Have you ever had one of those events on the horizon? One that takes up all your headspace and energy, and that you can’t see a life beyond, for dreading it? A roadblock. It stops you in your tracks when you find out that it will happen, and you can think of nothing else.
Like when I went to my father’s flat this weekend. And the first thing I learn is that (a) he has a new car, and (b) my little brother is to have the old car. That’s not fair. I surge with jealousy that I cannot control, and swallow hard. I say nothing. It’s not fair because I can drive, too. And, it’s not fair because, while my brother has been insured to drive, and has had use of, the family car for years, at no cost to him, my license won’t cover it. It’s not fair because I didn’t just pass my driving test at the first attempt, I aced it. My brother took six tries at it before scraping through. And more than that for the theory exam. It’s not fair because in order to drive, I have to fund adaptations (I can walk, so the government won’t pay) and a decent car to put them in. And pay more than you for the privilege in case someone steals said adaptations. IT’S NOT FAIR.
But, I retain some control. I sort out the administration for both cars. Phone calls, web forms. Ugh. I rid myself of an all-consuming headache by going to the beach:
O ye! who have your eyeballs vexed and tired,
Feast them upon the wideness of the Sea;
That still the most precious line of poetry anyone has ever shared with me. I go into the cool of the water, the waves, let Her lift me and carry me, and drift between shore and sea, wakefulness and rest, roiling and calm. I can do this. Life isn’t fair. God’s peace flows from the water, into me. I am one with The Water.
I come back home. I survived. I was dreading the journey home, what lay beyond it. I didn’t, in fact, expect to survive it, emotionally, or physically. Motorways scare me. As for the former, I’m not sure that I have survived. I am here, but not here. I can’t be fully present, because if I am, I am too emotional. I cling fast to myself, willing myself not to cry at church. Watch what is happening, the charade of communion. Pass it over. Look at the floor. Bite down, hard. It is not God, I am rejecting, it is the charade. And it works. With my father, whom I have begged not to speak to the Elders himself beside me, as added incentive not to cry, it works. But it hurts so, so much, inside, and the pain coursing through my head is not abating. But better this than crying.
I have all my possessions now, in my flat, collected from both parents. I’ve wheeled my bike to the workshop, for repairs. I’m dreading getting it back; riding it. I love riding it – it feels like flying – my fear is the traffic. My father warns me off riding in the city. Too much traffic. I’m not sure I wanted to survive the journey back yesterday. Maybe I won’t survive many bike rides. Maybe God will call me home Himself.