Friday, March 02, 2007

Black River

(Song by Amos Lee)

I don’t get it.

I’m trying to understand. I’m trying hard to be kind to myself. I’m trying to give myself the time to breathe, to work through the wide range of emotions churning within my heart... but there doesn’t seem to be any clarity.

My friends ask me how I’m doing. Depending on my mood I either smile and fake it, or I talk about one of the things which concern me. Both responses are a lie.

Sometimes I really do feel great. My heart is full of joy. I am glad, glad, glad.

Sometimes something seems to creep up over me.

Oh, Black River
Gonna take my cares away
Whoa, Black River
Gonna take my cares away
Gonna take my cares gonna carry my cares
Gonna take my cares away
Gonna take a my cares gonna carry my cares
Gonna take a my cares away

I do a lot of writing. Much of it never goes anywhere, not even onto this blog. The other day I sat down to write, and this came out:

I feel like I am spinning away into darkness...

Of late my emotions have been rocking between joy and despair.

I’m so tired... so tired.

Perhaps this will be a post for my blog... perhaps it will be nothing at all... Just the way I feel sometimes... nothing at all...


I walked along the river yesterday. It was swollen, muddy, filled with debris washed from the banks.

Jeremiah turns 18 tomorrow.

Physically.

There was a woman from the county visiting us yestereve. She will be Jeremiah’s case worker now that he is a legal adult. She will facilitate services which will help him learn to take buses, balance a checkbook, pay bills, prepare for job interviews, all the details an adult needs to do.

As I sat on his bed last night, I spoke softly about the implications of turning 18.

“So you’ll be 18 on Saturday...”

“Yeah.”

“Is it a little scary, thinking about being a grown-up, living somewhere else someday?”

“A little.”

I let the words hang in the air for a bit.

“You can live here for as long as you need to, but it is important that you someday learn to be independent.”

A thoughtful pause...

“One thing that changes when you turn 18 is how much responsibility you will have. When you were playing with fire a couple of years ago and the church burned down, we were able to step in as your parents and protect you. When you are 18 you are responsible for everything. You have been a good boy for a long time, but now you will have to be careful of your choices in new ways. You will be responsible for all your actions.”

Oh, dear Savior
Gonna take my cares away
Whoa, dear Savior
Gonna take my cares away
Gonna take my cares gonna carry my cares
Gonna take my cares away
Gonna take my cares gonna carry my cares
Gonna take my cares away

Brenda is having a hard time with all of this. It seems that we have been taking care of others for a such a long time.

Her mother, a paranoid scizophrenic, was in such bad shape ten years ago that we moved her in with us. We helped get her meds straight. We helped he through her stroke. We helped her to the point where she can be in her own apartment, though it means Brenda goes over there almost everyday to help her shop, wash her clothes, refill her meds, and a hundred other little things.

And now that our children are becoming young men we look at them and they are so far from being ready for the world.

Brenda is having a hard time with all of this. It seems that we have been taking care of others for a such a long time.

“How long will we have to do this?” she pleads.

Oh, sweet whiskey, Lord
Gonna take my cares away
Whoa sweet whiskey Lord
Your gone gonna take my cares away
Gonna take my cares gonna carry my cares
Gonna take my cares away
Gonna take my cares gonna carry my cares
Gonna take my cares away

I don’t drink. Oh I order a beer when we go out for dinner sometimes. But it is usually only half finished and very warm by the time the meal is cleared.

Brenda is four years sober, and I don’t wish to tempt her by having anything in the house.

But there is something about the idea of buying a bottle of scotch and going off somewhere by myself and pitching a drunk like I haven’t done in decades.

Your gonna take my bottle, my Bible, my mess
Your gonna take all of my empty and my loneliness
Gonna take all of that sadness inside of me
Gonna take it all and set me free

I was at the church early this morning. I was meeting a few others for a little prayer time. While I waited for the room to be available (it’s our monthly 24 hours of prayer and the previous time slot had a good friend of mine in there), I walked outside and looked at the construction underway. Clean wood, freshly painted beams, the building is rising up from the old remnants of the basement where my son had gone off by himself a couple years ago. It’s all fresh and new. But there is still something dusty and old in my heart when I look at it.

The prayer time was pretty good. Except that when I started to pray in that small group, just four of us, a sadness creapt over me. I forced myself to pray thankful things. I threw my mind into a distant future, a time when all of the sadness in my heart will be gone. I prayed about eternity...

