You know what’s great?
Short, pithy blog posts that teach you how to feed your family for ten cents a day, or organize your entire life using just a pen and a post-it note. And pictures of baby goats. Baby goats are definitely awesome. Or maybe baby otters. In fact, pictures of baby anythings are pretty neat, especially if the babies are inexplicably asleep in hammocks.
This is not that.
I’ve had a line from Hamilton running through my head for weeks. It pops up when I’m washing dishes or searching for a clean pair of little girl socks. (What do they DO with their socks anyway? Is there a parallel universe just filled with all the socks I buy that magically disappear?) Anyway, here’s the line, in blog-worthy meme form:
Guys. I’m wandering in the dark over here.
If you’ve watched Stranger Things then you know about the Upside Down – that weird world that’s just like ours, if ours was overgrown, raining ash, and perpetually stuck at 1am.
That’s where I am, in the Upside Down.
I’m not depressed. I know depressed. This place is something I don’t know.
It’s quiet here. All the yelling children, the yelling politicians, the screeching tires, they come to me through a filter, as if from the other side of a cocoon. All I can really hear are the questions.
Who are you?
Who told you so?
What are you capable of?
Where are you going?
I’m wandering through the falling ash by myself wondering what’s burning down, and what’s coming next. I get tired a lot. So I sit, huddled under my favorite blanket, in my favorite broken-down chair, and I read. In the last two weeks, I’ve read Tiny Beautiful Things, Love Warrior, Becoming Wise, Stitches, and tons of Pema Chödrön. Every time I finish a book I look up and notice footprints in the ash, and so I walk a little farther. When I get really tired I read Harry Potter. Because, Dumbledore. I could really use Dumbledore about now. And feasts that appear out of nowhere. There is no meal planning in the Upside Down.
There also appear to be no answers. Or rather, all the answers are incomplete. The degree of uncertainty is both terrifying and liberating.
We like knowing, don’t we? We convince ourselves that we know the truth about God, about our families, about the proper way to wash clothes. If we don’t know we turn to the almighty Google and look for someone to tell us.
Google is useless in the Upside Down. In fact, the only things that seem to help at all are scented candles, Tazo tea, and the smell of my children’s hair.
Words, like tiny flashlights, that prove other people have walked this path before, that it’s safe even if it’s scary, and that it’s ok to wave from the dark.