Monday, January 23, 2017

words like these

Jon walked over to where Jen and I sat on the couch with three spoons fanned in his hand. Each spoon held a stiff mound of chocolate icing from the cake their daughter baked and iced a few hours earlier. He handed one to Jen, then one to me, and the three of us sat and licked the sweet chocolate. I felt like a child who had just been given a treat. We continued to catch each other up on our lives. Jon used phrases like, "I heard the Spirit say" and shared about shifting in his spirit that started more than a year ago and was now taking shape in job interviews. Outside, out the glass doors that held our view as we talked, light held as a gray covering over the damp day. Evening would come soon.

We sat here again the next afternoon after church. This time, Jon brought us coffee and omelets folded in fours with spinach and melted cheese in its creases. This time, Jen used words like "dream big" and "surprised" as she described conversations she'd been hoping for over the past few years that finally felt like they were taking shape. After we talked, I changed out of my church clothes, put on slippers, kept a warm blanket over my lap and looked again out the glass windows at the light that was still gray.

Later, another friend came by and sat with us on the couch. I told my story, tentative, because it has become more fragile, as if anxiety has made tiny cracks that could spider web without warning. She held it as if she knew the cracks were there, and could be healed with a new telling. She used words like "not easily categorized" to reassure me that it's ok to live a life that doesn't look familiar to my parents or to health insurance companies. She used words like "gifts" to describe transactions she thinks will take place once I move to Kenya.

The gray light stayed all weekend. I walked in it as it set that second night. I was free to wander, guessing I'd know how to find my way back to their house.

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