portrait of a life: forgetting

Yesterday, I had something important to say. Or, rather, something that felt important. Or was it this morning? Time slips quickly and days run into each other without curtesy. But, something felt urgent, profound; I thought about writing about it and sending my thoughts out into the world.

I picked up my phone instead and got lost in a deluge of Instagram feeds and games of bright colors.

As I sit here to write this, that thing, that revelation I once had has slipped from my memory.

It’s not gone forever, I know. Life is not that cruel. It will come back to me. Maybe it will come back at 2:00 this morning, waking me from sleep with its urgency.

Maybe it will be tomorrow, or later in the week. But, the thought will return, and maybe it will effect me in a different way than it did yesterday or this morning or whenever it was that it first struck me.

I cannot recall its essence, but I remember the shape of it. It felt beautiful, blog-worthy. Elusive as it is, whatever the thought was has left a residue in my mind and I find myself comforted by it.

Man, I really think it would have changed my life. Ha.

But I picked up my phone instead. I distracted myself with something that made my brain synapses fire, loading me up on dopamine, instead of pausing and leaning in. Paying attention.

This fact is the opposite of the goal I’ve had since the beginning of January: to be still, slow down, determine what is most important to me.

But we all have days like this. When we hear a call and feel compelled to lean in, but maybe we are too tired, too discouraged, too afraid of being disappointed. Maybe there’s no feeling at all. Maybe distractions are just easier, quicker, more accessible.

Because leaning in takes work.

And work seems to be a thing that is most challenging in these days of my quarantine. Everything feels harder. I feel more emotive but less expressive, more anxious but less energetic. Like static built up in radio that has long stopped working.

Stirring, but motionless.

I think – hope – there is grace for me even here. Something about the way God’s been to me in the past tells me there is.

Because in a world of COVID-19, fear, disappointments, isolation, loneliness, sickness, and the feeling of powerlessness, there has to be something louder. I feel like the only thing loud enough to rise above the noise is grace, love, and kindness.

So, even while I’m stretching for my phone instead of stretching toward silence, even when I distract myself to the point I forget what it was that kept me in awe, there is grace.

There is grace for the days I hardly get out of my chair.

Grace for the days I eat more than my fair-share of carbohydrates.

Grace for the days I feel angry, irritable, lonely.

Grace for the days I cry, for the days I cuss at my dog.

Grace upon grace upon grace.

Grace in the remembering and in the forgetting.

When I started writing this, I did not know where it was headed. So, maybe this ending is that thing that I had forgotten, sneaking back in again to remind me: I’m okay.

Too much lately have I seen things on social media telling me I should use my time in quarantine to write a book, get a side hustle, learn a new language, organize my house, become a billionaire and a sous-chef and lose 65lbs.

I got out of bed today.

Diligently tended to tasks presented to me by the job for which I am ever grateful.

Reached for that phone again.

Cried.

Received disappointing news.

Cried some more.

FaceTimed my Mom.

Had some ice cream.

Looking back on this list, I don’t see anything that would make the cut when measured by any of the world’s metrics of worthiness. But, when measured by grace…

What a story to be told,

What a glorious thing to behold.

Humanity, in one of its many shapes and shades, ever present, ever clear, running rivets in the daily turning of the world, spreading its web of existence upon a timeline that’s a lot less linear than we thought.

Grace obliterates metrics.

As I am.

I am worthy.

I still cannot remember that thing I felt like I needed to say.

But, maybe this was it, the greater thing, the bigger thing the forgetfulness is showing me:

Even when we forget, there is something extravagant to behold.

Stay well, friends.

Stay well.

2 thoughts on “portrait of a life: forgetting

  1. Beautiful Lauren. By the way have you read Breath for the Bones by Luci Shaw she is a poet, and some of what you wrote reminds me of what she stated in her book. I just finished and will reread it again. Blessings.

    Liked by 1 person

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