There is a strange tango between strength and weakness: something I like to call streakness. The two seem to go hand in hand--muscle fibers must first be torn down in order for them to rebuild, repair and become stronger. Or they can sit unused and atrophy. Or maybe be used just enough to maintain their current abilities.
But this isn't a post about muscles, this is about being weak and strong at the same time and a willingness to confess it. Just two weeks ago, on one of the most difficult days I've had so far (and believe me there have been plenty) with physical, mental and emotional pain cascading into a personal Niagara Falls, I started off an email to a friend and it read, in part:
Just today, when I awoke with the ice pick once again excavating my inner ear, and all my pain (neck, ear, back - to say nothing of the heartache) came rushing back in a torrent after only a few days' break, I wanted nothing more than to drag myself to the kitchen and search out my very large bottle of nerve pills, and an even larger glass of water. I wanted to swallow those pills one by one until they were gone (all 90 of them) because the feeling of release of utter nothingness, even the idea that such a thing could exist is just so damn tempting - but then, then I would miss things. Oh how I would miss-
*that feeling of nestling in with my husband at night, our conversations drifting between us until his breath slips into a familiar rhythm and I am alone (although not truly) with my thoughts in the dark of the early morning hours
*Ellie's hugs right after school, her eyes still wide with excitement as she recounts her every discovery. And, of course, the planning of tomorrow's hair and "outfit."
*Reading Nicole's stories-creations I could never begin to dream up, and watching the ebb and flow that is sisters at play. The way she suddenly takes us off guard with her ability to be silly.
*Michelle's playfulness, the way she includes everyone, enjoys teaching, and that spark that lights in her when she's really connecting, sharing her world with me...bordering that line between teen and young adult.
*Spielberg's eye for capturing images - whether snapshots of time through film or writing, graphic design or painting...his is an eye that can see what is really there. And then there is the fact that he can make us all laugh.
*Ty, who has plenty of people who love him--more than I could ever count--who would step up and coordinate everything that goes into making sure everything runs smoothly so that he can savor the most enjoyment possible out of a life that has known pain far greater than mine.
That desire, that confession to have my physical, mental, and emotional pain be over, that is my weakness. The desire to stick around purely for selfish reasons is another (there are far better candidates out there for the mother of my children), but! the fact that I am still here writing this out, maybe this is a small strength. Maybe each word is a bird of pain that will flap it's wings and be gone from me . . .
And what will be left in it's place is Streakness: a bit of something weak, with a desire to become something bigger, better, stronger and more beautiful. Maybe one day, it will even be Strength.
All I know is these birds can't stay here locked up inside me any longer or they will carry me off.
I want to know from you, can you identify with this concept of streakness?