I haven't posted much here in the past two weeks. This is partly because we've been on vacation and doing things with other people and away from our usual routine of life at home, which affords me the time and space to think regularly of blog posts and upload photographs and just generally be on the scene. But it's also partly to do with this having been a difficult trip for me in unexpected ways, and I haven't known how to think about this or talk about this, much less write about it in this open space here.
But it's true. In all my expectation of a restful, joy-filled time of visiting with loved ones for two straight weeks, the airplane plopped down on California soil and I proceeded to have an emotional, raw, ragged time of it. My heart's been bleeding open. I have felt a continuous swirling confusion. I have felt pain. I have felt anger. I have felt scared.
I. Did. Not. Expect. To. Feel. This. Way. At. All.
I have wanted to run and hide and not let this be true. I have not -- and still do not -- feel up to the challenge of facing all these facts and feelings, much less surrendering myself to the long process of growth that it will take to move through it and emerge on the other side, somehow stronger and more fully alive. It feels too big and too scary. But I am going to try.
Kirk and I are heading up to Santa Barbara today. We're going to spend two days at our favorite monastery, on top of a hill overlooking the vast ocean, participating in the hours with the brothers living there and taking hikes together. I went to this monastery for a solitary retreat when I first learned I was getting a divorce several years ago; it is the place I went to sit with grief and anger and questions with God. It is the place where I first learned that grief is a process that will double back on itself through the time it takes to move through it. Now I am in a different place, and I am no longer grieving my divorce, but this feels like grief of a different sort. And I am thankful for the quiet time to let it speak, to enter in. I pray that God will meet me there, and hold me, and sit with me in full acceptance and love.