A fiercely gripped 650,000 hours of life

Hello again world,

It might already seem that my letters will be coming sparingly, but I have tried to collect enough thoughts, gusto, and time before this second letter.  Of course, I have been rather busy with summer business: touring Europe with my jazz band, running around with Kindergarteners, taking summer classes and simultaneously forgetting that I am taking those classes, having future career crisis’, eating too many tortilla chips, sharing romantic and miscommunicated nights, and dancing in thick mountain mud.  Most importantly, I am learning more about myself, losing all that I learned, and relearning even more.  I suppose this finds you during one of your own odd seasons, both breathing it in and exhaling it into another day.

If there is one thing that I must share with you about me, it would be how fiercely I hold onto the purpose and direction of my life and career.  I am a girl with a million dreams, a thousand interests, and a constantly meandering sense of direction.  Truth: I obsess over my future and yet ultimately trust in where God is taking me.  I wanted to share something that I once recorded in my journal:

Adopted relative number 12: an elderly outdoors woman wearing a fitted collared printed dress of the time, perhaps 1940’s.  The woods as her backdrop, she stands at the right corner of the shot.  As if she has just been met in the middle of leading her young girl scouts through a troop adventure, she holds a stick, perhaps too small for walking, that dangles in her right hand.  Below her tilted black hat is a face of most divine delight.  Mischievously, she wrinkles her eyes into a squint and her mouth curls into a pinched grin.  There is no doubt that this woman lived a beautiful life.  Among the trees or perhaps in a household with an office-working husband and three beautiful children.  Of course, maybe that husband came with a mistress and a bad legal battle followed by her emergence into an independent life of self-discovery and Sunday luncheons.  Now she stands poised in the plastic bag marked “$2.00 Good Condition Photos.”  With her fellow expired characters she sat in an antique booth, waiting for a human of the future to find love for a stranger and to “adopt-a-relative”–that’s what the box says.  With each visit to downtown Boone, I take one home.  It is difficult to limit myself, but I find that everything is more special when retrieved on its own, one among none.  After all, each photo is an entire person-a life and a story. 

I read a book recently that said a long human life lasts about 650,000 hours.  It followed to explain the atoms’ fickle tendency, as they will soon move on to create something new: a pine tree, an oak coffee table (not that it has to be wood).  All of the matter created at the beginning of the Universe is all that will ever be.  I guess it’s our world’s own version of “reduce, reuse, and recycle.”  Whatever it is, man is a magnificent and temporary visitor to earth.  He arrives, growing into his beautiful surroundings.  Not only does it seem he is an integral part of this place, but he is also assumed to rule it.  He is man, so what will he achieve?  Change this place, give to this place, become a vital part of this place, be remembered in this place…all in 650,000 hours.  This is not even considering that every different person has very contrasting goals: travel this place, marry the apparent love of this place, have pure-T fun in this place.  Maybe just to leave this place, though that need not be a purposeful goal-it will happen.  Continually, I must tell myself that my purpose should not be so deeply meditated on.  I find myself wound in knots of ideas, dreams, intentions, and yet TIME goes on reminding me that the earth and “this place” may not allow me to do all that I hope for.  Somewhere down the line of our World Wars, Revolutions-No, further back in early civilizations, some premise was made that says man must find his earthly duty and stick to it, loyal and miserable to the day he dies.  You just never hear of much moving around.  Never mind the lucky, brave, or rich.  The cause of my ever stressful state seems to be the desire to do all the things I love.  Moreover, it’s the pressure to choose between all of my dreams. 

Here it comes, bursting from my soul’s eyes–>faith check.  Rewind to man’s short time on earth.  It is supposed to be short-everything about life here is passing–passing through beauty created by God to finally meet the creator, Himself.  All of that early matter-yep, He did that.  It’s all His and that includes us.  No matter the purpose and goals met with seeming success here on earth, there will always be a loss for fulfillment.  20 years in and I do already understand this.  Though I fight for control of my own journey, I know it’s in the hands of God, the owner, the only being in the Universe, beyond the Universe, who will recognize my worth.  Sometimes I wonder how God could even care for little old me-no world-changing accomplishments here and no saintly works.  Yet, I remind myself it is in the silence and simplicity that God speaks to us.  His people of the past were simple and their earthly duties were of no importance, but to survive here and to shine his light, illuminating a path to Him for others.  Their treasure was truly in Heaven.  I know God sees me.  For I have felt His eyes and arms in far too many circumstances to think He doesn’t know me.  He knows me better than I do.  Like a child, my father knows my every birthmark and need.  That childhood never goes away.  To the day we die, we will all remain children, lost to all that truly surrounds us.  All we can do is look up to him in wide-eyed wonder, dancing on His feet and listening to his stories. 

So, here I sit, writing to you, my far-but not so far-intentioned reader.  What am I doing?  I am seeking one of those dreams and some piece of that purpose.  I am spreading my wings-tentacles-arms-butter and jam-whatever as far as I possibly can and I plan to do so for every bit of my 650,000 hours.  I am thrilled to think that by the end, I will not know much more about this life, this world, or even what I am doing here.  However, I will smile as I walk with my head in the clouds, already looking to my ultimate destination.

Walking on, to wherever that may be,



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