Saturday, September 5, 2009

Dark Love

Dark love washes over my face, teasing me into wakefulness with its rich aroma. Rolling it around my mouth, overwhelmed by the depth of tones barely perceivable, hints at the greater whole of its brew. The sun is bright this morning, painting the grass a brilliant green carpet stretching to the craggy base of the mountains thrusting up into a pale blue sky. There is not a cloud in the sky, but I still feel the rain...

One of my favorite television shows got canceled this year, The Unit. Every week, Tara and I would carve out time to watch it online, to see where the story was going. When we would get to the end of an episode, we would be ready to watch another, but we had to wait until the next week when it was posted. Periodically through out the week we would talk about what happened the week prior and anticipate what was coming next. What was going to happen to our favorite characters? There was tension in not knowing.

That tension is where I live right now. Not for a television show, but in my life.

Those of you that have been around a while know that for the last six months I have been working part time as I look for a job. I left my last job because I was living apart from my family while we waited for the house to sell and after eight months decided to come home. Recently I was offered another job, but the house still hasn't sold. So we wait in the tension.

To add to the tension, money is tight, I worked eight hours this week. Coming back to Lynchburg after being away for eight months feels like a solider coming back from deployment and life has moved on without him. New relationships have formed, there are new inside jokes, whole chapters you have missed out on. While you stare at the silent phone, begging for it to ring, for someone to acknowledge you are here.

In the tension, there are all these questions that usually start with why and what. Why is this happening? What am I supposed to be learning from this? What am I doing wrong? You start to bargain for your release to higher power. If only you will...I will... You try to compare it to starving kids in Africa, it could be worse, but it doesn't make the tension go away, when it is personal. We want relief, right now.

What do you do when you don't have the answers?

Brown dregs of Dark Love pool in the bottom on my white coffee mug, still wrapped in my fingers, soaking the last of its warmth. Soon the greens will give way to vibrant autumn colors, until the leaves fall to crunch under foot. Winter will blow in, life will lay dormant, knowing someday Spring will come again. We don't question it, we just know it's coming.

Everything works for good. Are you comfortable not knowing how?

49 comments:

♥ Braja said...

What if I know how?

Candie Bracci said...

I've been around but didn't know your situation at all.Do not compare,everyone has bad situations in life,challenges to face everyday,some don't say but it doesn't mean that everything's fine.I wish you find a job,a full time one.I wish you the best and that everything will go well for you.Keep hope even if it's not so easy sometimes,you got love that's already one huge thing!

Brian Miller said...

@braja - thanks for the chat this morning. it really is about learning dependence...a tough lesson at times.

@candie - thanks for the encouragement. i have a lot actually...a wonderful family...a place to live...a lot can not say that.

otin said...

Brian, this really opened up my eyes to some of your previous posts! Also, I added a note at the bottom of my story.

Cinnamon said...

I was never comfortable not knowing! I always seem to need to be master of my own destiny. I know this is not the Christian way; I know we were taught to wait and trust- but sometimes I think that discomfort is telling us that we need to act.

Is letting out your house an option?

I feel for you. It must be so hard to keep focus when things are so unsettled. Hang in there and keep close with your family x

lakeviewer said...

Brian, sorry to hear about your situation being so unsettled. I believe that everything will work itself out, that when one door closes, another will open. Hang in there; find joy in little things. A solution is just around the bend.

Cabo said...

When I get back in town for good we need to go into business together.

Even if its petty crime.

Alix said...

Not always comfortable, but secure.

This was a beautiful post Brian. Of course, I'm new to you and don't know all the intricate workings of your mind and life and blog yet. But I am moved nonetheless and thank you for allowing me to join you in thought.

Susan B. at warmchocmilk said...

I can understand a lot of your feelings, the tension, the money. With the ecomomy the way it is a lot of people are struggleing. My husband has gotten laid off twice in the last year and now is doing contract work to pay the bills.

Wings said...

Not sure if life itself has a good or a bad, more in how we interpret it all.

Hope things look up for you soon, though!

Maggie May said...

