Rebirth

“We are nothing like we were a second ago,” he wrote.

Not only are we incomparably and utterly different from who we were, we cease to exist now as we were seconds ago. We are continuously nothing, transitioning from being to non-being. Just as quickly as we began, we ended. Just as quickly as we were something, we are now nothing. Just as we were nothing to begin with, that transient state of existence presented itself and is nothing now. Created and discarded, lost, gone, replaced by the new. Quickly does the future take place of the past, so quickly as though they are one.

I try to define myself and my identity when it is impossible. How can you pin down something that changes? When taking a photo of flashing lights in a darkened room, trying to capture the way the lights line the faces of your friends leaning against the wall with the bed post inches above their heads, it is a magical moment that cannot be caught the way it is. The shutter is always a little too late. Labels are temporary. ‘Favourites’ are temporary. Everything is TEMPORARY. The fact is: I am changing. I am new. Again and again I am new. I multiply. Or there are multitudes in me.

“There is infinity in everything”, I say. Infinity is too big, too heavy for my understanding. Eternal God, you are in everything.

Soul food

You beam at me and I can’t help but return the grin. It took us one exchange of snaps to get straight to the ugly selfies. We took that walk to get Boba and you told me about your best friends from back home. We loaded our straws and shot tapioca balls as far as we could and gave each other looks as a muttering homeless man slowed by our bench. Maybe we’ll start a monthly tradition; buy food for the homeless in Westwood.

You’re brave. Creepy doll in the Halloween store? You batted the shit out of her hair. Hilarious. First time on a penny? You slid backwards and met the ground. But you did it again. You’re put-together and I admire you for that talent. I admire you even more for being what I am not.

You have an uncanny ability to bring out the best in others. I don’t understand how you see me the way you do, how you talk about me to the people you meet and even to your friends. I don’t get it but I am thankful. You are a certain kind of exquisite- it’s easy to be shrouded in your radiance. Your energy. Your acceptance. Thank God you were in the ice-breaker circle at an early orientation session and thank God you like my accent.

Meta

My thoughts are a spectacle in a glass tank. You can see me but I can’t see you. You know me but I am deprived of you. That’s not fair.
This is what I choose to share: it’s not fair.

CLOSURE

How does one say goodbye? Should it be implied in the slow turning of the shoulder? In the shy glance away, the delayed response? In paragraphs typed and deleted. In the way a mug is moved, never to be seen again? In the careful stashing of memorabilia; a laundry list in my writing? Here, hold onto that.

Maybe I’ll run into the night, like I never existed.

White Flag

How do you know when something is worth fighting through? Is it within my control to change this? Should I leave it altogether, escape, remove myself from the situation? Can this be overcome? Will things get better or is this destined for failure? How do I navigate through the possibilities, the thicket, the sinking sand and make the right choice? I don’t know any better so I surrender.

God grant me the serenity
to accept the things I cannot change;
courage to change the things I can;
and wisdom to know the difference.

Living one day at a time;
Enjoying one moment at a time;
Accepting hardships as the pathway to peace;
Taking, as He did, this sinful world
as it is, not as I would have it;
Trusting that He will make all things right
if I surrender to His Will;
That I may be reasonably happy in this life
and supremely happy with Him
Forever in the next.
Amen.

- Reinhold Niebuhr

Restraint

I need to stop over-promising. Saying I’ll be there for the birthday song when I end up eating a burrito at twelve instead. Saying I’ll call when I end up being welcomed into a new circle of people with my phone in my bag. Planning on a morning gym session when I’m most likely getting less than five hours of sleep. Initiating a group dinner date when I ditch for a trip to Target for command hooks. Texting ‘I’ll see you’ and having to compensate with frozen yoghurt or Jamba juice (because they’d work for me as peace offerings) when I end up meeting someone else. And then there’s me implying that I’ll see you again.

***
With you, my boundaries -without prompting- fall away like crumbling sand. I am losing the wrestle and I don’t want to play. Self control is a joke and I am desperate for transformation.

Proverbs 19:20-27
Listen to advice and accept instruction, so you might grow wise in the future…
Many plans are in a person’s mind, but the Lord’s purpose will succeed…..
If, my Child, you stop listening to discipline, you will wander away from words of knowledge.

Big Kid

It’s unfair that I’m expecting you to have your life together at your age. You’re allowed to be a little all over the place, asking people for favours, missing classes, that sort of thing. You’re allowed to doubt what you’re doing here, whether you’ve made the right choices. I need to be compassionate. You’re just a big kid looking for answers.