so i took the 4 day trip with my family to attend my grandmother's funeral.
by the time i arrived back in houston, it had felt more like a pilgrimage.
sometimes i like to think of God as more of 'the big irony'.
i suppose it's hard to admit that all of my coincidences go back to something divine and aren't just due to the ebb and flow of existence.
it was ironic that after just starting therapy, after just getting in a fight with both siblings, and after just deciding that i needed a vacation...that i would find myself in the car with the whole family.
sometimes i think we need vacations from our vacations,
and perhaps my friend deanna was right...
that trip may have been the last time the whole family would be together in one car.
and so we made the trip to lubbock, texas.
i made sure to have plenty of reading material in effort to avoid my family at all costs...
and for the most part i did.
i tucked myself deep into the back of my father's tahoe,
and i read.
i read donald miller's 'through painted deserts' that i'd promised to read a year ago,
i read vanity fair's coverage of AIDS,
i read cosmo,
i read time,
and when night came, i tried my best to read the stars within the west texas sky.
somewhere in all that reading...
i found myself in an existential breakdown.
why did i not cry at the funeral?
how would i feel about my father and mother at their death?
how would my potential children feel about me?
why did i want to grow my hair out and look like one of those long-haired pretty girls?
what did it matter what clothes i bought?
why did it matter if i got my car washed regularly?
what in the world was i going to do with a degree in christianity and sociology?
why was i trying to secure a job with the Y that forced me to jump through hoops (particularly religious ones)-where people stress over budgets and staff cuts, and then smile while they let people go and do under-the-table dirty work?
it kind of reminds me of some churches.
why was i doing anything besides helping these people starving and suffering of AIDS?
why are my brother and sister such jerks sometimes?
why do i leave the water running while i brush my teeth if people in africa attempt survival with that same amount of water?
what should my new tattoo be?
why could i not be at home watching al gore's 'live earth' concert so that i could join the fight to save the planet?
and in the end...which deserves to come first:
do we save the planet so that people can have a place to live?
or do we save people in order to save the planet?
and is the depravity of man so deep that it doesn't matter if we're not giving them something to live for?
if you're still reading this...i commend you.
in frustration, i dropped my book to the floor.
i gazed out upon the huge west texas landscape,
and despite all the energy in my head and in that tahoe,
the expanse outside was huge enough for it all.
i was able to breathe.
whatever weight was upon me...
there was room enough outside for my thoughts and for my quiet, existential breakdown.
and then i fell asleep.
when i woke, i lifted my eyes to stare at west texas wind turbines.
they were huge.
they were white.
they were beautiful.
if you look hard, you can see them behind me in the picture above.
once while i was in destin, florida i found myself out on the ocean at night.
a storm was rolling in and actually came close enough to where we could all see the lightning strike in the ocean and the water around glow with electricity.
further down the beach stood a white crane.
it must have been at least 4 feet tall.
it stood, motionless, at the edge of the beach...waves crashing at it's feet.
my friends stood watching, silent.
to speak would have been irreverent.
i felt the same way standing beneath those turbines.
miller echoed some of my own thoughts that i've been having over the past year...
i'd like to stand above the grand canyon so that i might feel small again.
like in the breadth of west texas...
like in the glory of a crane...
like in the presence of air turned to energy...
i want to remember that there is something out there much bigger than me,
that i don't have to plague myself with so many questions,
and that in the end,
i should just try my hardest to love people.
yes, it was a pilgrimage.
it took 4 days to realize some things about myself...
(the first chance i got i went and cut my hair off-
i'm just not the kind of girl to worry about blow-drying and curling irons)
and some things...sigh...are yet to be realized.
and...i suppose i'm glad there's a 'big irony' out there...
to push me along,
to keep me on my toes,
and to show me beautiful things
that i might breathe again.