there is no rug

Updated: Jul 30, 2019

I’ve arrived in Italy.

You were supposed to call me the day before I left the States.

You were going to call during the times I texted you, when I would be alone in the airport for the long layover in LA. I waited. In a quiet place stretching to shake off the adrenaline rush I’d had for days. Erecting my legs up a concrete column, knowing I had twelve hours yet of flight, then to catch a train from Rome with two changes; I felt the blood leave my feet. My racing thoughts grew quiet.

No text. No call.

I’m not going to say it’s ok. It’s not.

When I call, you answer. You are my echo, my click, my sounding place. You are the one human I trust with my whole heart. When my world is bouncing like a rubber ball down a steep slope, you are the voice I want in my ear.

Remember when Rob Bell laughed about how people say,” I’m an atheist”, as if that’s some new radical resistance. And he reminds that Jesus first said “my God why have you forsaken me”. He is, at that moment, the atheist, a doubter, one who believes he is forgotten, forsaken, without, alone, solo, abandoned, a fool for believing, a human zero, a laughing stock in all of time, an unbeliever.

When we make life-altering changes, moving across the ocean to a place where no one knows your name, where finding the simplest things, say, baking powder or peanut butter, feels like recreating the wheel. When you are misunderstood, literally, or the man from the citizenship office tells you to be there at noon on Wednesday and when you arrive, the building, in entirety, is locked.

I’m not the first to feel this way.

It’s not just that the rug has been pulled out from beneath, there is no rug.

It’s a blow. But not the blow that kills you. You find your breath. Your legs.

The wind that unearthed you sends your seed, your life, floating.

In that silence at the airport, I understood, no, I am the voice, the quiet, the resolve, the wisdom of my life. I reach out to the unknown, and strangely, miraculously, weirdly, it reaches back.