Underneath it all

I was steadily preserving my optimism all morning, despite small disappointments tugging at my ankles.  I put money in the bank, I went to yoga, I bought books by Barbara Kingsolver and Virginia Woolf at the Community Bookstore with a gift certificate I got for my birthday. 

And then I took a nap.

I woke up sad and teary, and then I called a friend to try to figure out if anything was wrong.

"Maybe this is the sadness that is underneath it all, all the time," I confessed.  "Perhaps all the activity is just my attempt to outrun it."

I wish I could remember which author I read this year who said that underneath everything in the human heart is longing, mystery and romance.  I would pour over the pages looking for the exact quote which does the insight far more justice than my recollection, and slap up the attribution as proof that I'm not the only one, that it's not my imagination.

Maybe it's not sadness, I think.  Maybe it's longing.  I close my eyes and a montage of scenes passes by, each one showing how messy and confusing and complicated it can be to love.  All the things I don't know how to say; all the places I haven't been.  All the ways in which I am still stumbling in the dark.

When I slow down, all the things I haven't properly felt along the way are right there like a giant tidal wave arching over my head onto the shore.  I can see now that there are so many stories to tell that I just haven't gotten to say.  I can still feel so many dear ones who I've been with these last weeks in my hands, in my arms, on my cheek.

Tonight we are all weary, so we will eat something good, drink a glass of wine, and I'll knit a new pair of socks, letting all my memories and questions and the deep wave of longing trickle out, stitch by stitch.