Yesterday, I found myself sitting in a booth at a lonely little Thai restaurant near my grandmother’s house. Contented by the smell of curry and spices, I took the opportunity to read through my journal from this summer. The first entry is dated May 22, and an excerpt reads like so:
“….I’m also gaining something else. I’m not sure what it is yet, but I know it must be great if my insides seem to cry out for it so desperately. I want to rest. Really rest. In my spirit. I want to process through the past four hellish and heavenly years of my life. I want to love on my grandmother, learn who my brothers are becoming before they fly from our nest. I want to cry in front of my father and learn to make bread like my mother. I want to look at a tree and see it whispering my secrets to the birds and bees. I want to read children’s books to get in touch with my inner child. I want to explore my city–Nashville. Discover the gems I never knew were there until I realized I’d never looked. I want to write letters and get puppy dog kisses and watch classic movies in black and white. I NEED to learn who God is. I need to learn how to pray and how to listen and how to combat depression and anxiety. I need to push myself to write. Today I was looking at the sky–it’s almost transparent hue of blue–and at the delicate edges of the clouds which seem to blend in so effortlessly. Do you know what I wished? That I could paint. Then I realized that I can, but with words. I am an artist. I am an artist but not because I create pieces of brilliant art, but because I see the world differently than most. I see the earth and feel its groaning to be let loose–freed–represented as majestic. Isn’t that, in a small way, what we all want?
So, I’m not going to become an RD this fall. I probably won’t become anything at all. But I will be a good person. I will be true to myself and my convictions. For, aren’t we all so often just walking liars in society? Aren’t most of us living to please someone? Apart from pleasing God, I seem to think that it’s ok to please ourselves as well. I heard a song once that says, “The family priest, called her traitor. She just smiled and said, ‘I think God’s a painter.'” I like this a great deal. You know, hard things or decisions are hardly ever the regrettable ones…”
Today, I find joy and contentment in my steaming mug of coffee. I find joy in the purring of my cat as I listen to NPR and in the sunlight as it passes through my window. I hear my mother’s voice downstairs humming a tune from my childhood. Oh what a racket, oh what a racket, Jonny got stung by a yellow jacket.