Monday, September 27, 2010

In which I am nowhere to be found

Dear Karissa,

Where have you gone? I miss you. I know I agreed to cover for you, live your life while you were gone, but I thought you were only taking off for a couple of days. Not the whole semester. I mean, I know you've stopped in now and again and I appreciate that. You came to the music preschool last week to play with Leyla and Niko and all the other kids. And there is that certain boy who can sometimes tempt you to come back. But then you disappear as soon as you arrived. I'm pretty good at pretending to be you, but my disguise is slipping. This morning Sister Kenney commented that my teaching lacks passion and commitment. If it had been you teaching, there would have been passion and energy up the wazoo. And it's only a matter of time before Dr. Shumway notices, since I simply don't play the piano as well as you do. I don't do school as well as you do. I'm terribly shy and can't even handle basic social situations as well as you. I just can't seem to manage your life with the same zest, optimism and joy that you do.
And your friends miss you too. Mike assures me that he doesn't play favorites, he likes me just as much as you, but I can tell he misses you. I'm not sure if my roommates have caught on to your absence yet, but I think they've definitely noticed my comparative lack of luster. Your Mom and Dad are worried about you, and they offer to help me to find you, but there's not that much they can do.
That's the scary part. No matter how many people miss you and care about you and want you back...I think I'm the only one who can find you. Which means first I need to figure out why you left. What were you so afraid of? What was so painful that you couldn't stick around this semester?
Please come back. It's not the same here without you.
Love,
Your shadow.

Thursday, September 23, 2010

In which I hesitate

I wonder....

Maybe when God led the Hebrews wander-ways through the wilderness, He let them stop to rest at times. And maybe they started to get comfortable, thinking that this was it, the Promised Land, not just another place to camp. And then the next morning...or the next week...or the next month...whenever...when Moses finally called "Pack up your tents! We're moving out!", they moaned. They didn't realize that the full richness of Canaan lay further on, far more bounteous than their small oasis.

But maybe once they finally got there, they were afraid. Afraid that maybe this wasn't the real Promised Land, but just another campsite along the way. Afraid that maybe this was just another nest for the fiery flying serpents. Afraid to be disappointed. Maybe every morning they listened with bated breath for the call to keep moving, to journey on. Maybe some never did unpack all the way, never quite let themselves feel at home in the Promised Land.

Friday, September 10, 2010

Litany against Fear

I've repeated this to myself more times than I can count in the weeks since school started, and it's been an invaluable calming mechanism. Thought I'd share:

"Fear is the mind-killer. Fear is the little death that brings total obliteration. I will face my fear. I will permit it to pass over me and through me. And when it has gone past I will turn the inner eye to see its path. Where the fear has gone there will be nothing. Only I will remain." -Dune, Frank Herbert