"It's as if a great bird lives inside the stone of our days and since no sculptor can free it, it has to wait for the elements to wear us down, till it is free to fly." Mark Nepo

Sunday, March 8, 2009

Lost Hour


My clock says it's an hour later than my body believes. The calendar and my body say it's much much later than my heart wants to know. Some part of my heart is afraid that it's too late, period.

Every year, this lost hour throws me off balance. In a way that the regaining of it in the fall does nothing to compensate.

It's just an hour. I've lost hundreds, maybe thousands, of hours in my life at my own hand. Time spent trying to numb pain that only went under to emerge again at the next fully alive hour.

I'm jittery these days. On edge. Afraid. 

Nothing is wrong. In fact things are more right than they've been in a very long time. And yet the fear stalks me like a jilted lover determined to be taken seriously.

I'm trying to blame this time change that befuddles me every year. It's a handy target. Except the fear has been serenading me for weeks. 

And so I listen to its song and ask it questions. So that I can give it cookies and comfort and send it back to its cave.

This fear dresses herself in the plain clothes of humility and forbearance. She avoids attention and flash and anything that might appear to smack of too-big-for-her-britches. Her voice is reasonable and persistent. "You have enough. If you try for more it will just go to your head. Then you won't have any friends at all. You should just be satisfied with what you have."

This is not the fear of failure that I keep expecting to hear, although I'm pretty sure the humming in the background is hers. The loud song is fear of succeeding.

What if I get everything I've ever wanted and it turns out to be not enough still? What if this transition is everything I want and more and I wreck it? What if it turns out that I have the ability to create a life of love and simplicity and healing for myself, and even better, the ability to share that with others? What is the worst that could happen then? What if it's too late? What if I'm just fooling myself? What if that quiet voice I've worked so hard to hear and listen to is wrong after all? How do I know? Who do I trust?

My reply to this fear who moved in to keep me safe exactly forty years ago is this, "You have done your job well, dear one. You have kept me safe. You have created a good, responsible, respectable woman. It's now time for you to rest in the lost hours of my life. They are your safe haven and I give them to you gladly. I  claim the remaining hours for something dangerous and adventurous and vital. Trust  me."

photo from Flickr


9 comments:

Carrie Wilson Link said...

I am going through the exact same thing, but couldn't put it into such eloquent words. Thank you.

Sharon said...

The voice that is true is the quietest one - that is heard by the heart. Many sounds try to drown it out. Keep listening, my friend.

M said...

I loved this post because of similar thoughts that I was having today. I have to admit, you put it so much more eloquently than I ever could.

I simply say...fear not, my beautiful sister. You were given your gifts to share, and I pray that you continue to do so.

Love

Mark

Angie Ledbetter said...

I claim the remaining hours for something dangerous and adventurous and vital. Trust me.

Yes! Beautiful writing as always. Like gazing at an artist's work.

Kathryn Magendie said...

Oh! I can feel your post in my bones....beautifully said

(and yes, you are correct in your insight that my post today is full of yearning!)

deb said...

"What if I'm just fooling myself? What if that quiet voice I've worked so hard to hear and listen to is wrong after all? How do I know? Who do I trust?"

Me too.

Jerri said...

What a fabulous idea to send that fear to rest in those lost hours.

Brilliant.

I know a little something about this, Deb. Getting everything you ever wanted will not be enough. Honestly, it cannot be, because the end of the rainbow always moves into the distance as you approach it.

Enough does not lie "out there." It does not lie in accomplishment or achieving goals. It is and always has been inside you.

You have a spectacular gift for appreciation of every day. You recognize grace over and over. You carry a sort of joy in your person that few people ever even glimpse. I think it's because you've known sorrow.

Do you remember this passage from Gibran?

Your joy is your sorrow unmasked.
And the selfsame well from which your laughter rises was oftentimes filled with your tears.
And how else can it be?
The deeper that sorrow carves into your being, the more joy you can contain.


You contain a lot of joy, Deb. And you've earned it. The joy and the sorrow are enmeshed. And they are enough. Today. Tomorrow. Always.

It is never, ever too late.

You are headed for the stars, my beloved friend. And it doesn't matter which one or how long it takes to arrive. It's the ride that matters.

Traveling mercies to you.

Amber said...

"This fear dresses herself in the plain clothes of humility and forbearance. She avoids attention and flash and anything that might appear to smack of too-big-for-her-britches. Her voice is reasonable and persistent. "You have enough. If you try for more it will just go to your head. Then you won't have any friends at all. You should just be satisfied with what you have."-----


YES. I hear you.

:)

Ask Me Anything said...

OMHOG--You took my feelings and gave them a voice, a voice I needed to hear, today.