between

An Essay By Brianna // 9/18/2007

Sunday came falling down too fast, crashing in upon me like Niagara Falls; a splash of cold water and ice that had the weight of large rocks. I could have prepared myself to be prepared for a month and it wouldn't have made a difference. Because no matter how prepared I was, it wasn't going to change how I felt.
Standing in the garage in my jeans and T-shirt, I looked out into the night. My sisters voices played back to me in my head, calling their goodbyes, telling me to take care of things while they were away, bestowing on me that weight of responsibility. Their faces, desperately trying to smile, eyes brimming with tears...
I try to tell myself that this is just like every time before. Things will work out. I'll see them soon. It's not that bad. I should be used to this. They're only two hours away... But whether they're twelve hours, or two, it doesn't make it any easier. They're still gone. They're still living in a world half of me longs to enter, while the other half seems to be pulling back, holding home closer. But all the same, a world that I am not in. Since I was born, I had always been in their world... but now, things have changed.
I have to admit, I was very tempted to just jump into the trunk, and go along with them. Plunge into that world... It seemed, as I was sitting on the bumper of our van watching them pull away, that the part of me loving to be home was being outweighed one by a thousand.
I tried to look brave as they beeped and waved for one last time. The headlights of the car illuminated our yard with their artificial light as they swept over it. The trees looked ghostly, and the crickets sang. I wondered how and why they were singing tonight.
Then they rolled down the driveway, and were gone . I stood waving, deciding that we were not made to say goodbye. We were not made to have to let go. All the same, I did. I let go, while my love clung desperately on. It seemed as if it were pulling me along with their rolling tires, down the end of our street. My feet desired to follow.
And then my aloneness crept in. The shadows fell again, as their lights disappeared, blanketing the night in it's darkness. I hugged my arms about me, and felt the sharp cold air envelope me.

I could almost picture this line... a long thick white one. On one side was my future, and the other my past. Right now, I was standing directly on top that line, looking into the future. And I knew I was in between. Sometimes, I find myself looking into the past. Re-living memories, and wishing, part of me, that I could have them back again. Memories of feelings, memories of moments... memories of days... of nights... there were also memories of goodbyes. But those I would not wish back.

I wish they never had to drive away....I wish that those days when all we did was play and laugh hadn't gone so fast... or that then, I would have known the full meaning and blessing of them. But would it have ruined them if I had known? Most probably. Half the things I do I wouldn't have been able to do if I had known what they would turn out to be. Of where they would lead me. Of how many steps there were to take after that one. And yet, looking back on them, it's a grace and blessing to have lived it. Because everything we live helps create who we are. So please ...live with truth.

I pondered all of this, and felt the feeling familiar. I can't say I welcomed it as anything but a stranger, because our meetings have not made us friendlier. But it was familiar all the same, even if far larger than ever before.
The night was similar to me. The air was cold... too cold to be called summer, but it wasn't officially autumn yet. Almost cold enough to cloud my breath before me, but not quite. The leaves on the trees could not have been called 'changed' or even that they were 'changing'. But they no longer held the life and depth of summer. I felt like them. A faded picture of the past, but not to the point of beginning a new bright and colorful future. Even my shadow that I cast upon the floor from the dim garage light, looked faded.

Would that be me, in a year or two? Would I pull out, and leave home? Would my sister stand here, and wish she were with me? Would she be standing on the almost visible white line? Would I be able to leave her, knowing the loneliness she would feel? It hurt to imagine, and I was grateful, for now, that I did not have to make that choice.
My eyes were dry, but my heart was weeping. Why was change always so painful for me? Why did I regret leaving the past when the future holds so much beauty? I'm still searching for the answer...
Raising my eyes to the sky, I caught a glimpse of a little star. It was all alone at first, winking in and out of shining. But the longer I looked, the more I saw. There was something comforting in that fact. I don't know why. Maybe I imagined myself as that lone star for a moment. And when the others appeared, I felt I was in good company. Maybe they had crossed that brink, and stood waiting for me. Maybe one day, from the other side, I would look back.
The cold and damp from the pavement of the garage floor sunk into my socks, and made me shiver. I turned back and saw a little line of light shining from underneath the kitchen door. It was like home, beckoning to me. I was no longer looking out into the night: the shadows of the future. But to the warmth of the present... of being home.

Comments

I like it. I feel like that

I like it. I feel like that sometimes, I did rather recently, too, after my trip to Yemen. But it's all resolved now.

Great writing.

