October 24, 2010
There's this little funky shop in SeaTac airpot, bursting at the seams with a plethora of miscellaneous goods- accessories, books, decor. The tiny shop is filled with these items and the like.
I love the shop and all of its eclectic intracasies, but upon entering it, I dance the fine line between interest of all the wares and the sheer sensory overload of it all. Lord forbid you take a kid in there with you- I can envision me loaded, bogged down with luggage, pillow, and the ridiculously expensive airport Brookstone fuzzy blanket that the kids beg me to buy every time in one hand, and with my other hand, unsuccessfully wrangling Ethan and his three year-old antics, him trying and successfully touching every piece of merchandise in the store.
With that thought, I was thankful to be alone.
As I was walking out, only having looked at half the store but my eyes already crossing, there was a wall filled with frames and plaques of inspirational sayings. One stood out to me...
The plaque said the following...
"What lies behind us and what lies ahead, are tiny fragments compared to what lies within us."
I stood there for a moment, staring at the words and unknowingly digesting them, analyzing them, contemplating them. Is that really true? Are the events of our past and our future really tiny fragments compared to what lies within us? Because I think I have to disagree. The problem is that to agree would be to downplay the importance, the magnitude, of our past. The past is not so tiny.
Perhaps I am as good a testament as any to the magnitude one's past holds. Tiny fragments compared to what lies within us? No. The past IS what lies within us.
In the same pulse and breath that I wrote that, my heart filled with a million overwhelming emotions. The past does make up what we are, does make US, and it is indiscriminate- good and bad, our past is present within us, both with the wonderful positive memories that have molded us, but it also rears its gruesome head through all of our ugly, painful memories. You can't get away from it- they're experiences and memories that have been forever engrained.
Sometimes it's not even YOUR past that affects you. Someone else's past can be just as profound. It can mold you, teach you, hurt you, and haunt you. I know this to be true. But perhaps when my heart swells with that feeling of hurt that makes my chest ache, makes it hard to swallow, and takes my breath away, I can remind myself that perhaps the greatest of these is TEACH. I can take it as it is. It's not my past, but it's still within me. The great news is that it's the past. I can choose to take it with all its glory and bask in the glory that we are where we are. We are HERE.
I can close my eyes and in a split second, I have flashes of my life- particular ones, relevant ones. Behind me and before me- even things that have yet to come.
I see and feel Vegas summer nights- the sun long down but yet still nearly 100 degrees, the sound of locusts so loud, it's either comforting or insanity provoking.
I see my parents and brother- not as they are now, but as they were. I see Wisconsin in fading September and I can remember what it feels like to have a family. And then in the back of my mind I hear a line out of "Garden State"- What is 'family?' What is 'Home?' Maybe that's what it is- a group of people who hang on to the same imaginary place, hanging on to the memories that connect them, even though connections may no longer exist, and that place called 'Home' is just a distant memory. What is 'Home?' Where is 'Home?' Your guess is as good as mine.
Then I see Aubrey- freshly having made her entrance into the world, fire engine red, swollen from birth, head full of dark hair, screaming with all of her might. A defining moment for me in that hospital bed- her screams, to this day, resounding in my head, "Go THIS way!" Only I didn't hear her message then.
And now I see Glen- I can smell him and feel him- both physically and emotionally. I feel his love and feel such strong, true, powerful love for him. In my glance at our life as it is, I see all of the events that came before. It's one of those things where it's appropriate to sum it up with, "If you only knew..." I'd like to tell the story, but it's impossible to tell the story and do it justice. There were so many life events, circumstances that twisted and turned, contorted and intertwined to pave the way for us. So fragile and delicate in its process- any wrong turn, any fraction of interference and it simply would not have been. The outcome would have been entirely different. A process ever so intricate, ever so delicate- there can be no question that there was the hands of a greater Power at work.
I feel that same intricate delicacy for the life within me. Everything in life and the outcomes that transpire are ever so fragile. We, like a developing life, are hanging on by a thread. Will it work out? What will tomorrow bring? We don't know. The thread is delicate and can break at any given moment, sending us down another path, or taking it all away.
I feel an immense connection to Glen and pure excitement knowing that we are growing a baby. It is truly amazing what life brings. Excitement, anticipation, nervousness, and Love.
This is what I feel.