Tuesday, January 17, 2012

Oceans and Streams

It's M's first day of school. We scrambled around the house before 9, trying to gather all the pieces for life. I tried to turn a blind eye to the stack of dishes that overflowed from the white basin. I am on the go and can only see the unswept corners, the laundry that still needs to be put away, the unmade beds. As the day's clock starts ticking, I feel my time is already too short. The work, the chores, the mothering, the cleaning, the basic life stuff that I'd like to pretend I can handle.

(But maybe we can't. Maybe we're not supposed to handle it all.) 

I tell myself this as I'm locking my front door, closing it all behind me.

I guess I don't understand why some days it feels like a stream and some days it feels like an ocean. Why some days I am surprised by finished lists, happy clients, good conversations, steady peace and other days, it's just coming up for air. I'm just trying to come up for a sea-saturated breath before it's back under into the murky deep.

Do you know the feeling? Has the ocean ever caught you off guard?

I dropped her off at school, kissed her tiny lips goodbye and scurried over to the coffee shop. Two hours of an attempt at being productive.

Yesterday was fine, I think to myself. Wasn't it? Didn't it all flow smooth and quiet? I try to pinpoint when the pace went out to sea. I know the moments that started the current. I'm closing my eyes in the corner of the coffeeshop, asking for clarity again. Feeling a bit like a disciple on the boat, wondering why Jesus is sleeping.

Recently I told a friend how sometimes I feel like I'm going crazy. Maybe all this creative stuff spinning in my mind is slowly taking me down the road to "the crazy lady who lives in the house at the end of the block." My friend quickly reminded me of Chesterton's quote from Orthodoxy. —
Imagination does not breed insanity. Exactly what does breed insanity is reason. Poets do not go mad; but chess-players do. Mathematicians go mad, and cashiers; but creative artists very seldom. I am not, as will be seen, in any sense attacking logic: I only say that this danger does lie in logic, not in imagination. ... Poetry is sane because it floats easily in an infinite sea; reason seeks to cross the infinite sea, and so make it finite. The result is mental exhaustion... To accept everything is an exercise, to understand everything a strain. The poet only desires exaltation and expansion, a world to stretch himself in. The poet only asks to get his head into the heavens. It is the logician who seeks to get the heavens into his head. And it is his head that splits.
On days like today, I'm convinced of this. I'm trying to logic and reason my way in and out of so many things; I'm actually trying to put heaven in my head.

I have too many seas that I'm trying to conquer and cross, instead of floating. 

I don't want to reason my way out of peace. It's easy to take assumptions and logic and make them the rudder of our ship. To steer without faith. To navigate with self-reliance. It works until we're capsized, coming up for salty air.

Back to the stream, I tell myself in the corner of the coffeeshop. Back to the stream.

(Have you stayed to the end of this small ramble? Well, then, I commend you. I'm not sure I would have stayed.)


Linking up today with the Soli Deo Gloria sisterhood.


  1. I stayed! And oh, if I didn't have the outlet of creativity, I think I would be locked up, locked away. We serve a God who gives the gift of creativity!

  2. If you're crazy, then I like crazy.

  3. Jen - I'm so glad you stayed. Happy to be popping in with you awesome ladies this week.

  4. Lore - thanks for liking me, crazy or not. :)