Month: February 2010

February

[Kelowna, British Columbia, Canada]

I received a book from Sarah in the mail yesterday: Henri Nouwen’s The Inner Voice of Love: A Journey Through Anguish to Freedom. In what was his “secret journal”, Nouwen, a Catholic priest, shares intimate spiritual imperatives borne out of “the most difficult period of his life, when he suddenly lost his self-esteem, his energy to live and work, his sense of being loved, even his hope in God”.  Hesitant to publicize words so painful and private, Nouwen took 8 years to realize the value in sharing his journey of such intense and raw purification, from what seemed like endless agony to a new liberation, a new hope, and a new creativity. I want to be as brave.

Do not tell everyone your story. You will only end up feeling more rejected. People cannot give you what you long for in your heart. The more you expect from people’s response to your experience of abandonment, the more you will feel exposed to ridicule.

You have to move gradually from crying outward – crying out for people who you think can fulfill your needs – to crying inward to the place where you can let yourself be held and carried by God, who has become incarnate in the humanity of those who love you in community. No one person can fulfill all your needs.

Trust in the process.

***

I moved from an emptied room in Vancouver to an empty apartment in Toronto, with only the bare necessities: books and clothing. The transition from the West Coast to the East Coast is not an easy one; goodbye family, old friends, familiarity, fresh seafood, mountain, trees, ocean and birds, balmy 10 degree weather and moody rainfalls, fully stocked fridge and kitchen; hello cold. However, there are two things of which I should be reminded: I am here with purpose, and humans are adaptable beings.

***

The other night, after being rejected at the front door of karaoke for not having any ID on me, I walked home alone, accompanied by Corinne Bailey Rae’s I’d Do it All Again on repeat. As the snow started to lightly fall, for the first time in the city this year I found a place of beauty in the city. Sure, it required a soundtrack edited over the noises of the street, a warm winter coat to protect against what chilly winds were blowing, and some imaginative dislocation, but I still felt it.

Images shot before leaving. Memories of winter in the West Coast.