The Highland Fling
Hey Ocean! – If I Were A Ship
I have thought in recent years a good deal about the power of space. A space holds a thousand celebrations and a million truths revealed. There are remnants of jokes long held on the walls, and stories stocked knee-deep in the hallway. There is at once potential for a space to be a haven against a world of hurts, and for ghosts and regrets to pile in corners and closets. A friend once said that when she came to our apartment, she felt she left her anxieties at the door and put on instead peace and encouragement. This, to me, is the culmination of what a single space can do. With time, it becomes a large part and reflection of self. And I’ve come to believe I need a space for my very own in order to be the best version of myself, and have in some way mourned its loss when I’ve gone without. The truth is that a space really can hold vast quantities of power, deep as the kitchen sink and wide as the balcony; a heavenly gift for me to be used as a gift for my friends. But I’m also learning to live without it, a lesson I don’t want to think I need.
Generosity has knocked the wind out of me this summer. I could not manage to express this to my mother last week without tears giving edge to my voice. There should be some cosmic score wherein giving and receiving become equal in the end. But right now, I feel as if all I’ve done is receive, without having anything to give in return. There have been pilgrims who gave advice and help and supplies, hosts and hostesses that doused me with compassion, strangers who heaped kindnesses when they were less than deserved, definitely not asked for. And now, friends and a certain gracious family have taken me under their wing and given me space. These gifts are manageable to begin with, but after some length I feel that I am not doing my part to give back. And it is here that I become still and quiet, silence and heartbeat left in the breach, because I know that I have nothing to give in return, surely nothing that would restore justice.
My mother said that there is a time to be blessed, and years ahead to settle the score. I may not have space of my own, but I have been given an open door and a bed, a haven from the storm and a blessing immeasurable. What I have left is gratitude.
(Image via here)