As it stands, the world is a crazy place for me. Word document after word document go flying through my email account as the weight of a semester accumulates and descends ravenously upon us helpless university students. There seems to be no end to the madness. I scarce have time for to fulfill my personal-space-dependent needs, let alone spend even more time with eyes glued to the computer screen in the midst of a blog. My priorities presently include sleeping, eating, drinking coffee, drinking tea, being alone, and staying sane. All this to say, I have nothing to say. For once. What I have, however, is a thought of old – a memory of a time that seems a lifetime ago but really was only a few short years prior to now. I have written a few “pieces” over the years and the one I want to share is very near to my heart, more so than the others because it’s about somebody that I love dearly. I wrote it because I needed to write about hope. I needed to have it in writing that this time we faced was just the beginning of a journey that would be beautiful and worthwhile.
Now, “piece” is hardly an appropriate term because it’s inherently raw and underdeveloped. Until now. I know as I transfer the words from crumpled lined paper to this text field, I will fine tune and fiddle with them. As a side note, I don’t think I’ve ever been entirely satisfied with something I’ve written. There is always a desire to write better, to make the words better, to make them right. I’ve been afraid of writing (even to this day) and I couldn’t articulate why this was. When I read The Book Thief (which is an utterly marvelous book!) last summer, the heroine of the story brought my unspoken and unrealized notions to light.
“I have hated the words and I have loved them, and I hope I have made them right.”
Though this “piece” (Lord, how I hate that word and my usage…) is far from beautiful and right, I know it’s almost right. And that is good enough for now.
It’s called This Present Loneliness.
He waits patiently every night for that which he doesn’t understand to suddenly make itself known to him. This present loneliness for love in its truest form wears away at the foundations of what they all thought would be enough. We knew though. We all knew it would not be enough. They layered brick after brick upon a breakable foundation and hoped that an unbreakable faith would emerge. What he needed was to be broken and reassembled, time and time again, until their faith became his own. Instead, this present loneliness robs him of clarity and steals away his hope. Doubt cloaks him like a blanket until all he is is a shadow of what once was innocent. Still, he waits. This present loneliness then spreads like wildfire, until even the most simplest joys of the past are replaced by this ever-present desire to be free of it all.
He says it takes time to build understanding and I believe him. Perhaps though, such an unattainable goal raises the stakes so high that even the wisest of pharisees would have to feign knowledge. He will never understand it all and unfortunately, unknowingly, that is all he desires. He wants to be like them, like the pharisees, but he never will be. For he cannot imitate understanding like them; he will never have all the answers. And this present loneliness will destroy him until he understands that he is much too small to understand it all. He thinks he is on his way to this revelation that he does not know but at nighttime, when light is not there to hide him, his demons escape and run rampant, scouring his weaknesses for entry. Some nights, they win. He pleads and he cries for his thoughts to slow but they remain the biggest enemy. They close in on him, constant and unrelenting.
There is an ever-present help that I know who remains my present freedom. But even if I love him as they did, I will not layer bricks on the broken as they did. I simply cannot. He knows I will not. And so he waits. As he waits, hope, it rises. Step by step, day by day, slowly but surely, it rises. He believes that this great sadness will lift and he will be free. It is because he believes that I hold unwaveringly to the hope that this present loneliness of his will be stripped bare – emaciated – just as it first emaciated him. His hands shake but his voice remains firm, not yet defeated. “I want to see you God. I wanna see your face.” The cry falls short of Glory’s ears, or so his demons convince him. Yet Mercy’s tears mingle with his own as his heart falls prey once again to this present loneliness. Night after night it is the same story. The tears soon will dry. From this present desert, the voice of the one who hears rises to meet him. “You have asked to see my face and before you I have laid mountains and rolling hills, the sun warm on your face and the stars as bright as bright is. There you see my face. You strain for my voice to reach you and I have conducted a symphony of sweet melodies carried on the wings of carefree birds and dancing between the sea billows and wind-blown leaves. There you hear my voice. Most of all you have longed and begged for my touch and I have given you my precious one; her arms to hold you, her lips to caress your face, and her hands to warm your own. I have given you the embrace of those that love you as I do. There, my beloved, is my touch. You who seeks will soon find.”
This promise hangs gently in the air over his head as he lay shackled to the barrage of lies and poison. This present loneliness anchors him to this bed of sadness. But still, he waits, eyes fixed above. Waiting. He is not free today. But he who seeks will soon find. This present loneliness is nothing but now. He wills hope to rise and meet his future and together they sing and make lovely the better days to come.