stopping at Starbucks
buying time with my coffee
a jolt of relief
Can I do this? Can I find a meditative space in the middle of a Starbucks halfway to Austin? Can I be honest when there are other people nearby?
Its hard enough to be honest when I am alone in my closet – hidden from all eyes but yours. Yet, it is the commitment to find the time, to come, to wait in your presence that somehow, slowly molds my soul to the contours of your truth. So, I will give it a try and hope for a bit of grace.
I must admit that I worry a bit about the tone of my meditations. They seem too serious, too repetitive – running round and round in rumination. (And then, of course, I worry about being worrisome.) These thoughts come, in part, due to the fact that I am posting things to the web, now. Other people can see what I write. I see their eyes looking over my shoulder, reading my posts, inspecting my thoughts.
This is both good and bad. Good because it makes me re-think things with the imagined perspectives of others – which means I am not the only voice in the room. Bad because it makes me fade a bit from true truthfulness, from honest honesty. The risk of showing my true self is a bit embarrassing – like standing naked on the stage. I need at least a bit of airbrushing … ok, a lot of airbrushing … or maybe just a muumuu.
When I risk voicing the power I see within myself, it feels grandiose – self-aggrandizing – just plain wrong. But when I play small, it also seems wrong – an abdication of your gifts. It is easier for me to voice these things in private, but there is something about saying things in the presence of others puts them – and me – to the test. They become a foil for growth. And, in an odd way, it does keep me honest.
It may be easier to fool others on purpose, but it is easier to fool myself, unawares.
So, unlike the hermits of old, my faith has not called me to a holy solitude. For them, the world was a distraction or a contamination. Me? I need the two or three to confirm your presence in my ponderings. I need more than my own eyes to really see. I need more than my own heart to keep me true.
And so I have begun to see that when I try to dress my words for proper viewing, I go astray. I am not called to be some oracle of wisdom. (Whew!) I am called to journey with my friends. What I seem to be able to do is to walk a road to an encounter and write it down as faithfully as possible – or stumble upon a question that leads to another and to another – worming its way into my soul, one quandary at a time. It is the sharing of my struggles that is the gift. And that requires the presence of others.
So, in the end, to find myself back where I started … but with a dash of grace.
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