I never claim to have all the answers. In fact, I often proclaim, quite loudly, that I don’t really know anything. Because every time I think I begin to understand something, become confident of a certain outcome, get comfortable with believing something will not change – it up and changes on me, disrupts my life, and messes with every piece of security I’ve tightly gripped.
I used to be so certain of things when I lived in my black and white box and held tightly to my concrete beliefs. As long as I kept my eyes shut, I could pretend that I lived in a picture-perfect world. As long as I shut my feelings off, I didn’t have to care. I could continue to spend my time telling everyone else how they’re supposed to believe, react, and live. As long as I led a crusade to save the world, no one could see me. As long as I put duty and responsibility first, I’d be accepted, praised for my efforts, and hailed a model of respect and dignity. Never let them touch me. Never let them see my weaknesses, my fears, and especially my tears – not my real ones. That’s doubt. There is no room for doubt in a black and white world, only certainty.
But I opened my eyes, and I pulled out the cotton from my ears, and then stepped out of the box and into a gray world. All I had known and had been certain crumbled along with the box I left behind. There’s no going back. With no sun to guide me, no signs to lead me, no mile markers to measure my distance as I wander aimlessly within this gray world. Each step I take, I shed another layer of the disguise I had once worn. I now walk naked, exposed, gray like the world that surrounds me.
I pass by many other boxes and peek inside them from time to time, witnessing the occupants like rats scurrying around as if they believed they were on a mission. They’re hungry and they search for food, but they only have the four walls in which to explore. Their food is fed to them in a daily portion, yet they believe they found it through their own exploration and skill. I’m hungry too, but within my gray world, I wonder if it’s truly open or just a bigger box?
I wish I had all the answers. I wish those I’ve come to care for deeply didn’t vanish with the wind. I wish families loved one another. I wish people meant what they said, and did what they meant. I wish fear didn’t rule so many lives. I wish there were no boxes. In this Gray land, it strips us down to our essential selves, to our honest selves, to bone. My skin melts away and I’ve exposed my heart and all that is on the inside. From dust I was made, and unto dust I shall soon return. Maybe then I’ll understand. Maybe then God can breathe life into these dry bones
~Till next time,
The Gray Lady