Living out the String




A few weeks ago someone, in their frustration with me, told me I needed to decide what to do with my life because as I’ve been living it has, among other things, ruptured relationships, kept me without my own living space and negatively impacted my health. He was frustrated with me because the things I was describing, “aren’t how things work.” “In my experience…”


“You need to decide what you’re going to do” as if a parent admonishing me for not coloring in the lines. I needed to decide if I wanted to stay in the discomfort or walk away from it to become more comfortable. That wasn’t said in so many words but the implication was clear: “You’re treading upon sensibilities that you should not.”


Here’s the thing: When we know within every fiber of our being that giving up is not an option, when doing so violates every insensible hearted-cell of our being; when we know our truth makes others uncomfortable and even when *their* responses make *us* uncomfortable, but it is truth, we don’t stop. We can’t stop when we know what’s at stake.


Any shame I’ve ever felt about people not believing me has long disappeared. The consequences of others’ fear, even when they bring *me* discomfort, are something I’m learning to roll with; to trust All is Well when I stay the course. I can’t make people like me or believe me. I can only hold onto the thread that is being woven through what appears to be disparate lines of reasoning and separations of injustice. I can only trust that God guides with reasons I don’t have to understand and, as life would have it, believe myself. He made me for this, this evolution of things that I can’t articulate well enough to most.


I can only say I trust when, by most other’s measure of ‘sensibilities’, I ought not to. Or, I don’t trust but do anyway. Sometimes my trust is met with disappointment because I think things ought to turn out differently or that I’m owed something or that if I’ve misjudged one thing and therefore may have misjudged other things. And, y’all there’s metric shit-ton of doubt in my world? I ask more times than I can count, “You’ve got to be shitting me?” I holler, “This can’t be true?” a lot. I pray, “Please let this be true” just as often, hoping that I see things come together in a way that keeps me somewhat comfortable. But I have to believe that things are so specific they cannot be denied, that the urgency with which they are presented to me cannot be ignored and that the other people connected to my experiences are adding to and strengthening my these truths.


This is me deciding what to do with my life—I keep on. I don’t much like it but I keep on, keep on keeping on because this is not for nothing. I am not for nothing. I am the thread-holder, the Weaver. There are a couple of lines in Marc Cohn’s “Live out the String”—“Maybe Life is curious to see what you would do With the gift of being left alive…Live out the string a little longer.”


We live out the string.



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