Dear ones, I have responded to your comments on my last post right there inside them. This may be the way, from now on. I have always felt clumsy, responding to comments, but whatever. I'm clumsy.
The day before yesterday was such a beautiful day. It was as though all my expectations for a giant depression crashed around me in giant shards of glass and from the glass emerged bubbles! And unicorns! And narwhals (but gentle ones).
I was feeling really down when I wrote that last post. It was all I could do to hold up my head. I thought to myself, how can I keep coming here to say the same thing for seven years? Does anyone want to hear this stuff anymore? But I know when I feel like that I have to crack open and be even more transparent. And it's true, honesty is always rewarded in my life.
This kind of clarity and light is essential to the Christian faith. Honesty is not some muttering of sins in dark corners, harshly demanded penitance or guilt-extracted confessions. It's being clear as still water, so all the stones are visible and loved despite their stoniness, or maybe for it. Being gentle with one another, accepting one another, these things clamber like vines over a foundation of honesty.
If we make it about appearances, about trying to be a certain way for each other, never showing what's going on inside, we are in terrible danger. This is how deep deception comes about, how leaders crash into the rocks, how whole ships sink. And it's no fun at all.
I remember a dear friend of mine asking me about The Eve Tree. "It's obvious in your book that you write about anxiety from a place of really knowing it personally," he said. "Are you ever afraid of people knowing that about you?"
I stared at him. What I wanted to say (I can't remember what I did say) is that if I don't tell the story, it will kill me. Anxiety loses its power in the light, because there is love in light and softness, and things can grow other than the mold and fungus that will eat away at your insides. Often, when I get negative responses to The Eve Tree, they are from people who really didn't like Molly. And I get that. Anxiety is not pretty. Being married to someone with anxiety is not always easy. But love is bigger, love is stronger. Love covers a multitude of sins, covers it like a blanket of flowers.
Don't ever let anybody tell you anything different.
Back to my beautiful day. I felt, the whole day before, that I was sinking and I felt that it was going to be a long plummet. So when I woke up the next morning and stuck my toe out of the bed to test the waters, I was shocked by the warmth around me, in my heart, even. It's often like that-- waking up. I pat around, look for my glasses, try to get a reading from my heart. Are you going to be trustworthy today? Any strange voices? How about my mind? Are you going to try to get me into a headlock again, tackle me at the knees?
I got up to a morning full of birdsong. I drew circles in my journal. I read your comments, which made me love you more. I made smoothies for the kids.
My landlord showed up and what a miracle! He had all this bamboo fencing and some extra workers, and he spent the whole day reinforcing my fences so the street dogs can no longer get in to poo and dig up my gardens. It was a very special present. He is a very special present, I couldn't ask for a better landlord.
It was cleaning day, and the kids and I cleaned and cleaned. I scrubbed the kitchen shelves. They badly needed it. YaYa and I made refrigerator pickles from a recipe that I pinned. I ate four large cucumbers, not including the pickles that I ate before they were even pickled. (There is certainly something wrong with me.)
In the afternoon I went to the market and bought bags and bags of vegetables and some new pears that I have never tasted before. I cooked brown masoor dahl and aloo ghobi and new, beloved friends came for Indian dinner and made just the kind of fuss I love over my food. Usually we eat Thai food, so it was a special night. They spent eight years in Goa and miss Indian food just as much as I do. Not that I'm complaining, with all this fruit everywhere.
After dinner we sat with a pile of fruit in front of us and sliced it up, piece by piece. Mangosteens, the new pears, which are sour and crunchy and might turn out to be a new obsession, watermelon, dragonfruit. We sliced fruit and talked and talked.
Truly, it was a beautiful day. The surprising kind that takes you softly by the hand and leads you gently. That is God and his way. Be soft, he says. Be soft.