I love words, but most of the time they get in the way of something beyond them. This goes for conversation, as well as books, poetry, scripture and the messages in movies. We’re easily seduced by lavish exteriors, rather than seeking out the essence of things. As a storyteller, I embellish in creating very elaborate scenarios to dress up very simple truths. This is what storytellers do because the truth is something that you can’t put your finger on. Without a story to encompass the truth, the truth is a drop of water in a mighty ocean. The truth needs a shell to capture it, even if only for a moment. It is always up to the observer or reader to notice the truth in a movie or a book, but this doesn’t always happen, so storytellers continue telling stories. The truth isn’t just one thing. It’s everything, but there are various ways to present it. It comes in the form of joy, of heartache, of unconditional love, etc., to which artists frame their work around, so that everyone has a chance to discover truth in their own unique way. “To each his own.”
We all come here without much expectation, but when the expectation is developed, we discover ourselves with a insatiable hunger for life. Instead of noticing that we simply desire joy, we follow the herd and go after things that look like they would contain joy. Family is one of those things that appears to deliver joy. A marriage, some kids, a home, the suburbs, a career that seals the deal; it’s seductive, but so often it doesn’t deliver and we find ourselves trying to pinpoint the next best thing, or perhaps we self-destruct when the hopelessness overcome us. I envy families that are filled with love and acceptance. I come from a broken family, in every which way I turn. I suppose this is the kind of family I chose to enter into in this lifetime, so that I could realize my own essence. I see a lot of people who are so content in life because their families are “perfect.” They don’t need to search beyond their home to find joy or truth. It’s offered to them through the love they’ve graciously been given in their family sphere, but so many of us do not have this. Even when we try to create it, it falls short because the brokenness is a pattern. I’m trying to break that pattern, not by creating wholeness through an alternate family, but by mending the brokenness in myself so that it can extend outward. I guess I see myself as kind of a nucleus so that my children can branch off from me and together we can – perhaps begin again with a new family template.
Because of the severe brokenness of my immediate surroundings, I have always searched for wholeness. Something sustainable so that I could stand on my own two feet and count on myself rather than falling into the hands of those that are broken, because the unpredictability of a broken family is an unravelling rug beneath your feet. I needed to find a rug that didn’t unravel. This has always been very important to me, but it’s been a long journey and sometimes I get very tired of knitting my own rug. I often feel very alone and incredibly heartbroken. Sometimes I just feel empty, which is why it’s important to me now, to notice that emptiness in myself and to allow it to be there without trying to fill it with some unsustainable magical feeling. When the magic leaves (which it always does), the void inside of me becomes even more daunting and infinite. It has been terrible life of highs and lows which has finally lost its appeal.
I’ve practically been to the moon and back searching for truth. If I can only have that morsel of sustainable joy, I would be ok… you know? So I held onto everything in my life that promised to deliver the truth, but each of those things crumbled beneath me. I could make a list here, but that would be tedious and I’m certain you know what sort of things promise to deliver truth. Truth is such a subjective thing, which is why searching for it has been described as chasing a white rabbit down the rabbit hole. It can never be captured, at least not permanently. You get a glimpse of it here and there, and sometimes it besieges you, but it moves on and implores you to follow its path, and I keep following because the path is the one thing that has been sustainable.
I realize now that I can never capture the truth. I can’t frame it and hold it up for the world to see, so I keep telling stories. The rug beneath me is always just right at the tips of my toes, being created as I walk along in blind faith. The rug was never laid out for me like the red carpet is for Hollywood celebrities, and family has been always been a shifty foundation in my life. The path to truth is completely invisible, but it somehow gives me incredible balance that I have never had before. When I’m focused on the truth, and walking along the path in its wake, I’m extremely aware of myself. You see, I could easily slip off the path if I turn slightly to the left in awe of something magical. Those shiny exteriors are always trying to tempt me, but I know now that once I step off this path, I’m subject to losing sight of the truth which beckons me. I don’t want to do that anymore because the void is terrifying.
The path is not impressive to those who are not on the path. The path is a lonely walk more often than not. The path doesn’t embrace me. It expects me to embrace its way without expectation of ever capturing the truth. And this is what it’s like to have searched the world for truth, only to discover that I was merely looking for an invisible path, which is somehow significant, and incredibly vague. Wisdom, love, joy, truth… it’s all the same thing, but it’s the feeling of wholeness provided by these simple treasures which keeps me walking along this invisible path.