in california (here, to be precise) for a few days with my family for the purpose of attending the wedding of a high school friend with whom i haven’t spoken in almost three years – and haven’t spent any real amount of time with since 1998. despite the posh locale it really doesn’t feel like a vacation – but then i suppose i’m more used to the pack what you can carry, sleep in bunk beds, drink coffee and/or wine at all hours, solitary sort of vacation. the best parts of the trip so far have been the times when my sister and i have been able to steal away – drinking foofy drinks by the pool, having ridiculous swimming competitions (they’re every bit as much fun as adults!), covertly smoking on the balcony, looking at extremely expensive (and gorgeous) clothes. tomorrow my friend carrie is driving down the coast – we’re going to have pink drinks and go to the beach. i’m glad to be away, but i fear that i am, again, too much like my dad – by the time i really get into the swing of relaxation, it’s time to head home.
all of that said, i’m glad to be here drinking cheap white wine from the organic grocery and hanging out with my family – but i’ll be equally glad to be back in my own itty-bitty apartment on sunday.
Beth says she feels You near, as if You are running Your hand down her arm at the distance before her hair starts to stand on end. I understand. I feel like You’ve been there just beyond a place that I can reach for such a long time. I was reflecting on – this – the other day and said this was prefaced by my convo with Melissa – no, with talking to N about the camino – no, with thinking about the camino – no, I don’t know. It’s as if this has been just beyond the place of reason for a long time, and I’ve just become aware of it, like a shadow that has been following me. The conversation was the crisis point, but You’ve been there for a long time, just waiting. It is as if by opening myself up to the possibility of human love, of loving and being loved by N, I opened myself up to You.
I told the family about the Camino yesterday – they’re skeptical but not openly doubting. I think it’s so far off that no one believes it’ll happen – that I’ll change my mind before then or get distracted or something. Have been thinking of getting the pilgrim’s symbol – a snail? a shell? – tattooed on my inner wrist – marking my journey on my skin like a map or a icon (to use Madeleine L’Engle’s word).
more concrete steps towards the camino – today i talked to jill about taking time off next summer. had she said no, it would’ve meant the end of that dream for now. but she said yes, shouldn’t be a problem, and that i might even have vacation time. i’ll check with suzi when i get back, but that’s one less big thing to worry about. now – finances, fitness, etc. i’m glad i decided on this now, not impulsively a few months before the fact like i did with france. but this is something bigger.
tomorrow i’m leaving for california and will be spending four days with the family. this will be a challenge. i’m not ready to talk to mom yet. i don’t know if she’ll understand. in fact, i know she won’t. again this feels like a love affair i must keep secret because no one will understand. i am not ashamed by any means, but some people will get it and others won’t – so i am testing the waters gingerly.
today i was very tired and irritable and burned out.
from glimpses of grace:
“Faith and religion are not the same thing. Although my faith may falter, it has to do with the constancy of God’s love. Religion, which is the expression of faith, may find different expressions appropriate in different times and places and to different people, and the variety of these expressions can enlarge our perception and deepen our faith.”
n loaned me the mystic heart and i have been reading it these last two days, though the essence of it is in the above paragraph. religion and faith. i love that they can coexist but don’t have to. this is what mom won’t understand.