The Hallway

"In my father's house are many mansions..."


But meanwhile, I'm in this damn hallway with ever-graying hair, wrestling as hard as I can with the very vain problem of adult acne and unsightly chin hair. Leave it to me to bring up chin hair here. Jesus.


Two years after the fact, I cried about my divorce again. It was that weepy, snot-dripping kind of crying. The kind you do in your car alone, when there's no one around to judge you and your prayers are muttered in between heavy, weary sobs. I am not in a relationship; there is no prospect of one; the idea of dating makes me want to throw up and maybe break a pool stick over my knee or something. It has been this way for some time.


I don't know why I'm so uncomfortable in the hallway. Wait, I take that back. I'm uncomfortable because I am driven in large part by self-centered fear. Add to that the fact that I am sometimes a selfish toddler, dissatisfied with my snacks and long overdue for a nap. This feeling of being shut out of the party while everyone else in the world moves on about their merry way catapults me into a frenzy of kicking in doors, frantic to find the one that hides my solution behind it. I am so uncomfortable being alone sometimes, but I would never tell you that because it sounds desperate.


I've had many conversations with spiritual advisers and friends and therapists regarding this matter. My closest spiritual teacher reminds me that I am not in charge, that God did not receive my hand-written itinerary and agenda. She tells me mine is shit anyway. I fight, and then I surrender again to the fact that I am in the hallway, only to panic again and kick down a door.


My regret, remorse, guilt, pain, and occasional maudlin misery is self-created. There is no regret or pain in the hallway. There is only the safety of being securely located. Tonight while I dished my self-pity stew to a few friends, a thought occurred to me I had not come up with on my own. I realized I'm in this hallway, and God is renovating down the way a bit. He is building me a new room, with pretty windows and hardwood floors -- ones that will stand the test of time and my continuous toe-tapping. If I kick in doors and commit myself to an old room, I'll miss the smell of fresh paint in the one God is preparing for me.


It's silly how wrapped up I get in something as impossible as time traveling. I cannot go back to my wedding day. I cannot propel myself to the future. I can only appreciate my own unique Now. No use in fighting ghosts anyway. They are shapeshifters that really screw up the only day I have: today. Moments are like water. You can't hold them for any real length of time because they're gone as soon as they're here. That's a lot of water to come and go. And the only water I'm really comfortable with anyway is the salty kind that falls from the corners of my eyes. That kind comes on those days I have silly time travel wishes, and even when I remember how lucky I am to not be in charge of renovations. I never was a good carpenter anyway.


Be still and know. I should simmer down. I should be still and remember: in my Father's house are many mansions -- and even a room divinely designed just for me. I just can't go in there yet because of all the fumes and stuff.