garden.

It is difficult for me not to make impossible demands on my communities as I sometimes make them on myself. . . It is difficult for me to accept that all my beloved communities are going to die, and that even while they exist there are incredible spaces between human beings, and even the closest.  And, despite my urgings toward community I will always be, like Abraham, a wanderer, far from home.  But the people who are most aware of their own impermanence are the most able to throw wide the doors of heart and hearth to a stranger, to hear his message, receive his blessing.
-Madeleine L'Engle


Misha Leigh. said...

so beautiful and yes, yes, yes - and that quote is perfect!

Ruth said...

Beautiful, Jess. Again, I am right with you as we are heading home.

Shannon said...

Yes! This puts into words what I always feel when going from friends/time away to home.. or vice versa.. Thank you friend. Love you.

Fijufic said...

Wonderful post!

You always make me smile.


charrette said...

So perfect. I found myself exclaiming Yes! Yes! Yes after every word and phrase. And the longing for heaven, for the garden, for home...so poignant. You say everything so beautifully.

charrette said...

p.s. This scripture gives me so much peace in terms of our relationships and the in-between spaces: "And that same sociality which exists among us here will exist among us there [in heaven], only it will be coupled with eternal glory, which glory we do not now enjoy."