The other evening our cat Sylus decided that she needed some pats just as I was finishing up some intricate budgeting work on my computer. (Okay, maybe I was fiddling with one of my Fantasy Football Teams … the main point is, she interrupted me.)
I was immediately annoyed and shooed her away. She came back, I felt more annoyed, and shooed her away a bit more emphatically. Then I sighed, expelling the frustration and making space for guilt to flow in and pool in the empty spot. So then I reached down, scooped Sylus up, and gave her the pats she was craving.
There was a very familiar rhythm to that interchange. And so, that small episode got me thinking and remembering. Those knee-jerk reactions don’t come from nowhere. And for me they usually come from the same place … my growing up years. The deeper I go into those years, the more amazed I am at the terrible and tender complexity of human growth!
So … remembering now I go back further than I used to. It takes practice, faith, and courage. I know I won’t see or experience anything I’m not ready for, yet still, the journey inward always feels a tad perilous. And these days, to get to where I want, I need to shed words along the way. It’s the wordless that I’m after … the memories that are hardly memories, yet that are as foundational as cement and re-bar when it comes to how I live my life.
It reminds me of a poem by Wendell Berry that I think I’ve shared here before …
To go in the dark with a light is to know the light.
To know the dark, go dark. Go without sight,
and find that the dark, too, blooms and sings,
and is traveled by dark feet and dark wings.
So here’s to the dark, the wordless, the foundational moments that, no matter how old I get, remain to the mined for information and insight.
Oh, and here’s to win #2 for the Iggles! (Daddy Cornog, are you watching?)