Sorry Brian, that things are not so good on the job front and that homes are not selling where you are either. It is like that here too.
There are so many worries when you have a family to support.
I can remember in the last recession that we went through just hanging on by a thread ( husband a self employed builder) and we eventually came out of that. We also had some very hard times when our children were young and we didn't know where to turn on many an occasion. My mum brought a shovel full of coal to us on the bus once.
It does eventually get better. Things come round full circle. Not much comfort now, I know.

Skip Simpson said...

As one who knows firsthand what it's like to be "down in that valley," I can completely relate. Hang in there, man. Life will get better.

Daniel said...

Brian you are a Godly man. You and I both know that life does not come with a program guide so that we can easily figure things out. Heck, it doesn't even come with a 1-800 number in case things go wrong. There is, as you said, uncertainty in not knowing. However, some things are more clear. The love of your wife. The giggles of your two boys. The light of love and God in your eyes, your actions, and your words. Be patient and be ready. I will continue to pray for you.

Brian Miller said...

@otin - thanks for the email as well.

@cinnamon - i struggle with control as well...funny you use master of your own destiny as i used the same in my convo with braja. its a challenge. i listen intent for the one that does have the answers.

@lakeviewer - i believe that as well. thanks for the reminder.

@cabo - lol. look forward to it. ps...there is an ad box on your blog that keeps me from leaving a comment. it gets in the way of the word verification.

@alix - glad you are around though. don't know much about aninner working of my mind...lol. just happy when it works.

subtorp77 said...

You pour a heck of a cuppa Brian! As this old sailor(and sojer)can attest, you hit that part spot on, you did! 'Tis like a chapter missing from the book...hang in there!

Joanna Jenkins said...

Everyone has said all the things I would say after reading this powerful post so I'll just say it goes double for me. I hope thing are resolved soon.

Baino said...

Brian I feel your tension, it's very tough. As the only 'breadwinner' in my family, I'm in that place so often. Some work is better than no work I thought you had a job in Florida? I'm in much the same position. My house has been for sale for 4 years and not a speck of interest. Mind you it's on a lot of land so the buyer has to be pretty specific. Good luck to you Brian, hang in there . . .I'm earning shit at the moment but we're managing, barely but managing.

Leah said...

I don't mind not knowing.

the last line brought tears to my eyes, but I do not mind not knowing.

Hang in there, good man.

The Things We Carried said...

Brian,

Your writing is astoundingly smooth and flawless here.

I had no idea of your circumstances, and I am sorry to hear of them. I do believe things work out for the best in time, but my idea of best has often been shifted only when I look back. I am getting more comfortable with not knowing, only in that I will not allow the uncertainty to steal the moments I am in or my sleep.

Hoping the very best for you and yours! Praying for you, as well.

Ronda Laveen said...

I love the dark too. I am comfortable not knowing all the details. I don't think it would help to know anyway.

Did you take the job? Can you lease the house? Some times you just have to take a leap of faith and scream all the way back up.

only a movie said...

I'm ok with not knowing most of the time... I keep reminding myself to be in love with the journey and let go of outcome. But sometimes, the journey is not very love-able!
I am sorry for all of your tension and I'm hoping for your ideal job situation to make itself known to you soon.

An Open Heart said...

Hmmm, you've left comments on my blog that alluded to your situation or rather, hinted that we might be on similar paths.....I'll tell you, this leg of my journey began in Jan of 2008 after I'd mourned the loss of my Grandmother and I actually sought out counselling to help me figure out what I wanted to do with myself....even that didn't really net any real life altering epiphanies.....it's hard to 'fly by the seat of your pants' especially if you have a family to support and not knowing what the future holds or which door to pick can be excrutiating....yes, the tension is palpable....I still have days when I'm thinking to myself I am lost, but, seriously, finding that space between now and then and just letting go, is really all you can do. Remind yourself, that you have always survived, you have always managed and although right now that might not seem like enough, really, it is. The Divine never gives us more than we can handle (no cliche intended).

willow said...

Living in the stress of limbo is one of the hardest things ever. I have been there. Just keep your head above the water and try to keep afloat down the river's path. Trust in your Higher Power and hang in there.

