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Sunday, October 08, 2006

The Question: Who do you believe?

The Contestants:

Your parents, who raised you (thank god), and have for that reason witnessed your greatest failings and your greatest accomplishments but, truth be told, not much in between because you've been gone for over 10 years...

Your friends, who have stuck with you through thick and thin, who have also seen you at your worst and best, and don't really give a flying flip about either because they're not that into titles and they think "shit happens" to everyone, but they've also only heard your side of the story...

Or Yourself, who really believes that you are learning to be a mature person; that overall you've made the best decisions for your life. I mean, look at yourself!

You're one of ten chosen pastoral residents in the nation (at least that's what some other contestants told you to put on your resume). You're talented, and you know your gifts and how to use them. You're "cute" (as the old ladies as church like to call you) even if you don't have your sisters' unfading beauty. You're articulate, funny, creative, enchanting and charming. You see needs and you seek to meet them. Thanks to your parents, you have a heart for the marginalized and thanks to your friends, a mind keen on creativity. And heck, you've got a great body even if you're "pushing 30" as your sisters love to remind you.

Dad, you taught me to go for the gold. Mom, you taught me to stand up for my rights. Friends, you taught me that love is unconditional and I am so thankful for you all.

But right now, I'm sticking to myself. I don't even want to be analyzed by my therapist.

I mean think about it. How many people offer commentaries on our lives every day? How many people put themselves in the running for running our lives or our thought processes every day? The commercials on TV want to tell us about ourselves, the media wants to inform us of who we are and who we should be, people on buses listening in on our conversations always have their two cents to add, then there's co-workers, neighbors, bosses, in-laws. Geez! We're constantly offering each other advice and insight, and I'm left with my head in my hands wondering, who do I believe?

And so on a personal note, if everyone could just not ask questions, not offer opinions, just for a little while, maybe for only a week. Please just let me be me with my thoughts and my empty coffee can.

You filled me up, but one day the bottom of that coffee can broke, and the pennies cascaded out the bottom. With your love, I repaired the can, but now every time a penny or a rock or a token or a memory is dropped inside, it clinks loudly, reverberating against the metal, and I'm reminded of how empty I feel right now.

It will take a little while for it to fill back up. Do you understand? So please, continue to love me, but i can't handle any more opinions.

I have to work out these deaths, some literal, some metaphorical, and I have to find the resurrection. It may take three days and I may not recognize it when I see it, but I'm confident when he calls my name, I'll be changed. And I'll believe.

Again.

Again.

But we must be silent and I must go to the garden or I might miss him.

Again.

Again.

5 comments:

Anonymous said...

May the pennies in your coffee can remind you of the love your family and friends have for you. To stop dropping pennies, or silver dollars, into the coffee can is to deny that love. I wish I could dump an endless supply of precious love until the can runneth over.

But I understand your need for withdrawal. I live my own life in that place.

I offer no opinion but that you are amazing. I trust you will not beat yourself up to a self-destructive point. I do not question.

I do, however, have an opinion. My opinion, and I am sure the opinion of your friends, is that you are wonderful. And like it or not we, and She, cannot stop wanting to fill your mended coffee can with our love.

Friend, you fill our cups, our cans, our hearts in a way that no one ever has or will. The garden is here, it is now, and we're glad you're here with us. Thanks for helping me keep the bottom of my can intact...I rejoice with every penny you drop into it.

Michelle said...

Amen Anonymous. Amen.

Love and peace to you Ann.

lynnette said...

i will not ask questions or offer opinions. not at this time. just know that i am thinking about you. peace, hope, life, and love to you.

Myles said...

well, shit. ann, i'm sorry.

cgjohnson said...

Love you, Ann.