I've been exploring I'm in the middle of The Artist's Way, and I keep trying to plumb the depths. What do I want? Why am I so drained when I try to write? I keep forcing it, but all I can do is write Google poems. I search a word or a feeling or a phrase, and string the words together until it says something interesting. I am not plumbing my own depths, except in the ways that I bump into those depths serendipitously.
I am exhausted, and I'm busy, and I'm afraid. This season is strange.
I realized today, driving home from the zoo with the children sleeping in the back seat, admiring the huge blue sky and the jagged cuts of trees against it: I want to feel something deeply. It's been years since I've felt something deeply.
I feel ambition, and I feel some passion at work. I want to do a good job, to grow myself professionally and grow my team. I love the comfortable life my career gives me, and I love that I get to do challenging, interesting things to provide that comfortable life for myself and my girls.
I love my girls fiercely, but it's a love that's swaddled in fear. It's the love that invites me to die to myself to nurture them. To seed myself into the soil that will be rich for them to grow roots. I watch their beauty blossoming. I smell their hair and necks. I am afraid that I'll misstep, that something will go wrong. What if they get sick? What if I get sick?
I love my girls profoundly and idolatrously. I can't hear the silent space at the center of myself where I find God because all I hear is them, singing. Shrieking as they play. Making the repetitive, maddening sounds that children make - scuffing their feet along, scraping their plates, muttering something. I hear them telling me about their shows they watch - I try to listen. I want silence. I haven't been alone since March - not for 1 minute.
I'm reading Rob Bell's book Everything is Spiritual, and I was moved by a part where he says a member of his former church told him one day that he was "a mystic." That word rings true for me, too. I want to experience God deeply. I want to feel something as intensely as romantic love, but I don't want to feel it for a human. I want the silence and space to pursue God.
There are ways that I reach God. I see it in art that moves me. I feel it when I love deeply. I sometimes feel it channeling through me when I'm writing something that's deeply true. I feel it when I read something that makes sense deep down in my bones. I feel it when I get caught up in yoga, running, working in the yard - when I'm lost in the moment and what my body is doing. But all of this reaches a certain depth, and then the stones skip off the surface. I want to go deeper. I don't know how. I don't know how to carve out the space.
I wonder if I plumb the depths and find the space, will there be only darkness? Is there anything deeper? Have I felt all that there is to feel, and the rest of my life is just slowly peeling back the petals until I'm nothing?