Good thoughts and prayers coming your way from Willow Manor. ~x

Kathy's Klothesline said...

You never know what is just around the corner..... I hope that you turn the right corner soon. If your writing is any indication (and I think it is) you are made of stong stuff!

Anna said...

Brian, no body knows, but you know it will get better if we don't give up, and I think you are trooper that will survive. Keep us updated. BTW Excellent write up, for some reason if felt very poetic. Anna :)

Kathleen said...

Yes. Very comfortable with not knowing. Though that was not always the case. In fact, it's a fairly new point of view for me.

But I've come to cherish surprise because it reminds me how limited my imagination is, and if I were limited to only what I could imagine, well, that could be a rather sorry state of affairs.

When I don't have the answers, I suspect something good is in the offing. I'm an optimist right down to my blood type: B+ . I'm also learning to wait for the answer to arrive, which is always does, though it may not be the one I like.

Most intriguing question. Thank you, Brian.

Sending strength and comfort . . .

Nancy said...

Brian you are not alone in this limbo. I think we just have to do the best we can, stay in the moment, and trust that things will improve. Hang in there. Keep writing, because you have a gift.

lettuce said...

Brian, we're just learning about this, i've said just a little on my blog... and my husband is in a similar situation to you, waiting for work, wondering if it will be enough. We're ok for a year but then if my contract is not renewed....

its hard to keep balance sometimes. But i find practicing gratitude nearly always helps, and focussing on the everyday and what we do know, rather than stressing about what might never happen

wishing you everything good

tony said...

Hi Brian,
I dont really think we ever know whats around the corner.Even when things look simple they are not (really).But, yes,living with doubt is tricky.I guess its the feeling of not having Control + Choice?
Transience Is Here To Stay!
But it sounds like things are moving & i guess Choice is near.
You+Yours have a fine Sunday.
Regards
Tony.

JeffScape said...

The Unit??? Argh!

I almost applied to work on that show, but saw that house of cards falling in that last season... good concept slowly getting soured by inconsistent and bad writing.

Ah, well.

Madame DeFarge said...

I loathe feeling unsettled and felt like that when I first worked and lived away from home. But I've been doing it for over 5 years now and I'm shocked by how easy it can be at times. I hope it all works out for you, somehow in someway that makes sense.

TechnoBabe said...

Until it happens in real life, struggling to live each day with no money is impossible for many people to really understand. You have made a choice to be with your family. Together there is strength and love. If it is job close to where you are living now, I so hope you find it. If you need to rent out the house you are in now and move to where you can get work, I hope you are able to do that.

Valerie said...

I endorse everything Lakeviewer said. Things WILL improve, Brian, there is no doubt about that.

liza said...

Brian, you've been hiding this so well. But all of us do. Hide our sorrows because we believe in the happily ever after. When life is just ________ ever after. We're left to fill in the blank. I have a feeling you've chosen happily.

Stay strong and ask for guidance from God. So many times in situations like these we ask for strength and He abides by putting us in situations that make us stronger. In this case, ask for guidance. Take it from someone who knows about living separate from the one that completes her dreams. Things will turn your way, savor the happy times, write about it, love them.

liza said...

One more thing. I don't know what type of job you are looking for but you have been given a talent. Your writing; it's flawless and inspiring. It seems like you have been given the time to exercise it. Contemplate a book. It would be a best seller!!!!!

You know the old addage..."when life gives you lemons..."

Lola said...

You and I, my brother, are in similar places. Money is tight and I know I have work until the end of November, then it all goes silent again.

How do I go on without answers? I plan. I dream really hard and visualize. I make short-term projects and I focus to make them happen. Right now my Christmas plan is to find another job... good luck.

There IS light at the end of that tunnel, you know. And if grass can grow in a crack in the concrete sidewalk, then we can come out of this dark place too.

Love the coffee analogy.

Hugs,
Lola xx

blueviolet said...

I know my husband always felt like that when he was off training for new jobs. He would come home and feel very much like an outsider. Within a couple of days, routines began to include him again but it was uncomfortable for everyone in the beginning.

