Monday, November 15, 2004

Figuring it out

(Starting Music: "One")

There are days when I want to talk about what God is teaching me. There are days when I want to tell you about all the really awesome insights I'm getting through my reading. I want to communicate the fact that I'm starting to grow again spiritually, and I'm really excited about that.

I want to give you glimpses of the future me, the better me, the person I'm working toward becoming.

Then I post what I am, like last week. I post my bilous honesty, and shame myself.

But the shame I feel is not entirely my own invention. I feel shamed by your comments, your palpable disapproval. One impulse is to delete myself, edit myself down, but another contrary drive says that doing so makes me a liar. I am what I am. If you disapprove, so be it.

Yet this is not always what I am. I am some days saint, some days sinner. Equal measures of baseness and grace. Never one thing consistently, never one temperament, just an uneven mix of humours, swirling through life, one riptide after the next.

Not to say I'm unstable, or imbalanced. Just split. Divided.

I feel like two people. I find that I am not alone in this sentiment. That gives some comfort.

And this civil war between the members of my impolitic self spills out in glorious black and white before your hungry eyes. I hate that it does. And yet I love it.

I'm ambivalent toward the concept of sharing so much of myself with you. For one thing, I crave your attentions, as craven as it sounds to say so. I thrive on your visits, your comments, even your reproach. Another--I want to be honest. Yet--I can't be honest and at the same time be without embarrassment.

To be myself is to be in turns ugly, angelic, insipid, and inspired.

That's the risk I run. To continue this experiment is to dance along the high wire, drunk and netless. I could at any moment fall from your assumed esteem.

I could show you my secret scar. I could pull off my mask and scare you with my phantom face.

Safety tells me to stay away. Self-preservation advises to censor myself. To feed you TapiocaDave, vanilla and optimistic and non-offensive. But if I have to do that, then it's not worth the attempt. Not worth the attention. Not worth the effort.

I hate this blog. I love this blog. I hate seeing my reflection, in this shallow pool. I want to drive my fists through the glassy surface of the water, splashing and spraying and dispersing the image, so that no one else will see what I see. Yet I can't do it, can't stop staring in horror and curiosity at the beast on the other side of the glass. Neither can you, apparently.

I take a step back and reread what I have so far. I wonder, why all this anguish and bleeding emotion? PBB is hobby. It doesn't matter. This insignificant little page is not real life.

But yet, this is real. And often, this is the me I refuse to see, normally. The one pool I dare not throw stones through. I sit at the water's edge and stare.

Through my reading, I've been reminded as of late that I don't have to hate myself. That I am not solely responsible for the process of regeneration, and as a result, not entirely culpable for being unfinished. There is no condemnation for those who are in Christ, can you say amen.

This goes against years of practice and habit. And it's difficult to embrace the ugliness of my own mind, trusting that "on that day, we shall be changed." It's difficult to accept the idea that my heart isn't evil, and that it's worth saving, worth fighting for. I want to destroy my image on the face of the water, disgraced by my own words and thoughts and deeds. I want to beat my chest in disappointment, because I'm supposed to be a leader, an example, an encouragement and inspiration to others. I feel like I should have it all together by now. But the maturity I've pursued is still so far out of reach.

Perhaps this journal is my penance. I sit here on the shore, bound by my need for interaction and community, forced to confront every facet of who I am, forced to acquiesce and accept the road ahead of me. Maybe once I do that, I can start to fully become the other me.

The redeemed one.

(Ending music: "Love is Blindness")

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