Kyleigh | Wed, 09/19/2007

familiar

Brianna,
Looking back I can recall quite a few "between" times - sometimes I wonder if I'll ever get comfortable with them. You would think that change would become easier, simpler, or less "un-settling" as the years go by - at least that's how I comforted myself when I was younger. Yet, I think resistance to change is a large part of being human - though it is easier for some than for others. For me, it is this "between" time that is the most uncomfortable and upsetting - that time where "nothing" has changed, and yet I know that change is coming and I can't do anything to stop it! "Growing up" is full of these between times, but they don't ever really go away. (For instance, right now our house is in the middle of a foreclosure process, and we have no idea where we'll be living in a matter of months... I have no idea where we'll be spending our Thanksgiving, Advent, or Christmas - talk about unsettling!) I want to be encouraging, to tell you what you already know - that you should treasure the moments before the next "change" in your life even as you feel the pressure of "the wait" growing within you - but I know it would be pointless to tell you what you already know. It does help to remember that God is still in control though - He has a path set before you, and He knows what it holds for you. During my between times there are a bunch of Scriptures I hold close - here's one:
"Trust in the Lord with all your heart, and do not rely on your own insight. In all your ways acknowledge Him, and He will make straight your paths."
Proverbs 3:5-6
Also - there is a verse I carried close to my heart for years - kind of like my life verse, though I'm not sure if it applies as well as it did when I was younger :) - but I wanted to share it with you anyway. :)
"Don't let anyone look down on you because you are young, but set an example for the believers in speech, in life, in love, in faith and in purity."
1 Timothy 4:12 - This is the NIV translation... :)

Thanks for portraying such a vivid picture of this "between-ness" for us...
Peace be with you...

Jenny | Sun, 09/23/2007

sorry... this got a little longer than I had meant. :P

My life has never stopped changing, and I know it never will. But this point that I'm at I will not pass again. With every change, you can never experience the same change you've gone through in t he same way. Because things have changed. Tomorrow does not hold exactly what yesterday told you.

Change is a difficult thing. It always will be, no matter what you tell yourself, what you read, or what people tell you. And it's okay. :) I think that's part of being human. You can't live life searching for a place to land where you won't find anything difficult anymore, because that place does not lie here. Sometimes we need to face the difficulty, and live in that difficulty. Sometimes, we are going to struggle. That's how we learn. That's how we grow. That's how we're strengthened. That's what forms us into who we are.
Without struggle, without confusion or frustration, who would we be? And where?

Sometimes, I think we need to be in that place. And sometimes when you're in it, the best thing to do is just be in it, and face that things can never be the same again. Living in reality.
The comfort comes afterward, when you look over what you just passed, "and see that (in the end) it was good". I also think that while in all of that, somewhere in the back of your mind, or the depth of your heart, you know it's fine. You know God is leading you. At least that's how I feel.
But I'm sure, when the angel appeared to Mary and asked her to bear the son of God, she felt very similar. Before Joseph had the dream, and before anyone understood. She was facing a long future, that held so much change. And I bet she struggled with that. She knew God would lead her, and while it made a world of difference, it was still hard. And to deny it was hard would be absurd.

I know that the future holds more in betweenness. There has been no doubt of that in my mind. Because life is not perfect... and time is not going to stand still. And I've grown to be used to that thought, and find some kind of peace in it. I know there will be many more bridges to cross, but I'm not on those bridges yet. And I'm thankful God does not call us to cross more than one bridge at once. :) For now, I'm striving to make my way over this one, and put it behind me, facing with the new growth and strength I have acquired from passing over it, the bridges to come.

I think somewhere in the Lord of the Rings, Frodo muses over something like this. That had he known all that would have befallen him when he left the shire, he probably wouldn't have been able to leave... to do what he needed to.

I think this is very similar. I don't know what the future holds, and I don't know what or how many bridges I will need to cross. But I think that's a good thing. We need to go step by step. I will not know what's on the other side of the bridge, until I come to it.

I'll be praying for you and your passing over your own bridges. I hope that somewhere, on the other side of one of them, you find peace.

Thank you for your thoughts,

-Brianna

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"They say follow you heart. Yeah, but what if it lies."--Paul Coleman Trio

Brianna | Sun, 09/23/2007

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"We have been created for greater things. Why stoop down to things that will spoil the beauty of our hearts?" ~Mother Theresa

Fair and Beautiful

Like it a lot.
I've encountered a similar situation a few month ago. But my feelings were not that intense at first. All the new stuff was just too overwhelming, to indulge in reminiscences.
But the first time I went to visit my old home, a couple of month later all of the memories seemed to come back at once. And then I finally realized how awesome those times were.
It was the absolute opposite of Kafka's "Heimkehr" (not sure how it was translated into your language... guess "home coming").

You manage to transform your feelings into words very well. Sometimes I wish I had that gift, too.

Anonymous | Thu, 10/18/2007

...

Thank you so much for your comment. It's really encouraging. :)

Brianna | Sun, 10/21/2007

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"We have been created for greater things. Why stoop down to things that will spoil the beauty of our hearts?" ~Mother Theresa