Hi, lovely that you popped by. It’s a real nice feeling knowing people take the time to read up on other people’s musings about our journey here on earth. This one has been on my heart for a while, to put it down in writing is a daunting task.
“Not that the story need be long, but it will take a long while to make it short.”
Henry David Thoreau
Since I started blogging again, I’ve thoroughly enjoyed every email wordpress sent me, informing me that “sleepingbeauty” (not her real name) thought my post was awesome, asking me: Don’t you want to see what she is up to, her latest posts are “the trouble with gnomes” and “witch hunt”. Which I of course did – I mean if somebody takes the time to visit my treehouse, the least I can do is to see what they have been busy with lately!
And wow, I really am impressed. I wished people would share their heart of hearts that easily over a cup of coffee as they do online. Beautiful minds sharing meaningful snapshots, funny moments, thoughts about love, tears and questions to God. You might just restore my faith in human kind again. Just kidding. But seriously, I find myself sitting across people sipping tea wondering: Do we need to play this game of acceptable responses and sweet non-offensive comments a la “ag jinne moeder dis oulik” (Afrikaans for “how sweet”) and what would it take for me to get to your true soul?
It is, alas, the nature of my real life job that leaves people under the impression that they must present themselves in a good light. And no matter how much honesty and irreverent jokes I add to the conversation, how much of my own weakness I reveal, people rather stick with phrases than cut to the chase, unless they expect you to fix a problem that is. In the safety of the anonymity of blogging I have found a lot of heart so far. People are so precious. For the New Year it is my sincere prayer that you might succeed in all your new ventures together with your lovely partners and friends. Friendship is the most precious gift one human can extend to the other. It must be given freely and received with gratitude. I am without grudges and would never unfriend anyone. (People are like that these days: you didn’t greet me in the Mall? Let me unfriend you on facebook! – never bothering to first ask the circumstances) I wouldn’t judge without hearing your whole story. And I believe that God sees the “why” as much as the “what”. To be treated the same is a humble wish.
Starting a new year becomes more and more scary with every year that passed.
“The man who views the world at 50 the same as he did at 20 has wasted 30 years of his life.”
Well, honestly, I wish I could go back and see the world the way I did ten years ago. Reality has a way to wipe the smiles off our innocent little snotty faces and put the pain of knowing behind our brave grin.
Blogging on bridging worlds is a kind of self-therapy (for my “I got it all figured out and am traveling the world in confidence” musings check my Traveler’s Log!)
I used to journal since I knew how to hold a pen. My childhood diaries where really precious to me and by the age of 21 I had 18 whole books full of my deepest thoughts, locks of my hair, 1 photo in the same pose per year to mark my changing, letters to my future children from their mom when she was 9, 12 and 15, sketchings and dreams. Then a self-proclaimed voice of the Allmighty told me that God indeed is upset with me taking myself that serious and if I want to be anything in His kingdom, I should show my determination by paying a price – meaning I should
let go of my beloved journals. I did treasure them a lot, if I had a nightmare about a fire I would always try to rescue them in my dream.
You see, since I was little I have wanted to make things better. I used to play watchmaker on the kitchen table while my mom and younger siblings napped, using my dad’s fine mechanics tools to take things apart and put them back together again or try to repair a broken toy etc. I wanted to create a place where I could gather all wounded souls and soothe them back to life. So that is why, when at the peak of youthful enthusiasm, a prophet told me that in order to become all God wants me to be I must let go of earthly treasures, I did not doubt. I cried, put my journals into a big cardboard box and left it on the side of the road. A test. If God wants me to have them, they would be there by tomorrow. Of course, it was Wednesday and the garbage people collected them.
I had a serious writer’s block. A “what’s the point” sting hidden deep within my guts.
Let me say it this way: When you are a teenager and love hits you hard first time, you go and make that mixed tape for your crush. Thinking: “If only he listens to these songs he will “get” me, he will be able to hear my soul and forever love who I am”. First loves are most of the time not last loves, like a young wine they bubble and fizz and evaporate as we grow older and wiser. They do leave their mark and do take something with them, though. Forward – college. Love struck again. You find a mixed tape in the mail, and want to return the favour. Sitting on the carpet of your student apartment, surrounded by your favorite sounds, there is an odd soreness in your heart. “Here we go again …” Something deep within wants to hold back, wants to bridle the enthusiasm, wants to warn of another broken heart. It takes discipline this time, to make a mixed tape. It takes a conscious effort to fight away the cynic flies circling around your head. But love beckons …
Later, in our wiser years, we might refrain from making mixed tapes altogether, wiping it away with a laugh. Impossible that anybody could “get” us by merely listening to a piece of music that has touched our soul ever-so-deeply. The longing remains, self-preservation prevails.
At the beginning of yet another year I find myself intensely wanting to throw myself into this adventure of life again, without holding back. Oh yes, the pain was more than I thought I could bear, the disappointments enough to withdraw from the field forever. But ships, although safe in the harbour, are made for sailing. I do not claim that this year I will know better, or that I can guarantee I will succeed. But I know God made us for more than to play it safe. My own pain has given me so much more passion for all those people who have to hide behind a masked smile, and the naked pain of those whose life is in daily peril can not, will not leave me cold.
There are too many voices out there claiming they speak on God’s behalf. They have done a lot of damage to God’s own children. Me dumping the innocent writings of childhood, the passionate life plans of adolescence, has not been the Lord’s request. But people lose so much more over misunderstood religion and false teachers.
A voice in the desert is needed to point to where the oasis is and where the desert ends, which way to find hope and which direction to avoid. But being a true prophet requires a life of true love. The willingness to share the people’s burdens and to take responsiblity for their hearts.
We do want to point out the needs and strength of this nation. But condemnation has no place in the speech of an apostle. Judgement is God’s. Let his people be the force of love that improves life on earth, not makes it unbearable.
So once more I choose to believe that good can be done, that it is not hard to make a difference, that what I got is all that it takes.
When I was little, I prayed to God for a life full of adventure and extraordinary experiences. I also prayed that there would always be people along the way to share the journey with.
So I am trusting my Father in Heaven that this is going to be a better year, a year of lots of joy, lots of people truly helped and lots of genuine smiles and laughter.
New Beginnings indeed.