Day 4 | Meet Fix-it Frankie
Today, I would like to introduce you to Fix-it Frankie. My friends know her well, for she is one of those guests who overstays her welcome and makes herself far too comfortable. She hears one thing and immediately takes it a thousand different directions all at once.
Fix-it Frankie and I hung out yesterday, and I realize that I may sound schizophrenic... You may have a "fix-it" alter-ego, too, perhaps. Instead of turning to God in prayer, I let my mind go wild with problem solving. To an extent it is fun and one of my gifts, but when I rely on my own strength is when it becomes self-destructive and a not fun place to be.
Margaret and I sat on the floor last night for a while while I had all my notebooks spread out around me. We chatted into the night about writing and learning how to be still. I think about all the random things on my to-do list, and what I love is really simple: writing, taking photos, talking, hiking, and playing with kids. I sometimes feel like I have to fix everything, and I realize how ridiculous that sounds. Sometimes it weighs on me like I like am trying to carry too many suitcases...
The Suitcases | Washington, D.C.
It is still, and only the hum of the AC and music from my lap top join me. It is the type of quiet where I can hear my pen scratch the page in various circular scribbles.
It is still, but I am quasi suffocating. There are days when I feel like I have made a cross country move with all my baggage. Today, it piles high in the front room of the Flat, suitcase after suitcase. I long to open the windows, but there is too much baggage in the way— it is too heavy for me to move. I am too exhausted from carrying it so far, always packing and unpacking. I am weak.
Some people when they travel unpack their favorite things and place them around the room to make it theirs. Well, I have these walls and mazes of suitcases that I usually unpack wherever I am. The contrast is that nothing inside my suitcases make me feel at home— in fact, they make me feel more lonely— and none of it is beautiful to me.
One falls on me, and I am buried. Immediately I begin to cry: the type of tears you get from being on the road for too long in conjunction with intense exhaustion. If my mom were here, she would hold me and run her fingers through my hair until I cried myself to sleep with my head on her lap.
With shaking arms, I attempt to push it off of me, but it conquers me yet again, and another falls. Everything starts falling, and I cry out to the hum of the AC and the music playing from my lap top, "Why cannot I carry these?" I cry, like a baby awake for three hours past her bedtime, until I can cry no more. I could not lift a single suitcase.
I wake up to the hum of the AC and the music still playing from my lap top. The suitcases have disappeared, and my eyes are puffy and cheeks tearstained. Hours have passed, and the sunset reaches out to me, extending His hand. I open the window, and the gentle Zephyr enters, kissing me on the cheek.
The suitcases: where could they have gone? I look out the street below, and everyone was wearing something: a scarf, a pair of jeans, a backpack, and someone was loading a whole suitcase into an airport-bound adventure car.
I look around the front room and found a simple note that said, "Do not grow weary, dear one. Come to Me, and I will give you rest. Let Me in. Let Me transform your broken into My beautiful. I took your suitcases for you while you slept."
Frailuis wore my white Puma jersey, a boy on the streets of Constanza wore my sweatshirt, Gracey wore my scarf, Micah wore my pearls, and everyone had something. They were each beautiful, but they had been kept in the dark of my many suitcases for far too long.
During Advent, I am learning that I carry so much alone. Why? This is a time of preparation and journey, yet I already know the end. Jesus comes. He is with us.
In the spring of this past year, I started to reflect on the little flowers. I dove head first in to Mother Teresa's writings and soon started reading about St. Therese the Little Flower, too.
On the mountainside in Glenbeigh, I wrote:
Thirsting for water
and hungry for light,
We grow together in His sight.
The colors of the flags,
The bright amongst the rags.
Clinging for something beautiful
We walked to the ocean and gave it all
Oceans and gardens,
the land and the sea,
Rose after rose,
We scattered them
and kelt in bended knee.
A garden was sacred
quiet, quiet and still
All that was heard
was the ocean
Just past the hill.