Dec 26, 2008

awake is the new sleep

See Slumdog Millionaire. Now. You won't regret it.

I remember several times when I felt especially alive. Not the awareness of your breathing in and out, or of your heart beating steadily, but times when I was hit with the sense that life is incredible. When I found myself overwhelmed by moments that were joyful.

Usually they involved Gene.

My parents gifted Gene Parmesan to me two years ago. He is my car. Sturdy little red corolla. We blew a tire in Salt Lake City where the man in the Hooters sweatshirt put on the spare for me. The starter failed last year on a rainy day. I waited and signed off my trusty car to the man in the tow truck. We spun 360 degrees in a snow storm on the way to a final that took 15 minutes.

My first trip in my car was to Manhattan, KS. I stayed with my friend Rachel. I don't remember everything that happened, but I remember feeling grown up. I was a freshman in college, driving by myself across Kansas. I listened to U2. And on my way home I saw the most incredible sunset that is somehow burned in my mind. I stood in the cold wind and took pictures for as long as I could, then drove home in the dark.

A few months later I packed my car with Molly, Caitlin, Lauren, and Katherine. We each had a backpack and one sleeping bag. We drove to Montrose and then to Boise and then to Seattle. Scenery changes around you depending on the people you are with. I remember driving back from Seattle, over the pass in Oregon, with the windows down. We took pictures and smiled and laughed and I was freezing. But the air was so perfect and the moment was real and I just wanted to stop time for a while.

And then, six months and 19 days ago I packed my car, threw myself a birthday party, and headed out to Richland with my friend Mara. On our drive we laughed, I screamed, and I cried. A lot. I remember the music I listened to. I remember meeting my host family. I remember moving all of my stuff in and begging Mara to stay with me. I did not want to be alone in that place because I knew it would be hard.

And I remember the night I drove myself back to the Tucker's after a week at camp and a weekend at ICE. It was late and I was tired and my windows were down. But I was happy. I was so thankful to be in Washington, by myself, making mistakes, feeling lonely, but feeling right. It was a sense of life that I took with me.

So why does it matter? Well, I guess talking to Erik makes me nostalgic. I guess looking at plane tickets make me wonder what revisiting Washington would be like. And I suppose I am just longing to feel that vibrancy again. Maybe next time I will savor it a little more.

Here's what I know: life, in the moments where you feel the incredible joy of being alive, are always shared with someone. Maybe it's a time when you feel especially near to the Lord and you share it with Him, or maybe with friends. Either way, life comes in others. But most readily and easily sensed are when connection with something of the heart of God is experienced.

"The God who made the world and everything in it is the Lord of heaven and earth...he himself gives all men life and breath and everything else. From one man he made every nation of men, that they should inhabit the whole earth; and he determined the times set for them and the exact places where they should live. God did this so that men would seek him and perhaps find him, though he is not far from each one of us. For in him we live and move and have our being." - Acts 17:24-28

1 comment:

  1. Incredible that at the modest age of 20 you have uncovered one of the most profound and powerful truths of the Gospel. . . that life truly is only discovered in relationship. And that it has something to do with seeing glory in another, rather than being consumed in trying to find the glory in you. I am amazed by your insight. And somehow wishing that it hadn't taken most of 57 years to learn the same things.