I sit on my bed, hair wet from the shower, legs tight from this morning's run and mind wobbly with the effort of organizing thoughts. I reflect on three pieces of literature: Moll Flanders, The Giver, Pilgrim at Tinker Creek.
On my last evening spent in Manhattan I finished the last few pages of Daniel Defoe's "Moll Flanders." Moll is awaiting her death, little does she know that she will not in fact die, and is speaking to the topic of secrets; men cannot have secrets completely unto themselves, she says, for thoughts, and the like, are meant to be shared. We shall go off the deep end by attempting to keep it all in.
Four days ago, my entire family, minus my eldest brother, headed up to Lake Arrowhead in the San Bernadino Mountains. On the way up and back down we listened to The Giver, a small piece of fiction that, until last Christmas, had escaped my reading. Again, towards the end, the main character, Jonas, becomes saddened with his inability to share; to share feelings, to share colors, with those around him. Memories are meant to be shared, humans are relational beings.
Yesterday evening, in an act of desperation, I bought a burrito and headed down to the cliffs to spend some time with the Pacific Ocean and with Annie Dillard...I did not know what else to read. "From even the deepest slumber you wake with a jolt-older, closer to death, and wiser, grateful for breath...And the cumulative force of the present you've forgotten sets you reeling, staggering, as if you'd been struck broadside by a plank. It all floods back to you. Yes, you say, as it you'd been aleep a hundred years, this is it, this is the real weather"
This past week has seemed endless, though not in any painful sort of way, and I feel as though I have been floating in nothing-ness. I watched a satellite, some sort of modern-day shooting star, cross the sky and let myself go. This summer did not consist of anything that I expected it to, and though I am weary of answering the question "what did you accomplish this summer?" I will attempt to answer it now. This summer's material accomplishments: finishing my internship, visiting The Met, The Frick, some Chelsea galleries, The MoMA, The DIA:Beacon, lots of visits to Central Park and falling in love with Bryant Park, the NY subway system, eating cupcakes and drinking lots of coffee, my rooftop, making good and dear friends, a few trips north, rowboats, NY Philharmonic, seeing the Twin Towers site, eating pizza, buying too many books at The Strand...that list could go on, but it could never include those things that were going on in my heart and in my person; I am not entirely sure that I can even summarize that. Through the influences of people and by being on their own one learns a great deal of themself, and I am no exception to that rule. The "things that I accomplished this summer" include first and foremost: how I find myself in the world, how I love people and why, what really matters to me, that God is doing something in me -though I feel more confused in this area than ever before, that art impassions me to the core and that being a Christian and an artist makes beautiful and perfect sense, that it is alright to really really miss people. These, and many more to be sure, will continue to be at work in me for the rest of my life, no question. Yes, I might wish to know where my life is headed, but how much more exciting and freeing to trust in the Lord and to just live. To live in the present, in the real weather, and in sharing that beautiful and wonderous present with those around you.