Saturday, September 25, 2010

Ecclesiastes Experienced

On Friday I finished my first full-time work week in over three years, literally. It took effort to get to this place. A year ago I had given up on ever having a normal life; at the beginning of this summer, when all I looked for was escape and survival, my counselor asked me what it would take to get back to full-time work. And here I am. I eked up my hours over the summer - praise God for a boss and an HR department that were willing to work with me on this - and hammered out a weekly routine that would enable me to weather the work hours. At the moment, the routine is roughly half work and half rest. From eight at night till eight in the morning, I'm completely focused on storing up energy for the next workday. Weekends involve trying not to dip too deeply into my energy reserves. This is a reality of Lyme recovery. You don't just bounce back from it like after the flu. It's a war of attrition, or a siege - you either pick off or starve out the enemy, and it takes time.

Nonetheless. Here I am, choosing a life that I want, bravely dreaming for the future, fighting for it - but mostly sleeping and going to work. Those are the humdrum things that will get me where I'm going. I guess the Teacher knew what he was talking about. "A man can do nothing better than to eat and drink and find pleasure in his work" - that's my task. And by God's grace and more than a few miracles, something is happening. Beauty is seeping back in, sudden floods of light, crazy possibilities and questions and answers.

Saturday, September 18, 2010

Coming Back

Hey there. I have the urge to blog, and that's a good feeling. There are signs of life in me - little green scared shoots, deciding they want to find the sun after all.

There's a lot that's coming together/coming apart for me right now. Good stuff, light surrounding the darkness. Hard to detail each last little bit, so I'll just stick my hand in and see what I pull out for this entry.

I go to an Episcopal church now. To get there on Sunday morning, I drive west toward the Appalachians, and think how soon I'll cross right over them, cross the continent, land somewhere with real mountains. These I'll trample. But for now I'm not there yet. I drive through a pretty little town and crunch into the gravel parking lot and inside is the organ, and the smell of wooden pews, and people wearing vestments. Candles and stained glass and sunlight pouring in. We say a liturgy, kneel to pray, stand to sing, eat His body and blood (gluten-free communion bread for the first time in my life!). Christ is on a cross over the altar. I look at Him and wonder what He would be like in real life. What would He say to me, how would He treat me? My brain takes a break from doctrine. I just need to know what is, not what I have to believe. A heart beats inside each of these symbols, a throbbing flame within a paper-thin shell. Light and life shine through, something real. The rector says I'm absolved, his green-robed arm lifted into the air, and behind him the man on the cross whispers and smiles and says, "Yes, you are absolved."