Monday, March 23, 2009

The Grass

Say to my soul,
"I am your salvation."
Psalm 35:3b

There was a night not long ago when what I wanted was lost, and my heart dropped from my chest like a jumper from a high rise. I went into the bathroom, closed the door, knelt on the bath mat and cried quietly so that I wouldn't be heard. And then, I did what mothers have done for years, which was to powder around my eyes, open the door and take my daughter to her swimming lessons. God, I know, plays by her own set of rules.

That night I slept in broken blocks of time with the failure pressing so hard against my head that I thought my skull would crack, that I would split right there in the bed and they would find me in the morning with my liquid brains pooled on the pillow beside me.

Fear, as always, slipped in the cracks. It blew its rancid breath into my mouth and I sucked it down deep. Swallowed every word it fed me, so that I lay there, body bloated with failure and shame, tucked in tight under that thick hopelessness. And there was this: A vision of myself lying curled in a field of dead and yellow grass. And of even that sharp straw accusing me. Even the grass mocking. And the sky was heavy with hate.

Until: All at once? In a puff of smoke? Suddenly?
God was there.

A holy ghost hovering, and me as empty as the space between things.

I do not pretend to understand how love becomes enough. But it does. Did. Some things will only live outside language.

She held close the empty space the way oil loves the face of the water, clings and curves to its movings.
And there was nothing to become, to be done, to attain. Only the loving.

And my eyes following the words, "You shall see, and your heart shall rejoice; your bones shall flourish like the grass."



deanna said...

Oh, my. I won't say more about silly things until you can share what's up. This is beautiful writing, but scary (like life, I guess).

Angela said...

is it scary? huh. i guess for a moment. i sat down to write a straight up version of this story, but couldn't do it. i couldn't find the right way to get it out, so this is what happened instead.
so, go on and write me more about the silly things.

IP said...

Beautiful. I like not knowing your crushing disappointment, I like this just the way it is. I can so relate to that seemingly bottomless despair. So beautifully written.

Janna said...

I tried to comment yesterday, but blogger didn't like me. Let's see if I can remember . . . Two of my favorite bathroom crying scenes: one from the movie HOPE FLOATS, the other is in a Toni Morrison book, wish I could remember which one.
Anyway, this is what real women do when it hurts the most; there are so many cold surfaces available in a bathroom, and you can make it as dark as you need it to be.
I love it when you tell us how you see God with you, caring for you.

Mike S said...

Beautifully written. It seems at times we must re-learn how little control we truly have before we reinvest our full trust in a power far greater than we can ever comprehend.

cecily said...

I love the dry crusty grass, like dry crusty bones, flourishing. There is such hope there.

Sandy's Notes said...

There is hope in all despair, I think, I remember one Christmas morning, locking myself in the bathroom and not coming out until my sister left. She filled my lost memory with such hatred.

I can relate, but sometimes I forget that God is there with me.