Tuesday, March 19, 2013

Empty Pages

In a rush to a symposium where I would need to take notes, I grabbed the nearest notebook I could find.  A few days later, I went to review my notes.  As I flipped from the pages to figure out which way was front and back, a page caught my eye.  At the top was a page labeled, "Ultimate Secrets of my Life."  As I scanned the page, I realized that it was blank.

This notebook is my daughter's.  I found her drawings up near the front.  And as I looked at that page, I began to wonder about her.  What ARE the "ultimate secrets" of her life?  The very fact that there is that title makes me believe that there are secrets.  But the fact that it is blank reminds me of myself.  And of you.  There is, in the dungeons of my heart, thoughts and experiences that have been locked away that will most likely not see the light of day.  They are mine.  They have shaped who I am, how I see the world, and the statistics of my life.  Some are interesting, many are not, but they are the essence of who I am when no one else is looking.

Will you ever find them here?  Maybe.  Everyone has a bit of transparency to their life.  Scars, habits, accents, and even genetics tell you something about each person you meet.  There are the standard stories we tell each other, "About the time that....".  But there are those that we don't tell as well. The questions of whether or not we feel valued.  The hopes and aspirations we have that some may not understand. We keep them guarded in our own little tower with vigilant guards set to protect them.  I will give you an example:

 When I was young, I wanted to be a world champion ice-skater. I didn't know then, as I know now, that I did not have the ideal physique for ice skating.  But oh how I loved the movement, the costumes, and the amazing spins, jumps and choreography that I saw on the tv.  To dance, jump, and spin with abandon and show physically what the music makes you feel internally. To fly and move in a way that can only be accomplished with very little friction. Which is also why I seriously enjoy watching Spider Man when he is flying between buildings. Mostly it was the costumes though.  The twirly skirts that catch the air.

I never did turn out to be a world class skater. Of the few times that I did go ice skating it was NOT what I had imagined in my mind.  The bird-flapping arms trying to stay balanced with feet that never seemed comfortable on top of a blade.  And I never got the costume either. Ice rinks are cold anyway.  But it did teach me to listen to the heart of my each of my children. Know their desires and let them try to follow their heart.  I didn't succeed where I wanted to, but I did became a wicked air-hockey player.  With a competitive edge so fierce that the puck often flies off the table.

Not much of a secret, huh? But even if you have known me for years, you would most likely not know either of those things about me. Like the way I just found out that the man I've been married to for over 14 years played the trumpet in his youth.  And those don't even come close to being any of my "ultimate" life secrets.  Those might strike fear, pity, or shock in your own heart.  But even if you were curious, you would not find them, or  know them.  I have not written them down anywhere, for anyone.  Nor will I.  Those are ultimately in an impenetrable part of me that even I rarely visit.  But it reminds me that there is an interior life to every person.  I don't think that there is enough time to know each other as well as we might like.

I reached up to pin down the slivers I had caught from Heaven.
They were hammered down between my heart and mind
To remind me of what I was and what I was meant to do.
Somewhere in the night I forgot where they were
Fear caught a hold of me and ravaged my soul
Cold fingers, lost eyes, and uncertain heart collapsed me
Til I found the first sliver I had hammered
And traced the it back to where it first fell.

Yep.  Now I gotta go move like Jagger and get some cleaning done.  I will be dancing where you can't see me, and singing where you are most likely glad you can't hear me.  And I suspect, that many of you are doing the same. There are so many empty pages to fill.


Reggs said...

Loved this post. So true! We are all very complex individuals.
While Danika was here, she said, "tell me something about you that I don't know." To be honest, I couldn't think of a thing. Doesn't everyone know me inside and out already? Then I told her I once was commissioned to create greeting cards for a boutique. They took my rough drafts and sold them for $2.70 a piece.
Then she told me she wrote an article for the New Era (EVER HEARD OF IT?). And we laughed. Those are the uplifting things. I don't want to talk about how the mean girl in junior high made fun of how short my pants were. Or how I started worrying about being fat in 5th grade. I think burying the private stuff helps us get through another day.
I do think you would have made a fantastic ice skater, though. :)

Reggs said...

OH! And just as a side note...is it possible Abigail wrote her secrets in invisible ink?
Just curious...

Danika said...

As I read this that very same conversation came to mind! Reagan told me about how Piper was interested in horseback riding and I casually asked if she'd start her on an English or Western saddle. This led to a conversation about how I took horseback riding lessons when I first moved to Boston. I loved hearing about how you wanted to be an ice skater.

BTW- Did you know Brent played piano?