Today is my first day of absolutely nothing to do. Today would have been ideal for visiting Mum. Taking her out…surprising the kids at pick up time with Nanna in the car. Listening to them shriek “NANNA!!! “ as they race toward the car, school bags thumping from side to side. We would have stopped by this park and enjoyed an ice cream. Mum would have eaten a Magnum while we sat watching the kids play in the park. But we won’t be doing that today.
I actually have millions of things I should be doing, but ‘should and want’ are two separate things. Today I have no pressing commitments, no clients, no appointments, but suddenly it seems I am lost in the emptiness of six hours stretching ahead. And I’m also lost in guilt about what I should be doing. One part of me wanted to see a film—achingly so, but now I am free…I can’t … I don’t want to. There’s no great films to see, and if I went and something sad came up, I might start to cry. I don’t want to sit alone in a cold, dark theatre feeling sad.
I could just sit here at the park staring out of the windscreen. Watching people and shadows and sunlight. Birds, grass, rubbish. Watch the kids…Mum loved the kids. She got so much joy from watching toddlers lurch their shaky way across shopping malls and playground parks. Her face would light up and she’d say “Ooooh…Look at this little one!” And she’d laugh as she continued enjoying her ice-cream. Delicately eating the chocolate off her Magnum, wary of the chocolate chunks breaking away and scooping them up quickly if one fell onto her top. Long fingers gently and precisely brushing it away before a stain could appear. Always a lady.
Suddenly the freedom of my day doesn’t seem as appealing as it once was. Instead, lately, I’ve found myself drawing closer to God. Wanting to spend my quiet times in His presence. Feeling hopeful. Putting my feelings out into the atmosphere. I’m uplifted by a sense of spiritual possibility. A sense of hope…. of trust… and balance. Of good things coming …of protection and things unseen.
The quietness is beautiful, and what I need. It’s not a constructed quietness where I choose a perfect place to go and begin aright with prayer…rather the random, untidy, exhausted, ramshackle place…when I’m so tired I can only say “I love you God and thank you”. I want to say more, but I begin to fall asleep.
It’s nice to know my last thoughts before sleep are ones of God and gratitude, lying in my messy trundle bed on the floor, next to my son who lies sleeping on the next level up. Under his bed I see mess, old tissues, plastic bags, phone re-chargers, stuffed toys and lolly papers. Looming high above me is my bookshelf, overloaded with keepsakes, photos…my life in a bookshelf. I worry if we ever have an earth tremor. But down there on my little bed with my unadorned doona and dribbly pillowcase, I can be with God and for a while I know everything is alright.
Like now…. sitting in the car… listening to my breath whistling through my nose…a distant lawn mower and clicking heels on pavement. Cars whoosh by, but I’m not in that world. For now, I’m here in my cocoon….with God and the shadow of my pen is moving up and down across white lined paper. My thoughts are still….something else is writing here…like a pianola – something unseen is playing , something unseen is writing. And my thoughts are channelled to one point and that point is my pen.
If there was an earth tremor while I lay on my ground level bed, the contents of the bookshelf would shake my life in photos right down on top of me and my life would become just that – a collection of memories on paper, scattered this way and that, swallowing me up in a disorganised clutter of sentimental artefacts. Closing me in. But my sleepy mind will be off with God …talking and thanking and drifting into sleep on my God bed.
Because, I realise the lesson I am being taught as I’ve written this. No matter how far down in this material world we may seem to feel, or how disconnected we may feel from those we have lost, no matter how high and towering our material problems may seem…if all materiality appears to fall down about us….we can never be separated from the love and protection of our Father, Mother God, who is loving us and lifting us up…protecting and talking to us. If we listen carefully, our pens will do the writing….His thoughts will do the guiding and we will be in harmony with the real and spiritual. Just like the Pianola.
10th April 2013