“I find it wholesome to be alone the greater part of the time. To be in company, even with the best, is soon wearisome and dissipating. I love to be alone. I never found the companion that was so companionable as solitude.”
– Henry David Thoreau, Walden
I find I’m becoming more introverted as I get older. Friends and family, who know me well, will tell you that I am an extrovert to a power of ten. I love people. But more and more, I feel I need to love people quietly. More and more, I feel I need to draw into my own small circle with those I love most and just be together.
I long for a time when I can visit long and deep with a good friend, maybe two. I long to meet with some of the wonderful men and women that modern technology has brought into my life. But so few. So very few. It seems, sadly, that the only place I can visit with those people is in a very bright, very loud café, constantly interrupted. I want to focus on the heart of my companion, to talk about meaningful things, to laugh together, or to sit in silent contemplation, joining hearts and hands, making memories that sustain us both.
I want to be far from the hubbub that is current society. It’s all too loud, too angry, too brash, too rude. I feel wounded and I need to make sense of it all. Here. In solitude.
“In order to understand the world, one has to turn away from it on occasion.” – Albert Camus
But I leave the door open to kind-hearted friends and acquaintances who want to come to call – through this space and in real life.
“If geography is prose, maps are iconography.” Lennart Meri
It has been a light week here since we finished our main lesson block on Tuesday. So today, Louis and Sophie made up a game to play with the United States map. It’s rather like that game you play with a group of dots where each player takes a turn making a line between two dots and the one who closes the box claims it. Louis won this time ’round.
Then the older kids worked together to locate both state and national capitals. And then made the map of the world look like a nice game of Global Thermonuclear Warfare. It was at once amusing and slightly unsettling. The winner for the longest range missile is Tonga, which managed to reach Japan going round the long way.
Geography was my favourite subject growing up and I’m extremely gratified that my own children are having so much fun with it, too.
In case you’re curious, our pretty maps are from National Geographic, and our frames are from Michael’s. The latter are wood with a plastic sheet to protect the maps. We just use regular dry erase markers.
An impromptu art lesson for my Bulgarians. They were never taught how to make art. It is clear that they desire to make art. We ALL desire to make art because we are made in the image and likeness of God. The essence of our very being is that of creator. Making art is a useful means of communication when spoken language fails. It is therapeutic.
They are learning not only how to use art materials, but also how to observe. As teenagers, they had not really learned to pay attention to how the human form, nor plants, nor anything else was made. Arms too small, bent weirdly, coming from the midsection of the body instead of from the shoulder. Trees that look like lollipops instead of like trees. In some small way I am helping them to communicate when spoken language fails.
They are showing improvement in their artworks. They practice daily. It is as though a light has been turned on in an inner room in their minds. “Aha!” And there is a rush to use their newly learned skills. It is beginning to pour out like a stream in spate.
We are finding that letting them unfold naturally was a wise decision. Forcing them too quickly would not have produced any fruit. Rushing to have them diagnosed with this or that disability before they had a chance to become themselves would have been tragic. We have had such a bumpy transition, and we still have days that are excruciatingly difficult. We tend to avoid suffering at all costs.
But in avoiding the suffering, we often miss the holiness and wholeness of life.
He remembers His promise of mercy, the promise He made to Abraham and his children forever.
And unlovable, and so very broken. God sends His word to speak to your aching heart:
Before the LORD the whole universe is as a grain from a balance
or a drop of morning dew come down upon the earth.
But you have mercy on all, because you can do all things;
and you overlook people’s sins that they may repent. For you love all things that are and loathe nothing that you have made; for what you hated, you would not have fashioned. And how could a thing remain, unless you willed it;
or be preserved, had it not been called forth by you?
But you spare all things, because they are yours,
O LORD and lover of souls,
for your imperishable spirit is in all things!
Therefore you rebuke offenders little by little,
warn them and remind them of the sins they are committing,
that they may abandon their wickedness and believe in you, O LORD! – Wisdom 11:22-12:2 (NAB)
His name is Love and Mercy and Goodness. He calls us all to Himself, chastises justly but with gentleness. He tenderly enfolds us in His embrace and admonishes us to do better, to try harder, to never give up. When we fall down in the mess we have made, we must get back up, dust ourselves off, clean up that mess, and try again. And again. Every single day for as many days as we are granted.
Each one of us was loved into existence by Love Himself. We are precious and worthy. We are cherished beyond reason, and above measure. In all our ugliness and failings as well as in our triumphs and joys.
I haven’t been posting anything lately, not because there isn’t anything happening. It’s just that so much of our lives are about our adoption. The process, our memories from the trip, and our contact with them is intertwined everything we do, it touches every part of our lives.
I want to be very protective of the process. Not because I don’t want to share everything we are experiencing with you, but because we don’t want to do a single thing to jeopardize the process. It’s a tricky thing, this sharing. I didn’t want to share anything until I was certain of what I could safely share.
Now that I am a bit more confident about all of those things, I hope to begin posting more often. We treasure your prayers for our family, our new children, and for the children who still wait everywhere.
I’m preparing another neat giveaway, and will hopefully have that posted this week. We’re just $2100 from fully funded at Reece’s Rainbow. That means that we will have the funds we need to go back to Bulgaria this fall and bring our kiddos home!