26 November, 2006

Okay, more than a little bummed out…

Shortly after I posted that last entry, I had a couple of really difficult conversations that left me feeling pretty much pummeled emotionally.

I’ve heard this analogy before that we are like grapes and God ‘squeezes’ us with various challenging or painful circumstances, and when we are pressed, wine comes out. Basically the idea is that it’s all for the best and we should aim to allow good things to come out of us when we’re feeling crushed.

But that doesn’t feel true right now. Everything seems more literal to me. I feel like I’m getting squashed, but I’m not a cute, sweet little grape. I am a person. And when people get squashed, it is pretty gross. Grape juice doesn’t come out. Instead, it’s bones, bile, blood, guts, snot, tears, saliva… all kinds of unpleasant things. And not in the nice, predictable and steady stream that comes to mind when I think of wine being poured out. No. Things come out in ugly, shocking bursts and squirts, with tearing, popping and groaning.

A few weeks ago I felt like things were going pretty well overall in most areas of life, and the things that were challenging me were subtle, long-term type things. There was no real drama or distress or anything unexpected.

Now I feel plunged into the midst of some chaotic and confusing battle, and don’t quite feel ready for it. But there’s no time for feeling unprepared, because I’m here and can’t help it.

I just finished a book by G.K. Chesterton. It was beautiful and wonderful in many ways, but I'll just share two short excerpts:

1) A direct quote:
"Cold pheasant is a good thing," said Syme reflectively, "and Burgundy is a spanking good thing..."

I really love the word spank, used in various forms as an adjective or expletive. In fact, everything I feel about the last week could probably be summed up (with the right tone, posture, and facial expression, of course) by simply saying, 'Spank.'

2) There are a lot of plot twists in the story, and people you thought were good/bad turn out to be the opposite, etc. and there is a scene where the main characters are basically questioning and responding to the 'God' character after everything has been revealed.

Here are the last few responses:

Bull said, "I understand nothing, but I am happy. In fact, I am going to sleep."

"I am not happy," said the Professor with his head in his hands, "because I do not understand. You let me stray a little too near to hell."

And then Gogol said, with the absolute simplicity of a child-
"I wish I knew why I was hurt so much."

Maybe someday we will understand. Maybe we never will.

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