The hum of the wall heater rumbles to life, and edges of picture frames catch the reading light’s glow. Sierra circles one more time, then “hurrumphs” as she plops herself down again- clearly bored. Her breathing and the steady click-clack of a computer’s keyboard keep me company.
On the distant wall, I can hear the booming tick tock of the clock I searched years to find – “the perfect one” – until I took it home and realized how un-perfectly loud it was. TICK TOCK TICK TOCK…
and yet still I kept it.
Funny what we can get used to, all for the illusion of “perfection.”
There are days, lately, that I just wish I had something to say. Something “perfect” that would be worth reading. Something deep but funny… challenging, but encouraging. Problem is, what I write all sounds the same to me lately… like the things I cook. Nothing new. Nothing fresh. Nothing daring or different or necessarily delicious. The same boring ideas. The same boring wishes. The same recipe of dreams and wonderings. Bleh.
So instead I feel quiet. Emptied. Waiting. Listening. Hoping.
There might be a new idea yet, just beneath my fingertips, just waiting to spring forth.
Maybe I just need to sit in a different chair.
It has occurred to me lately, though, if I was sitting across from a friend I’d have plenty of out-loud thinking to do. Something they’d say would inevitably trigger some thinking on my part and away I’d go…
But alone, when I put my fingers to keys? BAM! I got nuttin’…nothing but flying thoughts colliding in midair somewhere right around my ears.
So what would I say to you, dear old friend, if you were sitting across my table? What deep wonderings, what paper-thin insights would come swirling your way in the coffee steam?
Nope. Got nothing.
Hmm. Except maybe this:
Don’t be afraid of silence or the ‘dead spaces’ that can seem to swallow up purpose. Don’t be afraid to mull over life. Go ahead and fork through the bits of flour that want to lump and ruin the gravy you’re been making out of juices eked from slow-cooking perfection.
Don’t be afraid.
It is too easy to see life as half-empty instead of half-full. But actually the truth is: it is neither. It is always empty. It is always full.
Life is a lot like those landscape pictures whose profound beauty is seen in the expanse of the sky, not the silhouetted skyline. Yet without the small darkened horizon there would only be emptiness. The full beauty of the expansive sky embraces the little and the dark. They work together. They need each other.
I guess what I’m saying to nobody in general, and to me in particular, is this:
If life is bleh, Jane, then kneel down, look through a different lens, find a different angle. Get another take on it. There’s beauty there and you know it. Sometimes it just takes the un-perfect TICK TALK of time. And maybe a little Photoshopping. But that’s okay. It’s all art. Crop it, retouch it, adjust its colors. Give it contrast, play with the highlights and the shadows. Find a way to make these snapshots of life beautiful. It’s in your DNA. Your Father is a master creator, a photographer extraordinaire. Micro, Macro, Zoom. Sepia, antique, faded edges. Realistic, surrealistic, stark and severe.
There is beauty in it all. Every single day. Beauty seen through a lens. Composed. Angled. Filling the open “empty” spaces as they embrace the darkened silhouettes and give them meaning and purpose.
…waiting for His perfect light to shine on all the parts just right.