I prayed a prayer of gratitude for the free spirit I will become when I will be able to live and breather pure love and joy, in the shining glory of my Lord. I thanked my God for the joys I will feel when I can dance and sing with Abraham and Moses and Paul and Mary and Peter... when gigantic ancient beings of eternity will kneel beside me and bow into the warm embrace of the only arms capable of embracing a universe.

I can’t let Brenda see me sad. I have to pull myself together. I can’t add to her burdens...

What the Hell is the mattter with me!?!

Suck it up man! There is such great suffering in the world and you are groaning because you’re tired?! Get it together!

MyDadDidn’treturnMyCallJeremiahIsTurning
18SomeStudentTookMyIPodFourOfMyDigital
CamerasBrokeThisMonthI’mSoTiredHowAre
WeGoingToPayForIsaac’sTrip?WhyWon’t
ThosePeopleGetBackToMeAboutTheVirtual
Museum?HowDoIHelpMyWifeOutOfHer
Struggles?ILoveYouLordBrendaSaysShe Regrets
HerChoicesI’mBehindInMy
ScriptureReading
TwoKidsBrokeIntoAFight
InMyRoomYesterday
IHaveToFinishThatGrantSheWishesShe

CouldRunAwayIHaveToWriteThatProposalI
HaveToMakeThat
VideoIHaveToPrepareFor
ThatMeetingINeed
ToFinishThatPainting...

I took the day off yesterday, hoping a day of rest would change things.

I need to go pray...

Oh, Black River
Gonna take my cares a way

15 comments:

Me said...

I know the feeling.

There is no wisdom for it when it is not your own struggle. There is only going through it and coming through it - delivered through it.

Cinder said...

I know the feeling all too well right now. I've been bad lately for trying to pull the wool over people's eyes and make it appear that all's well. Some of them read me like an open book though...but then again, they've been my biggest support through it.

Rest is a good thing...I've had to take some days to do just that. Simply know that He's there beside you, even on those days when it seems like He's not.

Like Me said, it is indeed the going through it and coming through it...which will bring the wisdom as to how to best deal with the struggle.

Blessings to you and yours this weekend...I'll be lifting you up!

Ame said...

just want you to know . . . you are loved . . . and understood . . .



*crawling thru the darkness* . . . "prozac? ... prozac? ... where are you? ... where'd you go ... i'm looking for you! ... come out NOW! ..."

tehehehehe - just gotta laugh a little ;)


Dear God, as You move to and fro about this world You created, in and around inside the hearts of those whom You created and who love You, how do You see us? We are desperate, depraved, overwroght, stressed, overwhelmed, distressed, lonely, drowning. What do You see? Touch us, Lord, for we desperately need Your healing, Your covering, Your strength, Your power. Indwell us with Your Holy Spirit in unimagined ways. Precious Lord, take our hands; lead us on; help us stand. For we are tired. We are weak. We are worn. Through this endless storm called humanity; through this endless night called earth; lead us onto the Light of Heaven. For we long and plead to go Home. I love You, Ame

Chris said...

I'm praying.

My heart aches for you.

Maybe you're still trying too hard. Be still. Know that He is God. It's not about what happens or doesn't happen - though those do matter! - and it isn't about what you do or don't do. It's really not about whether you take time off or whether you keep working. It's not a matter of whether you're so full of joy or you want to just go curl up in a ball and cry. Every one of those is okay. There is a time and a season for each of them. When I was walking in hard places last semester, I began to see that what matters is that we trust, that we let go. Our emotions will rage like crazy. And that's okay. The sadness, and the giddiness, are both okay. I can't understand where you are, honestly; I've been through hard things but they do not compare: even if as hard (and I cannot say), they are different. But our God sympathizes with every one of our pains and aches and confusions, because He has borne them all - compressed into the span of a few hours, the weight of all humanity's torment loading down on His shoulders. Surrender is hard. Impossible, really, in our own strength. But we have this same power in us that raised Christ from the dead. So we can surrender; and we can give over our burdens to our Father, who is more than big enough to carry them. Surrender.

As always: you know all these things. I simply say them in the hope that you be encouraged by them as the Holy Spirit moves in your heart.

"Why so downcast, oh my soul? Put your hope in God!" That's my heart's cry for you right now, brother. I wish I could lend you a hand in everything more than these few words across a thousand miles.

