I was thinking about some advice I got recently from a dear friend to shorten blog posts. I have gotten this advice occasionally from people. It comes mostly from people who do not wish to hear what I have to say. ( I pause here to smile.) But such advice also comes from persons who simply do not have the time to sift through admittedly meandering prose.
I understand and foresaw this, this criticism, and that’s why my blog is called “Unraveled” with the byline “Tip: Pearls are Often Hidden in the Deep.” This is my warning to the time limited reader that my blog – for them – might be a waste of their time.
My blog is not intended for skimming. Personal blogs are not text messages or a daily motivational quote, waiting conveniently for you on your iPhone.
And skimming… imagine that concept for a moment, if you will.
As a chef, I say one can never learn, understand or truly appreciate complex recipes by skimming or reading only bullet points, by nature of the pastry dough and the Kirsch and the emulsion process. Likewise, not all verbal arguments or causes are easy to simplify, expedite or bullet point, but that doesn’t make them less valuable. On the contrary.
Life reminds of being ten years old in the shoe store, wondering why all the pretty small children’s shoes don’t fit my unusually big feet. I had outgrown the shoes, before growing into my own feet, but it was not my feet that were in error. I could not stuff my feet into shoes disproportionately too small. Come back (dear friend) to my blog later (only if you want ) with a glass of wine in hand and an easy chair.
I have found the process of unraveling one’s life and the deeper mysteries in it (like those regarding the church) to find truth, is much like trying to untangle a fine necklace found in many knots in one’s underwear drawer. It cannot be done hastily, or with generic eyesight, if that makes any sense to the unfamiliar.
Nor can anyone rebuild a fine necklace with cheap material or present it back to anyone as a present in abbreviated or cheapened format. Pearl necklaces are much too precious for that. Rushing through life has gotten me nowhere. One disdains the slow molasses-like drip of life until one realizes that only in the very rich molasses of life, lies the needed nutrients.
But be aware before blogging that many will not understand, recognize or appreciate truth’s value, or even its nature, no matter how you frame it, and will prefer the Lumistix children’s necklaces that can be purchased at Party Supply. They glow in the dark.
I think Walmart also sells them and Walmart has Bonus Buys. (Use the express lane. I’m not keeping anyone away. It’s cool how they’re so bendy.)
Seriously. I have nothing against the silly and the trivial.
But I’m not in the Lumistix business.
I’m also not in the deep-fried-macaroni-and-cheese-coated chicken- wings-on-a-stick-business, which was actually recommended to me as an alternative at the very height of my European pastry shop’s success.
Finally, there’s a reason I did not eliminate the butter and flour from pastries, that which lent taste, quality, value, substance and even science to laborious, revered, time-honored culinary processes, simply upon demand by American clients who had already made themselves unknowingly fat and gluten intolerant.
Am I having a flash back?
Do I resent or feel angry at persons for actually preferring what I consider of lesser quality? No, I do not. So please don’t imagine “tone” here.
It simply hurts when people ignorantly complain that what I produce with great effort (that they did not) is not what they would have produced, with less. I wonder if they imagine it was meant to be the opposite of that which I intended.
Thus the anticipated rejection applies to my writing, and I believe everyone who has successfully come to terms with their own life understands it. “Rejection” that is, and how embracing rejection – shouldn’t be rejected. It is usually the unaware that prefer the easily understood, obtained or faddish over things of deeper value.
Man rejects the deeper values, because as humans, we reject the painful and slow paced. We subsequently reject self-realization, preferring the comic book version of life. I am not leaving myself out of this self-accusation.
We think “Oh Truth, that can’t be found there, in the painful and slow” but that’s precisely where Truth is found. The unraveling process is by nature out of our comfort zone. Our instinct is to simply yank at our own delicate pearl necklaces with a bible quote or modern axiom, in hopes to fix it, when we find it entangled. We think it is these things that can help us and help others as well, like something we can drop off at our neighbor’s doorstep at our own convenience.
While on our way, of course, to things of much greater urgency.
C. S. Lewis wrote a lot about this in The Great Divorce.
Quick fixes are not really charity. What good is it to drop off, for example, a piece of needed medical equipment for an elderly neighbor, if one is not willing to also unpack and assemble it for her?
So… true charity and subsequent insight, is strangely related – to time.
God rarely sends us on cold drop offs or pick ups, daily bullet points in hand, like letter of law. God wants us to sit in charity and hear the prolific woes of such elderly neighbors, even when we have our own prolific woes, drink one’s coffee with the low fat milk or powdered sugar substitute we cannot tolerate but they offer – so as not to insult.
In other words, be with them.
In paradox (which is always the language of truth) it might be that specific neighbor God is using to do you a service, give you a gift – an insight you can learn from – or even hand you the final key you need to solve something in your own life, to which your ego, assumptions or impatience towards them might have rendered you blind.
When I realized how I had to slow down and only then find Truth, that is when I started finding out what was missing in my life. I found missing puzzle pieces to my life in silence, as if they were waiting for me all along in the dark. I found them in the most unexpected places, often the mundane and including the tiring. Through reflection, sometimes gut wrenching angst, in the darkest nights of my soul, but sometimes in the very joy of LIVING (with the help of Mary the Mother of God who now eternally brings us the Fullness of Truth) I started putting those missing puzzle pieces back together – like pearls on a string.
Pearls that I might have otherwise overlooked.
My blog is that careful realignment of my own necklace, just in case God has strung hidden pearls upon it with which others can also complete their own. I do not want to leave any pearls out, because who am I to determine their potential value to others?
So please, do not rush me.
It’s not the fast food, Facebook or addition of cute kitten pictures mentality that has anything to do with the preservation, revealing or sharing of truth.
Some truths, by nature, are so complex this side of life (like those involving the church) they are very much like multi-dependent pearls on a chain. If you leave one out, loose, or replace with artificial gemstones the whole necklace breaks apart, as soon as you put it back on. You then cannot communicate anything at all. Your argument is flawed. Works of art are detected fraudulent or rendered defective by the tiniest telltale assumption or missing element. If we rush the process of learning deep truths we will misunderstand them, and worse, mislead others in our very ignorance.
I realize my writing style and subject is not for everyone, but that’s okay. I do not market to attract the majority of readers.
My blog is also in no way a plea to hear me because I’m suffering, for if I’m suffering, most of the time I do not feel it. My suffering is limited to the aches and pains every child of God possessing a human body must endure. I write out of passionate joy and love for truth. It’s as simple as that. I blog because I Am, and to Give Voice.
So, if my story falls in a darkened forest (which it inevitably will) it will still make a sound.
It will make a sound because God is with me. I have found Him because I have waded through my own deep, and His love (like some accuse my words of being ) is endless, in nature. Who would want to limit praise, read or unread, of Him Whom is Infinite? He is like and makes our lives like a beautiful, round circular necklace of pearls, a never ending, fascinating story or everlasting wreath. One who truly finds joy, only wishes to express and share it, without expecting anything in return.
Treasure hunt, anyone?