Sunday, February 28, 2010

notes from a has-been

is it all so much psychobabble to write about self-definition? because i'm still thinking about it, even after this a while back.

i have been a lot of things. in particular, this past couple of weeks, i've had sports on the brain (which may have more than a little bit to do with the amount of sports coverage i've been watching, olympic junkie that i am). anyhow, my mini-junkie son got the itch to try his hand at some winter olympicism of his own (if i made up that word, i don't apologize for it), so i dusted off my skates and the three of us headed to the rink.

(see that little star-shaped hole there? lutz gone wrong. you're not supposed to toe pick your own foot, in case you were wondering.)

my little white stretchy gloves were still stuck inside those skates, i discovered. the smell when i pulled them out was overwhelming: it was the smell of so many hours of practice, of falls and bruises and tears, and of adrenaline and successes and delight.

so when did i start getting so dizzy? because even more than i spun on the ice, once upon a time i spent my life flipping and twisting in the air above the water. (and don't even get me started on what the smell of chlorine does to me. oh, the ecstasy!)

(the empire state games opening ceremonies 1994, with a few of the divers from the central region. parade of athletes, performances, fireworks, crowds in the stands, the whole deal. so. much. fun.)

so when did it happen that a simple scratch spin started sending the whole rink reeling? or teaching luke to do a somersault could put me all awhirl?

has-been, indeed. i am no longer what i was. which got me thinking, of course (had you guessed it?) about what it means to be something other than what i have been.

paul tells us, "Therefore, if anyone is in Christ, he is a new creation; the old has gone, the new has come!" (2 corinthians 5:17). the old has gone. so do i accept the dizziness? for that is the question before me: if dizziness is a consequence of the old being gone, of being a has-been, do i accept it gratefully, or do i long for the days captured in snapshots when i could "fly through the air with the greatest of ease"? of course, it's not about dizziness or flying through the air or any of that really, you know. (you know, right?) what does it mean for the old to be gone, for me to be a new creation?

(i can't help but imagine eliza here. a new creation. what does that look like? praise God that the old has gone for her, that she is a has-been and a new creation! but what does that look like? )

here's the cool part: this is what skating looks like for me now.

this is what flying through the air at the pool looks like for me now.

remember that moment in disney's aladdin when aladdin is trying to convince jasmine to step off her balcony onto his magic carpet?

"do you trust me?" he asks. again, "i said, do you trust me?"

i had an aladdin moment when i saw this picture that sam took yesterday. luke did trust me, implicitly, even as he fell and fell and fell and could not control his feet for even a second; he trusted me. he took my hand over and over and over again, and i picked him up over and over and over again. dizzy (or, in this case, wobbly) or no, he trusted my outstretched hand.

the outstretched hand of God tells me, you are you not what you were anymore. trust me to make you into what you haven't been. you are a new creation. do i trust Him enough to leap off that balcony, to climb up off the ice again and again?

"Let the morning bring me word of your unfailing love, for I have put my trust in you. Show me the way I should go, for to you I lift up my soul." (psalm 143:8).


Patricia Berman said...

Loved the post, but I do not love the title! I do not think your son, or the following of little girls at the ice rink, think you are a has been! :)

TwoSquareMeals said...

Not having known you when you were "something," I'd say you aren't a "has been." You have become an amazing woman and friend. And someone who can bring even stoic me to tears with your writing. Lovely post.

amy said...

Great memories from this post... I seem to remember many afternoons spent spinnning around your mom's kitchen floor as well. You are a wonder and I could read your words all day long.
Much Love,

Meredith said...

What skating looks like for you now is just as beautiful as when you used to spin and spin without getting dizzy.

Can't wait to skate with Luke sometime. Beautiful post, D.