that Something Inside

Last Tuesday, Adam’s friend, Derek, came to dinner. It was the first time I’d seen him since our road test road trip (see Driver’s Ed.). He’s been busy lately between finishing up school work for the semester and his job at the movie theater, which had him on the clock even on Christmas and Christmas Eve. He sat at my kitchen counter and we talked as I cooked. My mom came in and the three of us shared a bottle of wine. And then he and I stayed chatting after, as my kids finished dinner and left the table. We had a lot to catch up on, recounting our bummer holidays, Omicron scenarios and dramas, crazy circumstances and customers at the movie theater, etc.

“I can actually feel this energy that’s just bad, and it’s all around. I don’t know how to explain it,” he commented. But he didn’t need to explain. I got it completely. I had written all about it in my blog just two days before. We talked about all of the negative emotions and energy… angry people at the movie theater, anxious teachers, shut down schools, depressed kids, fretful parents, vaccine disagreement and distress, phone addiction, social media ruining society, edgy coworkers… And we agreed that the whole world seems to be in crisis, and that things are hitting a breaking point, almost seemingly unsolvable, impossible to recover from, insurmountable… 

And yet, as I sat there with Derek after our dinner, one where I’d observed, registered, and appreciated how all of us at the table had engaged, connected, and been happy, I didn’t feel at all anxious or overcome, or despairing or hopeless about the state of things. It was strange but tangible that I was aware of something more real than all of the bad news, something inside me – and inside Derek too (and I knew he was experiencing it) – a peace.

The democrat or republican, anti or pro vaxxer, angry popcorn customer, stressed out attendant at the movie counter, anxious teacher, distressed parent, depressed kid … each have their own individual experiences. Stuff happens, and the angle from which we come to it, how we engage, or how it lands on us, becomes our story, our individualized “truth,” our own interpretation of what is “real” … And yet, knowing that begs the question of whether all those unique-to-the-individual realities are actually substantive, or anything more than just wind… how can truth be subjective?

But maybe it is, and much more too… Could it be that “Truth” is both subjective (within each of us) and universal (in everything)? Maybe “truth” has nothing at all to do with the individual stories, but everything to do with that peace Derek and I experienced even as we commiserated our stories in the kitchen… nothing to do with our isolated and separated realities but everything to do with our universality. …

Perhaps “Real” is that “Something Inside,” underneath all of the noise.

7 thoughts on “that Something Inside

  1. Happy New Year Naomi 🎉 what you write validates what everyone’s feeling I love your truth keep writing ✍️ through it all, you were able to have a fun time 😃 uplifting to the spirit there’s hope for all of us that we could be happy through the most difficult times and find peace within us ☮️

    Liked by 1 person

  2. Thank you, Naomi. Yesterday I listened to your ZOOM talk and so enjoyed hearing more about Adam, seeing you and getting in touch (again) with my on-going grief. The tears are healing, but not so good on my daily “To Do” list! Have a good day and be safe.


  3. Good to make space for our “tears.” Feelings are important, as are actions. I make peace with my fears and tears through prayer. Then, I carry on, as a human being, touched by grace, knowing God works through us, not from us!

    Liked by 1 person

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