Written on January 30, 2017.
Upon moving into Naveh, and our little neighborhood upon the hill, we had quite a happening. Or maybe it was an unhappening. No. Internet. It isn’t actually that it is nonexistent. It is just quite slow and the data usage, quite limited. There is no downloading from Itunes or streaming with Netflix. We did make a bold attempt to overcome in our first few months and saved all the data in hopes we could exchange it for a holiday movie. I think the movie may still be downloading. We’ll watch it next year.
So, we portion the megas and gigas for the girl’s online classes, emails, some Instagram and Snapchats (I don’t know what that is really, but the girls do) and video recording here and there and the upload of this blog.
With three teenage girls still within, you can surely imagine the trauma of all they are doing without. I’m not gonna sugar coat this. When we hit Whole Foods and Target, the phones come out and those store’s data usage skyrockets. I now grocery shop looking over my shoulder for the internet authority coming to confiscate our phones, ready to tell the girls to “flee, flee for their lives.”
Yet in our day to day, our every days, their has been nothing lost. Only something incredible has been found. Each other. And life has become, simple.
Many would define simple as easy or plain, but it is a wide word with a deep meaning. Simple means “to be unentangled, uncomplicated, to be sincere, true, uncontained and uncontaminated.” It speaks of “being a place without subdivisions, so we can be entire, in our entirety. Being only.” It invites us to “be open, or unfolded.” To be whole.
It stuns and stings when we find that though we live in a world more “connected” than ever, it has only provided convenience, not closeness. And when connecting replaces drawing near, distraction grows like a wild weed and we find ourselves disconnected from each other and ourselves. Hours sneak past and when we look up, we find we have lost the beauty of authenticity.
When we have so much at our fingertips, we often miss the lovely of holding something in our hands. Book and branch, candle and creation, flour and flower, soil and seed. Heart and hand of another.
Our simpleness has led us to a search. For the art of intimacy. I haven’t told the girls we are looking for something, I just, simply, want them to discover it. As they do, I am gathered into a cradle of contentment. Each deep, meaningful conversation rocks me, finding sanctuary in the company of each other, soothes my soul. Real fulfillment is right in front of us. All of us. When faces replace screens and stories swap sound bites.
Without teaching or telling, my remaining ducklings are remembering. Simple things. The delight of the domestic. That there is a difference between cleaning and preparing and it is so much more than checking a task off a list. The slowing down instead of the rushing through. Making home cooked meals together amasses memories. And that boredom can actually lead to imagination.
We aren’t quite a scene from Pride and Prejudice or Little Women just yet, all gathered around the fire, stitching and storytelling. But we are threading a story together. Piece by piece. We don’t have an attic where the girls go and act out scenes from plays, but we do have a loft where they go and giggle, lots and lots.
And I’m remembering, what it was like to be younger. Before the world tapped upon my shoulder and tempted me to waste my time instead of spend it. Writing, exploring, singing, dancing. Just being within all of creation. Things I am returning to the joy of once more, as I recall what it was like to do something I loved before anyone said I had to.
Along this pretty little path, I’m prompted more and more to reveal the image of the One I was formed from, within. And so, I take myself on a date now and again, simply allowing my spirit, soul and body to catch up with each other. A cup of tea, a long walk across Arubbah, moments perched upon a swing or snuggled in a chair with a book that has actual pages to turn. True face time, peering into the eyes and hearts of those I love.
A question comes quaking sometimes. Is it working? When a wonky world comes knocking, trying to out sound the beat of my heart. To out run it and cut it off at the pass. Can things that have been for so long, truly become what they were always meant to be? It is when the planet pursues with rabid breath, trying to swallow and swindle, I utter the three words with a loop and line following. The answer doesn’t come brash and brazen, but sweet and surrendered.
It came that way yesterday, as our home was full of all our ducklings and grandies. Where the only sounds came from lungs and laughter. Yes, it is. Love is working. It’s running rampant and relentless. And I believe. Sometimes I just need to see the change in my own little world, so I can apply it to the big broken one. Yesterday I saw it. Love wild and wonderful. Simple. Love weaving through without entanglement. Love uncontained, yet wrapping us up. I saw it, I heard it, I felt it, I encountered it. Love unfolded as two little boys and one big one colored outside the lines on the patio. And as a table full of my all grown up and almost theres colored in a giant Finding Dori coloring book. Drawing what wasn’t already there. Telling stories and jokes. Finding each other again. How simple love is. How powerful we make it.
Can you remember who you were before the world told you who to be? Danielle LaPorte
What did you love doing when you were younger? Before the world said how you should spend your time? Writing books, exploring, singing, drawing, coloring, dancing? What did you love to do before someone said you had to?
Invite those coming to your table this Shabbat to bring a book they are reading and share an excerpt, or a quote that touched them, a picture or painting that pierced them, a story that needs telling. And if you are invited to someone’s table this week, take something to share that reminds you who they are.