This is my favorite question: what do you carry with you, and what do you leave behind? Sometimes I change up the verbs, just a little, to bringing and taking away, respectively. A subtle shift, to be sure, but all part of the grand scheme just who the hell am I, and just who the hell to I want to become?
I am the sum of all my baggage - carried, dragged, dropped. left behind and taken back.
Sometimes the weight of it all is crushing. And sometimes, when the wind is just right, and the scent of green is in the air, and I am feeling brave and grateful daring and fierce and bold (or any combination thereof; you get the point), there's no weight at all. I freely offer much of my baggage, all the weighted measures of stuff and ideas and hurts and pains; lost loves and lost jobs, missed opportunities and failed connections - all of the stuff that binds me, tethers me to a present I can only see through the funhouse mirror of my past (so not really a present at all) - and I let it all go, leaving it lie in a muddled heap.
This is my altar. I'm pretty sure, when I drop it all in that heap, and I set it on fire, it makes a pleasing odor to God. I'm just as sure, when it's time to move on, every single thing that went up in smoke, that released me from the bondage of my self, and my past, it's all there, ready for me to pick up again, just as bright and shiny and unscathed as it was before my metaphorical sacrifice.
It's mine, to carry it all again until the next holy bonfire.
Of course, there's a whole bunch of other stuff I can choose to pick up and carry away - things like faith, or courage, or joy. And yes, there are infinite variations of despair and anger and sundry slings and arrows of cruel misfortune that can be distracting and enticing. And yes, I have gone that route more often than I care to admit. There are times I swear I didn't do the picking, that these nasty little packages leaped up and stuck themselves to me of their own accord, really they did.
If I'm honest - and now's a good time to cop to honesty - I did the picking and the plucking and the sticking, all by myself. Ugh.
Still, there are times I go against type, and I choose the weightlessness of joy!
Things is - this carrying and leaving and taking away - this is a thing I can do every single day. It knows no season. It is unbounded by time. In every moment, I can choose, again and again and again. These days, the counting-of-the-omer days, it is a mindful trudge, a careful inspection and collection of the junk I lug around with me. I am grateful for the mindfulness. Messy as I am, I like frames, and this is a particularly good one.
So. What is it that I carry with me? What will I leave behind? What will I carry with me as I walk to the next altar, the next mountain? Today - just for this moment, this breath, I will sit for a moment, my treasures laid out before me, a sky of pewter and pearl above me, casting dull shadows on the lot. I will sit, and rest, and hope - hope that when I move on from here, I remember to let slip the boxes of pain and fear, so that I have room for a bit of joy, a bit of beauty, a bit of grace.
PS - I've written a couple of poems in the past, that relate to this post. You may want to check them out here:
What I Brought: https://staceyzrobinson.blogspot.com/2013/05/what-i-brought_13.html
And Fly:L https://staceyzrobinson.blogspot.com/2015/04/and-fly.html
To This Moment: https://staceyzrobinson.blogspot.com/2015/03/to-this-moment.html
- I write, mostly to keep my head from exploding. It threatens to do that a lot. My blog is the pixelated version of all the voices in my head. I tend to dive into what connects me to God, my community, my family and my doubt. I do a lot of searching, not as much finding. I’m good with that. I have learned, finally, to live comfortably in the gray. In the meantime, I wrestle with God, and my doubt and my joy.