I hope this stage of things passes quickly for you and that your house sells very soon. I'm sorry it's taking so long.

Tom said...

don't want to sound like a broken record, but hang in there...it's temporary, might feel shaky, but it's just a bump in the road.

Kay said...

had to back track and read this before being able to comment on the most recent, and all I really have to say is, hang in there, everything happens for a reason, if we don't know the answer right now.

Lorraine said...

I have no life Dear Brian, expect I send angels for different aspect of life when it gets bad, for my friends, I'm sending you the Angel of Family togetherness, this angel will find a way to reunite you and yours in the best possble way...
Love your writing, sorry about your pain, may all the trouble be solved soon :)

California Girl said...

My husband says "Hang in there!"

Of course you will. We went through this not once but twice in our lives. In our thirties, 1990, he had to commute and live in Orange County while I lived w/ two tiny boys and worked in San Diego. Then again after we moved to N.H. and couldn't make a go of our own business. He took a job 2 1/2 hrs away and lived away M-F for a total of five yrs. 2 years the first time, 3 years the second time w/ a year off to start another business that didn't go anywhere. I had a job where we lived and the boys were going through school so we did not want to move down where he was.

We survived. It was not easy and my husband miserable throughout and he still questions why he did it but he did it to pay the mortgaage and the bills.

I don't envy you and there are no answers other than you do what you have to do and what you think is best at the time.

California Girl said...

just came across this article from today's NY Times:

http://www.nytimes.com/2009/09/07/us/07worker.html?_r=1&hp

Jen of A2eatwrite said...

Brian, I'm trying to go "blog free" on weekends, so I didn't see this until now. First of all, my heart goes out to you and your family - this is such a hard time economically. Two - a story of hope - my dh was laid off several years ago - he hated his former job, but the economy was such in MI even then that we didn't want to risk his leaving. When he was laid off I was taking time to be home for caretaking issues for family members so we had no. income beyond his severance period (and we were so aware how lucky we were that we had that). The ending though - well, he found a job and even though he took quite a pay cut he's SO much happier, so we all are. Life can bring things around. I hope it does for you. Soon.

Betsy said...

Praying that God will 'supply all of your needs..." Hope things look up real soon! I'm sure your wife and boys are thrilled to have you move back!

Hit 40 said...

i am very sorry for your terrible situation. I would agree that walking away from the damn house might be a good idea. Screw it!!! Life is way too short to give a shit about your freaking credit rating. Let the mortgage go. Move on with your life....

I know it is easy for me to say at a distance. Life is not about money or processions.

Hit 40 said...

i am very sorry for your terrible situation. I would agree that walking away from the damn house might be a good idea. Screw it!!! Life is way too short to give a shit about your freaking credit rating. Let the mortgage go. Move on with your life....

I know it is easy for me to say at a distance. Life is not about money or processions.

Stacy (the Random Cool Chick) said...

I know others have asked this question, but is renting out your house an option?

You have a gift with words...you should definitely contemplate writing a book. I'd be the first in line to buy a copy! :)

Hope things turn around for you soon - I'll be keeping you and your beautiful family in my thoughts and prayers. ((HUGZ!))

The Retired One said...

Life is telling you to turn to your gift....writing.
You will earn your living there, I am convinced of it.
Send your blog to Oprah, she will have you on and you will be famous.
Seriously.
Publish your work.
I promise you it will be your future. The universe is telling you, are you listening?

Goofball said...

I'm sorry to hear about your worries & struggles. I think it's normal to be in doubt...I know i'd have a hard time to deal with uncertainties. As others have stated here, we like to be in control. yet those dark shadows dancing around in our brain are dangerous to get trapped in.

I really hope the economy will pick up in your area soon (and as an economist I dare to say it will....just don't know when though).

I'm sorry that I can't give you any more sound advice than hang in there. Things will go better and you need to bridge this period now. Could you do some freelance writing in the mean time? And can the house be rented out?

I guess I'm very glad now I live in such a tiny country where we never move for jobs as it's theoretically possible to commute from any corner of the country.