I can’t be who everybody wants me to be. I’m skilled not brilliant. I’m passionate not a force. I have energy for now. I am creative but slowly. I’m disorganized. I can’t multitask. I’m not big BIG picture. I’m not fine detailed. I’m Barbara. I draw pretty pictures not daring ones. I love showing people the love of Christ. I want to live every moment. I hate not having enough energy. I hate letting moments slip by. I hate thinking about the hours of television that could’ve been a novel. I hate leaving art projects undone. Why can’t all the projects be finished instantly? I’m disgusted by the idea of leaving something undone when I die. But I find it improbable and most likely inauthentic to who I am to ever finish everything at the same time. I want to meet Jesus now. And I’m frenzied for living another day. I love my bed. I love to climb in. I hate to get out of it. I love being in my mind. I love being creative, letting my mind work. I love it when my thoughts keep me up till four solving problems, unable to rest when beautiful visions are being built. Yet I scroll down my phone clicking back and forth between email, facebook, twitter, and wordpress, just to make my mind be still so I can sleep. I don’t know who I am. I don’t know what God wants me to offer. I find out in the second. This is it. This is what you have to give. I’m tired. I’m crying. I wish others could see life as I do sometimes. It’s a gift this, the view, the creation, never bored in my mind. What would I do without characters talking, images parading. Just images, just stories, nothing grand, nothing that will affect the tides of politics or social justice. They’re not even true. They’re fiction as true as I can make them. I love stories. Some crazy story this, me, here, now.
The other day my son came home from school and told me they read The Story of Ruby Bridges.
“Who was the president guy again?” he asked.
Now, I am notoriously horrible with presidents. Really bad, so I was like, “Well, let’s look it up.”
Seconds later I’m reading the story of Ruby Bridges on Wikipedia.
And then, I start bawling like a baby.
It had been an emotional day and I just totally lost it.
And it felt fantastic!
“Why are you reading it in that strange voice?” my son asks.
I continue reading in half choked sobs.
“Mom, stop it,” he pushes me a little.
I stop reading and just cry a little.
“Mom!” he shakes my shoulders.
“Let me cry!” I say, “It’s terrible and beautiful. I’m sad and I’m gonna cry.”
It was releasing. In a little part, for just a moment, I felt the beauty of humanity’s best and the sadness of our worst. I hadn’t cried in so long it felt fantastic!
I tried recounting my experience to my husband.
“I’m sorry you had such a bad afternoon,” he says.
I blinked. Bad? The whole crying thing was the highlight of my day.
And then I remembered my son’s response.
So, in short, I’m glad I’m a woman.