Thursday, August 6, 2009

Sun, Shadows and Facebook Forgiveness

I picture you in the sun wondering what went wrong

And falling down on your knees asking for sympathy
And being caught in between all you wish for and all you seen

And trying to find anything you can feel that you can believe in

There are many things that don't work themselves out. For me it at times has been friendships. There is that finality from being dumped by a "boyfriend" which is on one level. On a deeper level for me there is having someone who fills in the shadows punctuating them with humor, love and possessing a personalized platonic soothing no longer speak to you over years. There have been, without making this sound like an autobiographical eulogy, many rays of light in my life that play against one another, infusing me validation and attaching this light to my soul. When one beam drops away, I feel their cold, empty shadow inside sometimes for years.

May gods love be with you

May gods love be with you

I instigated the first one. I had seen this person's tiny electronic pop around on Facebook, feeling a fuzzy, achy static electricity inside. It had been over two years since I had spoken to the person and I still felt the humiliation of being stood up in a crowded breakfast place downtown, waiting and waiting as I occupied one of two coveted seats—one for me and one for her. I sat. I called. I sat there for over an hour until my mind began to piece together the un-returned phone calls and unanswered notes. A week later, giving this person time to call me back, I left an angry, questioning phone message. I didn't understand and the situation became painful to think about. My wedding came and went with no other contact. So after I pressed send on a message of forgiveness to to ease the static inside and give the grief rest, it was a day or two before a custom written apology appeared. And there it was, a wedding invitation to her own.

I know I would apologize if
I could see your eyes
cause when you showed me myself
I became someone else

But I was caught in between all you wish for and all you need
I picture you fast asleep
A nightmare comes

You cant keep awake

The second apology came out of the blue via a dream. A former co-worker I had been close to in a needs-to-be-forgotten professional life send me a message saying she had a dream about me. She saw us laughing and talking intimately once again and this is how she knew she needed to say she was sorry for abandoning or friendship. Back then we had fallen into a professional spiral of silences and the distance made me not know where I stood with her. There the apology was in my inbox, and I was delighted at her request for forgiveness. All I could do was feel grateful that I was valued and deserving of the request. I had surmised that in the great before I was professionally unfashionable to be friends with and she had shed me in an act of self-preservation. But all that was gone as we exchanged written accounts of how our life is right now.

May gods love be with you

May gods love be with you

I do have one friend that I don't know if things will ever return to that quality of closeness. She penned a breezy note to me inquiring about my family over the message inbox. I was still pained by the past, and although I passed on the events of the past dozen years I ended the return message with an attached honesty that likely did not settle well with her. I have yet to receive a reply but minutes ago I penned this, "I did not expect to feel that emotional in my last message about something that happened so long ago. It appears I still may have some letting go to do. I regret that I may have offended you. I know that the situation was not your fault and that you may have feelings about it, too." And I pressed 'send'.

'Cause if i find
If i find my own way
How much will i find
If i find
If i find my own way
How much will i find

I miss my friends: the college friend, the best friend from high school, the painter friend in Nashville. There are times I feel the shadows, especially when these friendships are lost in the train wreck before apology meets forgiveness. Perhaps Christ meant that when you forgive someone 77 times, you help them not to experience the place where His spirit has lived mending the hollow spaces and painful wreckage, and help them to experience the joy and peace of letting go.

I don't know anymore
What it's for
I'm not even sure
If there is anyone who is in the sun
Will you help me to understand
'Cause i been caught in between all I wish for and all I need
Maybe you're not even sure what it's for
Any more than me

I talked to an old friend recently. I told him how embarrassed I was of my own self in the past, when I had lacked the listening skills and lost in my own fearful dealings with control in my life and dolled out advice or direction with my own spin of empathy. I think many people may only view me in one way because of this and that way is that I am harsh, bossy and a bit of a know-it-all. The truth is more like that Bob Dylan lyric,"...I was so much older then." I regret my own potential for mistakes, my own noisy way of elbowing my way into self worth and how it may have distanced me from those I truly value. For those who love me, I thank you for transferring your grace. For those whom are still feeling my stinging ways, I hope our story is yet undone.

May God's love be with you
May God's love be with you

* In the Sun by Joseph Arthur (click to listen)

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