There is a Sharon Van Etten song with a line in it that says, "One day I'll be a better writer, I'll make every face that I never perfectly phrase." This is one of those "ooh" songs that get you right in your gut. Simple sweet melody - big lyrics in an unconventional way... Give me a new perspective, change my vision, my view of the world in a 4 minute song. :)
In expressing oneself with the written word, there is plenty of room for interpretation, application and perspective, unless you are perfectly clear in every aspect to which you are referring. (Creative writing/paper writing/ essay writing 101.) The clarity comes with time and practice. Yet, I sometimes feel like a stuck typewriter, with so much to say it could spill from my insides... and then I hesitate, worry, burp (figuratively and sometimes literally), or in my insistence to express- say totally the wrong thing. And then I replay it. I swear to you, if I could kill the instant replay button in my head that reviews my mistakes over and over again, I definitely would... the replay never does me any good, nor does the fear or the worry. So, in my frustrations, I've made an effort to at least tame it, allow myself to rest and grow - to change the replay into how I would have handled it differently and amend any lingering tingles head on.
I sing a variety of classical songs for Weddings and often times I am asked which particular version of a piece of popular music I prefer. For example, for the Ave Maria, I sing the Schubert version most often in B flat with a much faster tempo than most church organists prefer. That is the version that lines up with me. And so, this same analogy is meant to touch on the truth we are in each of the versions of ourselves. What we choose to show and allow of ourselves to spill out. I know there are many parts of me which make up the whole and certain folks see more of those pieces than others. I know I get versions of friends and family at different times. Sometimes I see it in their physiology and the way they carry themselves, sometimes I hear it in the way they respond to me, in the sound of their voice in the way they look at me. But the problem is, I don't want a version. To those I love and call the dearest of my life, I want the whole unabridged story...
I know this is not the standard. I have had many friendships and relationships that have existed on a single surface level playing field for years, and the flip side of the coin is a-ok with things just as they are. But how do we propel forward as people if there is no deep dive to learn or grow or change or develop from really truly encountering another? This is vulnerable to the core - when your heart spills over and it is uncertain what someone else might see. It is possible to be misunderstood as we navigate and are introduced into each scenario, and the audience might not get it the way you anticipate. How do you live your life and just "be" who you are and the one you want to become without that challenge? This is not a twenty-something life crisis, or an issue of identity, but I feel like I miss the boat when I version... If I hold back or hang back or try to protect some aspect of myself, I feel as though I'm not giving my whole truth.. and that is not who I am. I want to glow.
Just like the Sharon Van Etten song, my love of the unconventional totally and completely fits this scenario. I think it is because it leaves room for the miracle, and you know how I love those. We are a connecting point for God, so why in the world wouldn't God work miraculously in each of us? I fail miserably at the "self-protect" mechanism of my life and I know it. Is it something I work on to build up, or is the absence of it my gift? Rather than fumbling through my hurts and building them like a wall around me, I try to chisel them away each time I see them build a foundation... I know I can't carry the weight of the wall around - you see, its weight rests on the builder. Tearing them down with the old hurts and throwing them away again is the only way for me to keep moving forward, so all is left behind is the glow.. the ability to rest and relax and breathe. One of the side affects of doing this for yourself is that it provides the opportunity and ability to be able to give it as a gift... And that would be my greatest hope - to allow you to be and rest awhile with me.
One of the books I am reading refers to an open heart as "Tenacity of Spirit." I am still on an "in progress" search of my tenacity, but as I excavate, I not only see my own value, but more and more of the value, worth, beauty and spirit of those around me. Maybe we can develop with practice... maybe we can change the wings.