Saturday, May 07, 2005


Time Off

Thursday... I slept fairly late. I'd been up the night before playing "Uru," getting lost in places I thought I knew. Lorna called and said they wanted to do something for my birthday. I told them I had no plans. The discipline switch was turned off. Firmly.

I got up and stumbled around the house, feeling no great pressure to do anything. I should do this, I should do something else, but what I did was be quiet and read a book. Ate some breakfast.

Somehow the conflicts of the last few weeks were damped. Knock-down, drag-out fights with God are exhausting, and this one had been protracted. The introduction of hope into my life has been very harrowing.

I'd rather live with locked doors than doors that open to reveal hints of a promise and then slam shut just as I reach the threshold. Forget it. I'll live with my ashes and stone, thank you, and make it work.

But that is not God's way. Hope, it seems, is central to something. I'm not sure. My evidence for this belief is indirect: the amount of time and effort God has put into making me able to conceive of, and feel, hope. He wants me to live in a larger world with living things growing in it. He has his ways of, well, getting his way.

I could keep fighting. I could work to stay in my world. But this is work, constantly resisting God's efforts. He won't overrun me, but he does push and fighting the push makes me more irritable than I am normally. If I just let God work his will, if I just sort of follow along, the world becomes strange but I'm more able to meet it.

Still, it's tiring. Thursday was calm. No prodding. I had lunch with my friends, got sloshed on red wine (a hint: wine is stronger than beer) and the ambled home in the light rain. It was fun.

Later on I began to wonder what had happened. Life seemed uncharacteristically calm. I liked it. But where was God? I'm so used to either fighting or intensely needing him at every moment (or both at the same time) that this calm was odd. Is he God only when I need him? Only when I'm arguing?

What is a relationship with God really like? I'm so used to this adversarial kind of thing that friendship is a new idea. Is it possible to be friends with God? To just sort of hang out and enjoy each other's company?

Well, I know he enjoys being with me. Why? Who knows. Do I enjoy being with him? Mostly, not. Mostly I'm waiting for the next set of commands, the next notice that something I'm doing isn't the best. Waiting for judgment. Now, how long would you stay with a human being if this were the ruling concept? Not very. Not me, anyway. But I expect it from God. He is... God. He has the right to do anything he wants.

And it seems that what he wants to do is hang out with me. I wonder if I can learn to hang out with him.

Friday was another calm day. I played more "Uru," did some reading... and then went out and did a sand sculpture. Rich's son Eric was here and wanted some beach time. I did a free-pile under the hard clear light, and Rich gave me cookies. It was very windy and the sand mediocre, but it was a good time anyway. Just hanging out. As the tide reached the sculpture, we parted and I walked north along the beach, looking at the clouds as the wind thrashed my hair and spread salt all over my face.

Wind... a caress from God, along with the sunlight? I was too tired to think, but I'm glad he gave me the gift of sculpture. Nate and Debbie and I talked about this at dinner. I got sloshed again and was very eloquent. Debbie said so.

It's nice to have time off and friends to enjoy it with.

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