It may be as much the ordinariness that renders an evening memorable as it is the actual memorability of it.
An evening, a cocktail, an honest confession buried in a ridiculous joke.
Ice cream, a kiddie pool, a new hip hop album with Chance the Rapper, Kirk Franklin, and somebody’s cousin named Nicole.
The fierceness of time pushed days into months at some science-fiction speed only noticed when finally cleaning the car out to discover planning notes for things long accomplished or given up on and fancy chocolate turned a new shade of cloudy.
A list of items to accomplish between the alarm and the sun’s disappearance turned into a scribbles on the back of a take-out menu from another city, also now suggesting passage through a time-warp dumping me out several months later looking around, wondering what happened and where I am.
So it seems likely, then, the ordinariness of the friends on time, and the friends on time in their lateness, that seemed to make the evening memorable.
An attempt at a fancy drink resulting in sticky counters and simple syrup on the shirt now soaking in the laundry with crystals of OxiClean I dug out of the rug where I spilled the entire container.
A pregnant friend making ice cream, testing the water out to determine it’s too cold even for you, and deciding who knew of the artist first.
The contrast of time slowed down, now with heavy eyelids a new list of scribbles that daylight tomorrow is supposed to bring, compared to a blur of months upon months where the piles in the car and the piles in the inbox stack up is stark and poignant.
No lesson to be learned. No meaning to be gleaned. Just the reality that an ordinary evening put months of blurred hustle into perspective suddenly while closing the dishwasher, turning off the music, and flipping out the lights.
Pine Tree Drive
To stop wondering
if what you have to say
is valid, acceptable, reasonable, or appropriate:
That’s a gift.
And to say something
because you need someone who knows you
to hear it
and accept it
and after hearing it reply to you
“I hear you”
without solving it
without explaining it
without answering it:
That’s telling the truth.
And the gift and the telling the truth together:
That’s friendship on a Sunday night
over bourbon and crying babies.
And it’s a sign that the kingdom of heaven is real.
Pine Tree Dr.
“People hurt the things they fear,” has become for me one of the most haunting lines of Glennon Doyle Melton’s not-so-new book.
And I’ve tried about ten times now to type out how Carry On Warrior has made me exhale so strongly and peacefully over the last week as I’ve been reading it. Her words have been a kind of subversive undertone to everything else I’m seeing and reading as the news unfolds.
Something in me is pushing hard against the rhetoric of hatefulness and fear, of greed and warmongering I hear predominantly from Christians as each day breaks across the globe. Something in me is pushing hard against this fear of neighbor, fear of other, fear of different. Since when did Jesus say kill for my sake, hate for my sake, marginalize for my sake? Something in me is pushing hard through the psuedo-christian noise for voices that speak to something altogether clear, and noble, and lovely, and gracious, and simple and beautiful. I don’t feel the need to kill the person who threatens to kill me; I feel the need for peace. I don’t feel the need to hurt the person who has hurt me; I feel the need to forgive. And I need to know other people feel that need too. And I need to know how to move into that need.
I don’t know how, though.
And Melton doesn’t claim to know how either, but somehow her words in Carry on Warrior actually begin to do it. Honoring a kind of David-like offense to face the giants of anxiety and fear and terrified christian culture, she manages to walk to the middle dropping one piece of heavy armor after the next knowing that it might be her end.
But also knowing that it might be her only chance in hell at an actual beginning.
I’m envious, really. But hopeful. I’m working to lean in to the call to be honest and hospitable when it means standing with those the church is screaming at and setting targets on. I’m working to lean in to the challenge to show up and do my best to return justice for injustice, generosity for stinginess, and even openness for rigidity and fear. It’s infuriating, and then again completely freeing. Something as if from another world altogether.
People harm the things they fear, she says. I’m doing my damnedest to stop being afraid.
Pine Tree Dr.