So Much for Endings

I don’t like going places.

Years ago, when we first tried to learn how to plan to travel together, we couldn’t agree over how to begin. My Love begins by choosing a destination and heading for it. I’m a journeyer, not a goer. I want to stop and see things along the way, maybe unexpected things that weren’t planned on, that might throw off the timeline, ruin the schedule, make us miss some goal further along. I don’t care. The goal further along is repugnant if it’s a forced viewing, if I’ve been herded and corralled there, marched to the beat of requirement. I can’t enjoy it or the getting there if it’s all just obligation.

Yesterday after he left for work, I lay in bed, wrapped in the dark blue sheets. The afternoon sun slipped across my feet as I lay and wrote, not a pen, not a movement. I wrote about standing in an alfalfa field, a silent music in those flowers that reaches back to childhood wonder, and being completely alone in the world where I live, where it’s okay to be me. I wrote about how far away heaven is, and how heaven doesn’t matter, because Christ is right here with me. If there were no heaven, I would still be okay, alone with Him. Perhaps the most pitiable creature, but certainly the most complete. I fell asleep writing in the silent space inside of me which, for those quiet moments, reached out all the way to the walls.

When I woke up, the sun was making orange bars on the far wall, cut in long pieces by the tied-back curtains. The white wall reflected the light kitty-corner onto the Quebec maple leaves imprisoned under glass, and they laid their shadows on the blank wall behind, feather-edged and soft. In their dark corner, rarely do I see them do that.

The grey came in gently, like the smudge of a finger. It traced the room as the guitar sat silent on its stand — I heard its strings for a second. Behind it, the warm, rich cello that I haven’t tried to play in nearly a year — the throaty, sweet vibration tickled my inner ear and vanished.

The charcoal silence deepened, and the antique lamp with its sharp tan shade became one with the navy curtains behind, the only difference textures. A bell-shaped block against vertical lines of grey and darker grey. The chair — it was grey before the sun set. It belonged to My Love’s grandfather, and came to us when grandfather died.

I lay in bed for hours, watching silence. It deepened and darkened around me, and I sank into the silent space, so glad to be alone. Knowing I was missing other things, not meeting goals. Disappointing people. Feeling the inherent rawness of a sinner’s collateral inside. Feeling the comfort that goes with this affliction.

Watching silence. Being myself. Yes, sometimes it’s disappointing, but I can’t be anyone else.

The smudged-out room took on soft, subtle hints of horizontal light from the partly open door, like my grandparents’ house. The only place where I ever lay awake in the dark in peace. It seems that place came with me, and I’m glad it will stay till my days are numbered out.

I thought about journeys and their endings, and how much I hate writing to reach an ending. There’s no ending to the story I’m telling you right now. The part we call the ending is just the end of the beginning. I wonder what can possibly come of this half-empty exposition, used up in dalliances with shadows and silence.

I’m probably not a writer of books, and I should probably stop trying. I realized yesterday that I can’t write endings because I don’t believe in them. I know that they exist; but they are not real.