Sometimes I wish you could be my Polly Pocket.
Not my blog reader, not my friend, but my Polly Pocket. I wish you could be less than an inch tall so that I could carry you with me always and you could see the world beside me and we could talk deep into midnight about all the things our little sockets of hazel and blue saw that day. And then we could wake up and do it all over again. You, and me, and your cute little plastic outfits.
I’d be so good to you if you were mine.
I would’ve propped you up on the dashboard of my car and let you man the Spotify stations as we drove and drove and drove until we lost track of the roads and street lights. I would have given you fresh Tennessee air. I would have let you nearly drown in a glorious vat of sweet tea. I would’ve sat you straight on the railing of a boat as we cruised out to the center of a lake in Northern Georgia and watched fireworks shoot up in the air. Together, we would have celebrated freedom and the summer air.
You’d get to watch the world with me. You’d see the wrinkles, and hear the stories, and I’d never have to tell you anything you didn’t already know. If you were always with me, we could process every bit of this confusing, wild thing in the flesh while we layed beneath a blanket of stars and tried whispering to a God who is both a knitter and a maker.
There is 860 miles between you and I that I don’t know how to tell you about.
It’s as if I traveled far away and came back different and I’m forced to try to explain to you this new skin I am standing in. I don’t know what to tell you. I don’t know where to begin. The experience feels too ripe to pluck just yet. It’s all still resting in single words that have yet to meet their sentencey soul mates: Goodness. Hospitality. Home. Sanctuary. Rest. Laughter. Chik-Fil-A. Peace. Rain. Contentment.
Before this, the first instinct was to share and share and share. And overshare. And add a filter to that. And nail the right angle with that. And to announce to the world that I am having a good time, and that I wish you were here, and too bad you’re not, but I am having a good time anyway.
And then life happens. And people get real. And stories get shared. And secrets get told. And hands get held. And tears get shed. And we all realize the thing we knew ten years ago in the middle of our gadgetless little existence– it was never about the networks. It was never about the followers. It was never about the approval of where you were and what you were doing or who you were with. But it was always about the relationships you could foster in the flesh far more than a fluid invitation into every moment that looked filtered, and pretty, and perfect on the screen.
“If I told you to pull back… if I said there was something more… would you believe me, girl?”
It’s almost like I could hear God speaking that single question into my ear over & over again as I soaked in the southern hospitality that only comes from people who learn to care about you before you ever even walk through their door. You’ve been a living prayer to them all along. You’ve rested heavy on their hearts for all eternity and a day. ( And yes, God sounds very much like the memes of Ryan Gosling in this moment but we can analyze that strangeness some other day.)
But I can feel Him pushing me. Pushing me to pull back into relationships that hold me together at the seams in a way I’ve grown nostalgic for. The kinds of relationships I don’t want to clutter or talk about too loudly. I want them to stay simple and true because that is the way they’ve always been to me. The kind of people who I keep in my grip because I am admittedly so, so afraid, in a partially unexplainable way, that if I look away they’ll be gone. I won’t have them any longer. I’ll be grabbing for dust.
The kind of people who take me for who I am and never ask me to be different. Because who I was yesterday was good enough always.
If it takes unplugging, and escaping, and driving down the coast to Somewhere Else for me to get back intact with that then it’s probably, certainly something I should have never lost to begin with. It’s probably really important. It’s probably something I should always keep in my eye’s view so that it never gets misplaced for too long.
Admitting that is a starting point. It ain’t no cut-me-a-piece-of-cake-and-call-it-easy-sauce alteration. It’s not the flicking of the light switch. It’s not the waking up different tomorrow. It’s a slow and steady process. It’s weeding things out of your life to keep and make room for others you hope will arrive soon. It’s shutting off more. It’s stepping back more. It’s being present more in a way that hurts when you can’t turn to the screen for comfort and escape.
It’s not pretty. It’s not sensical. But it’s like reaching the end of the yellow brick road, pulling back the curtain, and realizing Oz ain’t it. He just ain’t it. And yet you’ve been given the chance to click those ruby reds and start over again… you came this far, it’s not too late to start over again, girl.