Patches on my Heart

Today, I miss South Africa.

I miss waking up in Alli’s living room, making coffee and scones and then heading out into this big, expansive world that I had absolutely no paradigm for.  I miss laughing with one of my dearest friends, finally having time to get into all of the nitty-gritty conversations of life that only come out after six hour conversations about everything else in the world.

patches on my heart

There was no rush there, for anything.  There was a rhythm and constancy to life while I was there that I miss in LA.  There was peace.  It was stunnningly beautiful so much of the time.  All my Facebook friends saw 300 photos that looked quite a lot like this one. —————->

There was also so much brokenness everywhere.  There are no pictures of those moments, because I wanted nothing more than to actually be present in those moments.  I wanted to honor the people I was meeting without pausing for a Kodak moment.  Even the thought of that just sends a shiver down my spine. So far, I’ve steered clear of talking a lot about those moments that didn’t come with photos, mostly because I’m stuck in this horrible place of not having the words to fully talk about what I lived for those few weeks.  (Side note – eleven days on the ground in South Africa is nowhere near long enough.)

And as a writer, finally coming to a place where I don’t have the words was really difficult.  People wanted to hear the snippets of the trip, not the full-fledged, soul-swallowing stories.

There are some things you just can’t condense.

It’s like water.  You can’t reduce the water any more unless you boil it, but then you’re stuck trying to grab onto vapor that’s just not there.  The real stories just aren’t there unless you’re willing to grab hold of the water that’s almost boiling, but not quite.

Ask me about these stories.  These are the ones I want to tell you.

Because those are the stories that are clinging to my heart – like extra patches I sewed on with a sharp needle and thread.  They became a part of me, and they’ll never leave.  And I’m still bleeding from every place the thread went in.

I wouldn’t trade any of it for the world.

south african flowerI just have no idea how to honor the stories these lovely and wonderful people shared with me.  I have no idea how to wrap my head around death and laughter and pain and bright blue waves lapping at the base of a mountain and crying my eyes out and peace all in the same day.  How do you reconcile beauty and pain all together, almost all at once?

I still live in that moment every day. I feel more grounded and more real having been in those moments.  They fill my life with a deeper center, a deeper love for the people I’m surrounded by.

And I feel so inadequate in the meantime.  

When I write about my time there, I don’t mean to be vague.  I really don’t. You’re welcome to ask me anything you’d like.  I just don’t have the proper words yet to put it all out there into the great wide world.

 

But one day I will… 

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