Thursday, March 09, 2006

longing

I've been thinking. . .

I've been thinking that most of my life has been spent longing for something or someone.

Nothing wrong with that, in fact its good.

I wonder if there are any memories or experiences that haven't been coloured with longing?

When I was little i longed for dumb little trinkets, candies, all the toys in the Sears Christmas Wish Book!!! My sisters and I would lay on the floor and pore over those enticing pages. I longed for warm fuzziness in my life, like being at my Nana's house and that 'house smell' i loved. I longed for any occasion to eat her delicious food, watch her cuckoo clock, visit my Bop's study, with its endless entertainment for us odd little girls who typed messages on the ancient typewriter and elected a 'runner' to take them upstairs to our grandparents and parents. The desk and chair, the book-lined walls - i loved them because I loved who they belonged to. I don't know which i preferred, the kitchen with Nana or Bop's study. I always longed to spend time in the rec room decorated with all the evidences of their world travels. . the Charles Dickens "Curiosity Shoppe" tapestry, the scratchy red brocade chesterfield, the crazy exercise device that looked like a springy lounge chair, on which we girls would lie supine, then arch backwards and let our hair hang down on the carpet, then snap upwards to touch our toes. Good thing we loved it, cuz Nana didn't use it!!! I longed to look at the photograph wall - on which was displayed everyone in our family -- distant cousins, all the aunts and uncles and greats, and great greats - I memorized the poses, their faces. When my Nana died their house became my Bop's hermitage, where he hid and pined for 10 years before he left us. I longed then for the old house with everyone in it and the way things used to be. It had always felt as though this little place was the magical lynchpin holding us all together. Now i long for it in my dreams. I dream of them often. . they're alive, they talk to me, they drive, they cook. . they are real for at least 1 REM cycle, maybe 2 . . .

Sometimes in life i would long to go back, other times i would long to jump ahead. .but it was always dogging me - that restlessness. When transition came i wanted to regress back and go to comfort. Yet once I got used to it, i began to long for more. . . it was never enough. . i couldn't just be. I couldn't just enjoy 'now' without wishing and longing for days from now or months or years. . . Longing is such a restless, demanding thing. Its always pushing for more. I longed for stupid things on the way to being a grownup. . I vacillated backwards and forwards, wanting the past, wanting the future - never settling in the present. When my hair naturally darkened from blonde to brown, i longed for it to go back the way i knew it! I longed to have blue eyes, instead of the golden brown ones i had been 'unfairly' issued. When i outgrew my favourite clothes and had to pass them to my sister i longed to keep them!!! I remember wearing a ridiculously short dress, with my long legs miles underneath it, rather than see it on my sister!
I went to school with cute, little Cindy Brady-looking girls, so i longed to be cute and little. I felt so awkward, taller, larger. I longed to be like everyone else. When I became even older i longed for a boyfriend. I practiced kissing my pillow, which was really just dumb, but oh well!!! maybe it helped?!! When I had one boyfriend I longed for a nicer, better one and so on and so on. . and then finally i found THE one!!! and i longed to be with him always and not living in different cities, and i longed to wear an engagement ring. . then i longed to be a bride and plan a wedding, and I stocked my hope chest and practiced writing my new last name before it even was mine!!!

You'd think that longing would give me a rest. . but i began to discover that no matter what happened to me i didn't stop, i couldn't. The longings morphed into adult things . . Longing for a job to be able to make money to live on. . . of course years down the road, i now find myself longing for retirement!!! I longed to carry a child and carried several. . wonderful, marvellous, loved being pregnant - but towards the end i was longing to get them outta there so i could sleep again!!! Like THAT was going to happen, as i then began longing for them to stop crying, and then for them to eat normal food, and then for them to speak and walk and read and on and on. . Then came the longing for our own house. . . and when that came to pass, i longed for the money to be able to fix our fixer upper! Then i started longing to be free of our mortage.

