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I just want to talk for a while.

Sunday, June 8, 2014

Creative Commons - Kevin Dooley
A few weeks ago I read a story with a beautiful sentiment:  I just want to talk for a while. I hear that phrase and I ache with understanding. Isn't that all any of us wants?  To listen and be heard?  To know and be known?

As much as I love stories, the ones I most need to tell often stay silent in my gut. I know I'm not alone in this. We all do it. It's not that I'm ashamed of them, it's that I don't have a resolution.  How can I tell a story if I don't know how it ends? The relationships are still happening, the questions are still unanswered. They aren't going to be resolved in an 800 word essay or a two hour meal.  By now, they are woven so deeply into the fabric of my life, they are part of who I am. When someone asks, "How's that going?" My response is always, "It's okay."  What else is there to say?

Some things stare us in the face and defy resolution. In those moments, we just need to talk awhile.


That is where I am this weekend.  People I love are suffering, and there is never going to be a  resolution. I can't change their lives and I can't change how their stories effect mine. All weekend I've sighed over housework, snapped at my kids, ignored my husband, sunk deeper into my own head.  But none of it is their fault or their problem. It's life's fault, and I can't make life do what I want it to do, so I'll grumble at the messy house instead. Finally this morning my husband asked, "What will help you? What do you need right now?"

I knew the answer at once.  I just want to talk for a while.  I don't want to talk about suffering or the things no one can change. I don't want to talk about how I feel.. We can just talk about work, about kids, about our tv shows or what's inspired us lately. We don't have to fix the big things in our lives. We don't even have to address them.  Just being together will matter.

Hearing another's voice, remembering we are a part of a context, seeing that other people struggle with the big things in life too ... when we're staring at the questions no one can answer, all we can do is reach out toward one another.  When there's nothing left to say, the best thing we can do is sit together.

I am captivated by good stories.  And though I can't tell every story in my gut, I won't keep silent anymore.  On weekends like this one, when I'm full of emotions and questions no one can answer, all I to do is talk for a while.



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