Tuesday, April 10, 2007

By Accident

In some ways, I'm still on M-14, spinning, spinning, spinning around. My soul, my life, the whole wide world has spun right off of its axis and it's still going fast and I'm feeling sick, and I can't make it stop. Everything is out of control.

In some ways, I'm still on that median strip of land, turning over, and over, and over and everything is breaking all around me. Glass is flying in my hair and I keep bumping my head, thinking


But it just keeps turning, and turning, and turning, only now I don't have on a seat belt, and I bounce like a baby's sock left behind in the dryer. And the dryer is on by accident. All of this is by accident.

It really was the end of the world as I knew it. Or at least I think it was. Because I'm feeling, no, I know I don't know anything. I'm certain that I don't know, and now I'm lying because I'm not certain about anything. Maybe I do know. You see what I mean?

I use to think I was honest, but I'm not. My mask may just be a little thinner than some. I use to think I knew something about God, but I don't. I am the nontheologian. I don't know anything about God and I don't study Him. She is a mystery. I don't know at all.


Sometimes, I make myself into a tiny ball and find myself encircled in a womb made of warm hands that are vaguely familiar. Sometimes I hear whispers in a language that makes no sense except to some quiet place hidden inside of me that I can't get to yet. Sometimes a distant Lover steals kisses and makes me long to reach out to Him in my darkness and pull Him inside of me. But He teases me, and disappears before I can take Him fully into myself.

Sometimes I want to spin around, but not like in that big honkin' man car. I want to spin around like Rumi in God love. I want to spin, and spin, and spin while poems fly out of my mouth. Until I crash into you, laughing and singing in your ear like God's troubadour.

Don't you think the world needs a few more troubadours, of the God kind?

But don't listen to me.

I'm crazy.

I use to think I was a holy fool. Now I just think I'm a fool, but I don't know.

I don't know anything.

I've lost my head, by accident.



spwriter said...

Some random thoughts from another crazy person.

On Spinning

Aren't we all spinning, Mair? Maybe some of us (most of us?) don't see it because that turning, and turning, and turning is so slow that we think with frog-in-a-kettle certainty we're not really turning at all.

But we are. We’re spinning just as sure as the world is spinning. And in those moments when we recognize our loss of equilibrium because of sin or circumstance we cry out for the spinning to stop, but the reality is that this side of heaven we won't be so lucky and instead, as the turning slows or accelerates, we are asked to trust that we aren't spinning alone and accept this as enough.

On What You Know

I used to love editorial meetings back when I worked for a little publisher among a team of brilliant, passionate editors because every once in a while I said helpful things. People called them “moments of brilliance” and I loved those words even when they became more of a bumper-sticker to slap on something I’d offered on a particular day instead of any sort of deserved affirmation.

But the truth was…and is…that I knew just as much nothing as anyone else. Any meaning or value in my words wasn’t really mine at all. The truth or the brilliance came from somewhere else. I just got to hold it for a while.

This makes me think of hell. Okay, that was an abrupt segue.

I think hell is a place where all my words are turned back to me as “wise” and “wonderful” and “brilliant.” A place where people are always applauding me for authenticity and transparency. Even my lover might say “you are the most amazing person in the whole world” in this place. Hell is a place where I think all of these things must be true, but in thinking this I realize I am none of them. That only God gives these words any meaning and without Him they are bullets tearing into flesh, revealing an empty shell.

I think it’s okay to not know at all sometimes.

On God as a Tease

As further proof of my not-knowing, here’s what I think about the Tease of God: Yes. Simply that. Isn’t our life on this earth – an incomplete life that points toward a complete life – just a beautiful, frightening tease of God? I don’t mean “tease” in that devious sort of way that brothers tease sisters. Or maybe I do. Maybe there is some sort of holy deviousness at play in God’s incomplete revelation of Himself to us. Perhaps there is some joy to be had in watching us squirm – not because He delights in our pain, but because He knows that it is in our squirming that we sometimes wrestle to a greater understanding of Him.

Of course this is just as likely some heresy born of my own squirming. So stand aside lest the lightning strikes mightily.

On Holy Foolishness and Troubadours

Yes. We need ‘em. And you are one, Mair. A holy fool and a fool, too. Someone who doesn’t know a thing and whose admission of not-knowing is so full of knowing that it can only be God Himself doing the speaking. That sort of sucks, on a human level. Wouldn’t it be great if we could keep all those moments of brilliance for ourselves? I’d stack ‘em up on a shelf in my home…if I had one…and look at them every day for my daily dose of meaning and significance.

Instead, I guess I have to look elsewhere for such things. Like maybe into the eyes I can’t quite see of the One who is spinning with me; the one who helps me to realize that every troubadour and every holy fool speaking into my life today is just more evidence of His presence in their turning and turning and turning lives.

Keep losing your head, Mair. And I’ll keep losing mine. But if you need a moment of equilibrium to steady you for a while…stare at someone else who is spinning. It’s not quite as dizzying that way.

ragamuffin diva said...

Your kind words make me feel a lot less alone, sp. And they've encouraged me even though...


Joni said...

I hope these words will encourage you today, dear sister!

"My son (daughter), if you come forward to serve the Lord, prepare yourself for temptation. Set your heart right and be steadfast, and do not be hasty in time of calamity. Cleave to Him and do not depart, that you may be honored at the end of your life. Accept whatever is brought upon you, and in changes that humble you be patient. For gold is tested in the fire, and acceptable men in the furnace of humiliation. Trust in Him, and He will help you; make your ways straight, and hope in Him." (Sirach 2:1-6)

Candy said...

It's amazing how you put words to what's going on inside of me. And I haven't even been in an accident. Yet I still sometimes think I'm in that spinning place. You are not crazy. You are Claudia Mair. And I, for one, am grateful.

Bek said...

wow, i just clicked on and it looks like you are making up for lost time!!! can't wait to scroll down and read all your thoughts from yourlenten sabaticcal......

Michelle said...

Holy cow, that is some great description of a multitude of things. I already knew you were a great writer. I can really see in my mind what you went through. What you're going through. And I love you even more for it. Take care and stay honest, Mair. A humble heart is a heart that's close to God even when He feels far away.

Shanna said...

The other day in the car, T said to me, "The houses are racing!" T says all kinds of weird, non-sequiters and the traffic was crazy from some construction up ahead, so I mostly ignored her. Soon she said, "The stop signs are racing!" and again, "The houses are racing!"

And then I got it. The houses were racing. So I asked her, "Who's winning? Or are they just having fun?"
"No. Just having fun."

Man, I think I would have driven right off that road if they were taking it seriously.

You're spinning; I'm spinning; sp's spinning... And the houses and stop signs are racing and having fun.

What a world to behold.