Friday, September 14, 2012

A Longing That Lingers

Ther's no way to really put my finger on it, but there are moments in life where I am overcome by longing. I wouldn't call it dissatisfaction, or even sorrow, but more of a sudden urge for things that are utterly out of my grasp.

I remember once when a dear friend spent an evening crying in the bathroom. I let her have her space, but when she was ready, I asked what had led to her misery. Her answer, "I was crying about all the goodbyes I am going to have to make in life." We were not at a point in time where a goodbye was close, but she was suddenly struck by the magnitude of the losses she would experience throughout her life time.

The thing is, I have been wildly blessed. I've managed to circle the globe and make friends in so many places that the sun never sets on the ones I love. But such depth of experience comes with a cost. Regardless of all that modern technology has done to make the world a smaller place, distance still exists, and connections do change.

Yesterday, as I drove over the pass above Newberg, I was struck with a deep ache for the lush green peaks and towering concrete, glass, and steel giants of Hong Kong. The gift of Instagram has allowed me to almost taste the succulence of Hong Kong style French toast, and to keep up with the daily sights of life in the city of life, but I am not there. I can't walk up onto my favorite rooftop and watch the twinkling lights, or go downstairs and curl up with a precious infant. I have to drive for miles to get to work, and the Portland skyline just doesn't have a chance.

Today, on my drive through Dundee, the geraniums around a shop transported me to Cesky Krumlov. The new school year is starting, but I have no lessons to plan, nor can I walk to the grocery store for soft herbal cheese and rohliky.

How does one balance the longing with contentment? It's a challenge, and knowing that I have no option to just set down what I'm doing so I can write another chapter in my travel log is hard on a transient like myself.

At the heart of all this struggle is also a lack of personal connection in my current life. Sure, I interact with people on a daily basis, but it's mostly that surface stuff that I quickly tire of when there is nothing of more substance to be acquired. I guess I'm missing long girly talks with all my roomies of old...


Jennifer Fulford, Novelist said...

Hey Transient (do I know your name yet even tho I constantly read your blog? no),

It's time for us to meet. Girly talks? I need 'em. But I wanted to also show you my crazy card idea. Remember? A card from the jilted? The broken hearted? It was a random thought on a comment to one of your comments on my blog, and then it became several lines on paper, and now a friends has developed the prototype. We need feedback and a place to see what sells. Me? I need wine. Hope we can meet. I'd love to see your store and meet you in person. jen

Jennifer Fulford
Writer | Blogger | Web Coach

Jonalee said...

You know, I have come to the point where I don't want contentment. I want joy in the journey, but to live a life worthy of being radical for Christ. We are working on it. We are picking up and moving to Washington! 12 years in one spot in the middle of the US and we feel like God is calling us out there and so we are picking up and moving everything. There is a lot to our 10 year plans... a camp... living totally differently than we are. Lets stir up this life! I am reading an amazing book by John Piper. It is "don't waste your life". It is awesome. Get through the first chapter (he dives into the deep end of theology) and it is amazing. 1/2 way through it myself. Usually when we feel we need contentment I have found it is a longing to be making a difference for God, being able to press on towards the "goal". We are created to give and pour ourselves as a drink offering to Him... like a farrari, made for performance/driving to the max, our lives are to be like that. It is hard to come back and get back into US life of complacency. People are complacent, the church is complacent and it just puts in us this need for something more. This can't be it. Ya know?! You are amazing girl. Love you.

Anonymous said...

I remember that good cry . . . and I miss those talks.