How much easier would a journey be if we stopped along the way and asked for directions? Or took an inventory of what tools and supplies were needed? Or consult with our companions?
At the beginning of the journey we are confident and cocky. We hardly ever consult a manual when we attempt a new task. Even when we are confused and anxious, we fake it. We want to be perceived as people in charge and accomplished.
At the end of our journey, we are tired and grouchy. We consult everyone and everything daily, what food to eat, what exercises to perform. We say what we think; and we do what we like.
Yesterday, I told a good friend when she asked me to call her after a doctor's visit, that it was not going to happen. The call. No, I said. I'll not disappoint you. I can't promise to call until I feel like calling. Believe me, I added, I'll be so worried and anxious that the last thing I want to worry about is keeping this promise.
She nodded in agreement.
We know what it means to share news that is not good news, that will worry and make anxious the caller and the called. That certain news will just have to go through maceration.
Some things will not be shared.
Some will be shared for the first time.
Other stuff will be shared over and over again. You'll be tired of hearing about it; you'll be telling us you heard this already. And we will continue to share it because what our journey is about at this time in our lives is to make sense of all the stops and crevices, the small and big things we collected, received and gave, all things big and small that our memory can still contain.
Beware, we tell ourselves, this is what really happened when...
Whenever we appear grouchy, it's because we are processing the present in light of our past. Or, we are just anxious that this life is coming to an end.
When we don't call, it's because we hate to waste your time.
We don't resort to gimmicks when we tell you we can't accept your dinner invitation because we can't travel easily after dark.
Somehow, we have this sense of urgency to stay on the road.
Somehow, we see dead people walking among the living.
And we pray we can still be seen and heard.