Wednesday, October 24, 2012

Firebreak: Day 13 of 31 Days of Falling by Faith

"I am always bent on turning everything that comes into the soul into food.... So it is second or even first nature to me to go over thoughts and cut them up and order them."
—Ronda Chervin, Becoming a Handmaid of the Lord
Here I go again: it's getting late, I'm tired, and I feel like the proverbial kid in a candy shop with only a nickel to spend. (I literally used to be one of those, half a century ago, so I know exactly what it feels like.)

I've kept a journal pretty consistently since I was eleven or twelve, when for Christmas my parents gave me one of those diaries with gold-edged pages and an actual key. There have been dry periods, such as segments of my life with David in San Francisco, when talking to him satisfied, for a while, whatever need it is that drives me to write. That satisfaction was always temporary—always ended up being not enough—and I don't know why that is either.

A while after David and I separated, I met someone—a coworker—who eventually flipped some switch that turned on the part of me (brain? soul?) that can't help seizing and playing with words as though they were paint, and for a few years I was able to write poetry again. At first his effect was inadvertent, but then he learned to cultivate it, and I let him, like a spark hungry for oxygen.

He didn't understand the danger of playing with fire.

When I started blogging a couple of years ago, I hoped it would serve as a virtual "firebreak" to divert away from him the blazes he continually ignited. A couple of months ago he turned off the fuel completely—maybe because he thought it was the only way he could prevail over the fire he'd started but could no longer control.

His absence is just one more proof to me that people are not interchangeable and no one is replaceable.
"The soul desires such a companion . . . anyone who can understand it, in order to communicate its joys and troubles, to that person, and when it finds none it is sad."
—St. Teresa of Avila
Amen.

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