Tuesday, January 5, 2010


sometimes, i fall into these times of feeling great sadness and grief without what i think is a good enough reason, or any reason at all. (i say 'fall into' because it feels involuntary. it is involuntary, really).

and, as might be clear to you, i am in one of those times right now. the sadness is vague but acute, somehow, and is present with me like a small bird that has gotten inside my head, or the cat that is crouching in the corner. i can't go anywhere without it, and my first instinct is to feel powerless over it all. well, that and to complain about everything and wish that things were different.

i talked to one of my friends about this last night, and she reminded me of a lot of the changes that have been going on in my life which, for someone who is practically allergic to change, can bring about a lot of weird emotions. she also talked about leaning into this sadness, feeling it, and living in it. rushing through it or ignoring it or covering it up, tempting as they may be, will never really be helpful responses.

sometimes, like now, this sadness creates an ache right next to my heart, straight under my throat. and usually what that means is that i don't want to grow up. i don't want these changes, i don't want these responsibilities, i don't want to create a new sense of home in a place that doesn't always feel like home. i don't really want God to do anything in me, because i just want to go backwards. and he's not in the business of moving people backwards, or tying them to the past, or preserving comfort above all else.

so, i'm sad.

and anna jordan, you don't have to respond to anything this time


Lesley Miller said...

Keep leaning... ;)

Anna Jordan said...

Thank you for exempting me. Although I still haven't gotten around to posting the last time you called me out. Patience. The response is on it's way. However, the growing pains of change often come with slight sadness. Pain and growth often go hand in hand, but I agree the you have to lean into it. Sometimes, not always, but sometimes, leaning in makes it a little easier.

There's the two cents you didn't ask for :)

emilykatz said...

i am curious to know if this friend has the initials "mm"?

and i'm excited to see you on friday, in all of your sadness.

love love love you!

MicheLe said...


MicheLe said...

Or try this: http://bit.ly/4DY60J

MicheLe said...

Katz you should hear this too! It's a gem.

Laura Ortberg Turner said...

it WAS mm, katz. great intution.

lesley, those are wise words. i've thought of them several times since yesterday . . . and i'm still leaning.

and aj, i think you're super right about pain and growth often going hand in hand. sometimes i wish it were all growth and no pain, but that isn't real, is it? the growth makes the pain a tool, and i can deal with that.

i'm glad that, virtual or physical, there are such people as you and we to encourage each other.

Erica.Michelle. said...

LO, your heart is a treasure and no matter how you feel day to day or moment to moment I appreciate that you are brave enough to name it and live in it and keep your life open to community. Your authenticity is rare and your depth is beautiful - I love that about you friend. Change is hard. Hang in. Lean in.

rachel said...

glad i read this. look forward to hearing more. how could we have a cup of coffee together? love you.

Sarah said...

I love and miss you.

Steve said...

i know that feeling. I associate those emotions with the day after summer camp ends and how lonely and bored you are all of a sudden.

on days like those i listen to Sigur Ros, Matt Wertz or any kind of blues music. I also usually end up with a six pack of something delicious and play the harmonica.

Laura Ortberg Turner said...

it is totally an end-of-summer-camp kind of feeling. i don't know how to play the harmonica, though.

i am really grateful for everyone's courage in identifying with these feelings. one of the biggest parts of the battle is knowing you're not alone.