No matter what was going on, there was always that yearny, longy feeling and i started to clue in sometime in my early 30s that all the things I had wanted and sought just never seemed to do the trick for me; which was when i had this epiphanous, light bulb moment where I realized that my longing was not necessarily for all these many, many things or people or goals or whatevers, no matter how wonderful they were. . . it was all for Him.

Okay, so I mean to say that I'm convinced that I am meant to long. Yes. I am. It makes sense to me, that's why its always there, that's why it drives me and never lets me be. I just didn't understand what to do with that and now I do. I long for spirit connection - I long for God. Have you ever felt that? when everything else and everyone else is there and still you feel it? You've ticked off this and that and the other from your Life's Accomplishment List and it gnaws at you. . .or maybe you don't have as many tick marks are you think you should, so you go and you do and you try and you seek and you accomplish. . nah, those didn't quite do it. . The swirl of it all can be quite exhilerating, the fun, the challenge, the risk. Its only in my quietest moments that I would feel the lack, and you know how it is -- quiet moments are at a premium.

So began my life with longing to know God and i'm living with that longing. Now its almost like i'm glad for it, because like anything else i've pined for or desired - its like I'm starting to get that when you embark on a relationship with someone you love, you can never know enough about them, you can never not want to be closer. This seemed to come naturally to me with people, but it was quite a revelation to me that I could feel this way about someone i couldn't even see!!! I feel now as if i have, in God, a focus for all my restless energy, and its cool how as i focus on him, nothing and no one else is neglected, because it seems that that he refracts that beam and it just illuminates everything so that I can see it the way it should be. So many years i bounced that beam everywhere, up and down and sideways, like it was a searchlight and then i found the target, thank God. I could breathe. I felt like i finally got it. . you know?

8 comments:

Lindsay said...

What a well-written post. I know exactly what you mean, and I think everyone feels this way. People don't ever want to live in the now, they either constantly look ahead or dwell in the past, ruminating on memories - and neither are good for you. If you always have your sights set so far in the future, dreaming about what you'll have in 5 years or what you'll be like, you'll always miss out on your life in the present. If you wallow in the past you'll end up like Bop, spending all your time wishing for the good old days and stagnating in the process.

Kathryn said...

thanx, Linds. I also do think that everyone feels like this. I don't want to end up like my Bop. . .he became a shadow man, he checked out long before he died. i want to strike a balance, live with gratitude.

Lindsay said...

You know, we see a LOT of seniors that live like that. They sit at home alone all day long with nobody to talk to, all of their family in different cities or even different provinces, never visiting and hardly calling - it's really depressing, especially when you can see their minds starting to go.

Kathryn said...

what a shame that is. . . You have an opportunity there. . to be a smiling face for them and a kind word.

Tee said...

Wow - I'm so touched again. I love how I feel after I read your blog.

So many of your memories are so similar to mine that it's eerie.

This post was well-written and insightful and I'm grateful for the wisdom you got at 30. I'm turning 27 this month, so now I'm a few years ahead of the game thanks to you. :)

Kathryn said...

Hi Tee!!! How are you, hon? When people have so many similarities. . that's what my friend Faith would call a 'soul friend'. . . hey! maybe we are soul friends?!!! *yep, i think so!* Sometimes i feel sad that it took me so long to get a grip, but i guess i'm just so grateful that i did!!! This post reminds of a Sue Rinaldi song "Restless" . . . I don't know if you've ever heard of this woman, but she's really talented. .

I'm so, so glad that Tracy L (Wit Is Not My Strong Suit. . ) told me about your amazing blog!!! You are just so boundlessly creative. . i love your blog. I just never know what will be waiting for me on Spilt Milk!!! humour, heartfelt thoughts, great pix, fabulous writing, etc. . .

Lindsay said...

update!!!

Kathryn said...

LOL!!!! Okay, okay. . . i'll get to an update soon i promise!! its been another busy week. blah!!!