Why Do You Deny That You’re Passionate?

Right now, I feel like a ball. God has gotten me out of one of those machines you find near grocery store entrances–one of those little super bouncy balls, brightly colored, lots of fun, and hard to resist. I’ve been thrown and am now, well. . .bouncing. . .all around the room, striking first one wall, then the floor, then the ceiling, back to the floor, then the opposite wall. Words ricochet with me–ballein (Gk., to throw), parable, story, energy, restlessness, passion, naming, words, voice, peace. Question marks and exclamation points zip along, too. Maybe an Oxford comma.

How do you feel these words: “And the peace of God, which surpasses all understanding, will guard your hearts and minds in Christ Jesus” (Philippians 4:7, NRSV)?  I always feel such hope when a priest blesses me, blesses the people, with them at the end of the Episcopal liturgy. And I wait to be calm and still.

And then I despair (too strong a word, perhaps), at times because I go to a place like Parable, and I hear a voice suggesting that the people take a moment or two of silence and deep breaths in order to bring themselves to a place of calm and stillness, and I hear a man talk about calm and stillness and that, with practice, that place can be found, that pool of still water, deep and cool, with maybe a hint of movement–pavonine like sunset or sunrise–and I know that will not be me. . .I’ve taken the lessons of James T. Kirk too much to heart, even though I much hoped to be Spock.

And I hear words and assertions and they collide and ricochet with other words in my head that I’ve just read. And God has just used a stock pot again to get my attention–metaphorically, at least, this time. And I can’t be still; I don’t want to be, not with so much to ask, of God, of myself. Not when there’s so much. . .to see, to do, to know. So many voices to hear and to love. . .

Someone told me tonight (really last night, but, hey, my poetic license hasn’t yet expired) that he loves my passion, my desire to name things, my desire to see into the heart and name things, and that God loves that, too. The power of words. . . my passion–

I’m drawn over and over, desire and need pushing all else to the side, to a rushing, bubbling, clear (not without its flotsam and jetsam of trash and green blush of algae) creek–rushing eagerly, unashamedly to leave my dress shoes at the bank, to marvel as I step into the swift, cold current. Marvel at the glass-green deeps (yes, I know it mostly connotes the ocean depths) and the sand-gold shallows; marvel at the sensation of rapidly flowing water over my toes and swirling around my ankles as I make sure to keep my skirt out of the wet. Why agitation to sweep aside agitation. . .How do I name this desire?

What’s in a name, after all? Peace, by any other name. . .

I think I may have dropped the ball metaphor. . .

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