You have my prayers.

Judas Hate said...

Please feel free to e-mail me at home any time you feel like "talking".
Happy Birthday to Jeremiah.
Smiles to Isaac.
Peace to Brenda.
Strength to you.
Love and prayers for all.

byhisgracealone said...

Prayers, love and hugs to all of you.

donna

Becky said...

I don't want to say that I understand because everyone's journey is different. I sure know the range feelings you are expressing. Like you have given me a time or two I will give back to you and lift you up in prayer.

becky

Jim said...

Hi CS -- I hope the weekend and the day off gave you some catch-up time. We all need that sometimes.

HAPPY BIRTHDAY TO JEREMIAH!
HAPPY BIRTHDAY TO JEREMIAH!
HAPPY BIRTHDAY TO JEREMIAH!
HAPPY BIRTHDAY TO JEREMIAH!
HAPPY BIRTHDAY TO JEREMIAH!
HAPPY BIRTHDAY TO JEREMIAH!
HAPPY BIRTHDAY TO JEREMIAH!
HAPPY BIRTHDAY TO JEREMIAH!
HAPPY BIRTHDAY TO JEREMIAH!
HAPPY BIRTHDAY TO JEREMIAH!
HAPPY BIRTHDAY TO JEREMIAH!
HAPPY BIRTHDAY TO JEREMIAH!

I had to do that you know, I just had to. I always do that, I can't help it. Well, maybe I could.

Did you ever look up the Hope Village site I referenced you a while back. It is a good thing for those kids (??) -- some are your age I do believe.

Life ebbs and flows and we can't change a lot of things we would like to. The Lord said he would not allow us more than we can handle.

Mrs. Jim's mother died last week, Saturday a very good friend who we have power of attorney for her health died. This lady had been on hospice for over a year and did have a 'do not resisitate' order in place.

Those deaths relieved both of us, but Mrs. Jim more so, of a lot of our responsibilities. Who would think there are blessings in the death of loved ones?
Trust me, there are, both for the deceased--both of these ladies are witht the Lord now--and the families. Even so, it is still a sad occurence. We will miss them a terrible lot.

Any rate, chin up CS. Monday is here after a night's sleep. We can't stop that either!
..

Maripat said...

You are in my thoughts and prayers. It doesn't seem right that some folks seem to go through so much difficulty. Take of yourself.

bjk said...

The prayer time was pretty good. Except that when I started to pray in that small group, just four of us, a sadness creapt over me. I forced myself to pray thankful things.

So did they know the sadness, do they know the sadness that can overtake you....??...what if they could help YOU.....I don't know CS I just know we don't know who He may have ready to minister to you....praying for you...becky

Felisol said...

Matthew 11.28"Come to me, all you who are weary and burdened, and I will give you rest." Jesus said.
Dear CS you are all worn out of the worries and heavy tasks you are carrying. I whish you'd manage to leave them all to Jesus and get some rest. You deserve it, and you need it, and you'll get it for free.
"Dear God, bless brother Will and give him YOUR peace." Amen.

Jada's Gigi said...

I'm praying brother...

Christopher said...

that hits a very relatable spot...but i would never pretend to know exactly; hopefuly that's the lords domain, and i try to faith that he has complete empathy for each of us. ive struggled with a similar thought that you expressed:

"Suck it up man! There is such great suffering in the world and you are groaning because you’re tired?! Get it together!"

suffering not all the same but being fractured and broken in whatever form or context is not God's will or our desire.

sometimes i wonder what someone wiser than myself or jesus himself would answer my "moments." is it that jesus is just so quiet and "absent?" or is he suffering with us or do i not have ears to hear...samples of some of my moments and im a "professional clergy."

rest sabbatical yes, but life doesnt cooperate does it? life doesnt slow down because we cant keep up (as i experince it)...so sometimes i just hold on and hope that god is holding on to me...gosh that sounds rough and brash...and its not for you as much as it's a reminder to myself...

grace and prayers and hope that you can find rest and wisdom in this time. hope i dont sound too much like one of job's buddies...

MMM said...

And once again, I am soooo....there.

Right along with you. Swept along by currents I don't understand, trying to figure out why the hell I jumped in in the first place.....

wilsonian said...

+

Just marking my presence... another reminder that despite how it feels, you don't stand alone.