I don’t usually write these things late, but I haven’t been able to sleep much lately, so here I am. Hello. I haven’t had much of an appetite either. My gut has been full of pointless nervous energy and I feel like I’m in pieces. I do not feel whole.
Today I got up and boiled some chicken for later, and put on a favorite dress from freshman year, and went to chapel, and came back to finish studying for my Civ Arts test and wander around my little apartment in concentric circles. Finally I headed up to campus, and took the exam, and went to an English-major-tea, and came back to cook dinner for some friends. (Well, really, they did a lot of the cooking. And all of the cleaning up.) They made me play my cello and I like them anyway. Afterwards one of my dearest friends came over and told me something very hard and I sat and listened and hurt for her. Then I read a chapter of Elizabeth Enright aloud and hugged her.
Those were the pieces of my day and I cannot put them together as I would like, or at least, not yet. So I’ll just tell you what else I’ve been thinking about.
We’ve been studying Da Vinci’s Last Supper in Civ Arts, and Dr. Munson says that Philip is his favorite. Jesus has announced that one of his disciples will betray him and Philip has risen from his seat and pointed to himself. He has seen the blackness of his own heart, and he knows the traitor must be he.
I have a very clear memory of one day in fifth grade walking back from PE class. After we filed past Mrs. Hedgecock’s room, she emerged, irate. She claimed that one of us had pounded on the door as we passed and disrupted her lesson and she was determined to find out whom. Nobody fessed up. I cannot remember why it was so important, but Mrs. Hedgecock, Mrs. Thomas, and Coach sat us all down very seriously and told us to put our heads down. They told us to raise our hand if we were guilty. Even if, perhaps, they said, we thought we could have done it on accident and had a slight lapse of memory. If there was the smallest chance it was us, we were to raise our hand. Well, I reasoned, I didn’t remember what I had been up to when we’d been walking that part of the hall. I was sure my mind had been wandering, though, so I put my hand in the air. When we put our heads up, all three teachers were hiding smiles. We immediately asked who it was. (So much for anonymity…) Ah, well, they said, only one person had raised their hand, and they were quite sure this person wasn’t the culprit, so best just to move on… The issue was dropped, and I sat quiet and red-faced in the corner.
I haven’t learned my lesson, though. I am still strangely eager to take blame. And I don’t want to let go of it, either. I cannot speak for Philip, but I still snap my eyes shut tight, and thrust my hand in the air. It is easier to take the guilt than to learn love, to learn mercy, to give, to take, to crack open my chest to the elements.
And here, at the solution, is where I am stuck, and the cursor just blinks at me. I will hazard a guess into the white space, though. I need to stop raising my hand in response to a call for confession, and instead start bodily throwing myself at the feet of the Great Blame-taker. I need to stop saying morosely, “I did that. I did that thing.” and start crying, “YOU TAKE IT. I CANNOT! I CANNOT!” Then He, in His goodness, will take not only my guilt, but me. And He will make me…whole. I cannot conceive of it right now, but He will mend pieces of which I can make no sense.
I am so weary.