Monday, December 12, 2011
I can't tell you I can't tell you
I recently read a quote, and I'm sorry to say I don't currently know if it's a scripture or not, or where I found it, but according to my notes it's from the Apostle Peter.
"Be ready always to give an answer to every man that asketh you a reason of the hope that is in you."
Now I love this, but I also sort of despise it. For example, I was talking to a gentleman the other day, and he asked me this:
"What makes you tic? What's your passion?"
I had a choking inability to answer his question. I just stared, in a way pleading with him to take the question back. To push it right into his big mouth and leave it there for good. His curious facial expression and lingering anticipation were so frightening to me, I could have screamed. Instead I just mumbled, and it was something like this- Just life. Family, friends, running. I said running. And I hate running.
This is a tragedy to me. This expressive, question and answer world. This unbelievable, major, beautiful space in time that, when it is most simply put, called life. A life that for me, is largely unspoken. It is not tragic because it is not wonderful. It is tragic because I cannot say how wonderful it is. Because I cannot stand before another human being and share with them my passions with an answer, because my passions are infinite and eternal and numberless. That, and it's very hard to keep track of the heart of me.
The heart of me is on the beach in 1956, and in Providence Rhode Island, and at kareoke bars in Iceland. It is in wool socks, and red rootbeer cups. It is in California orchards, in pumpkin patches and Christmas tree forests. It is Egyptian and American. It is chocolate and cheese. It is in rainy Salt Lake City on a Saturday in 1998, with Third Eye Blind blaring on my radio.
It is the sound of the furnace in hotel rooms. Putting on pajamas after a hot shower. Homework with a pencil. Grandma's house. Easter afternoon. Pizza joints. Super Nintendo. Nerves on New Year's Eve. Lobster Ravioli. Proposals. Lunch dates. The kitchen at midnight. Scottish music. Chocolate milk. Anxiety. Ghost stories. Big tears. Groups of friends. That special someone. Lightning kisses. Bear hugs. Pianos. Birthday candles. Fishing poles. Good morning texts. The village. The city. The desert. The country.
Indians. Pirates. Military men. Sweet old ladies. Junior high gangsters. Burger King workers. Symphony conductors. Carpenters. Football players. Race car drivers. Fashion Designers. Italian Chefs. Kung Fu masters. Doctors. Mothers. And everyone else, the more different, the better.
And even when I blurt out these concepts and things, I still feel unsettled knowing that saying them won't paint them, or write them or sing them, just the way I think them. Sometimes I wish I could stop feeling forced to try.