Finding Gra(y)ce

Finding Gra(y)ce


        Finding Grace

I say I am finding grace, but I think I am succumbing to liminality. My life runs between two parallel lines. I hop between either line, attempting to escape the middle ground of liminality that lies between them. Gracing the realities of this or that, but never allowing myself to experience this and that, merging my two parallel realities into one. 

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   All I really want is to find the grey area. I want to find the grace of God and lend myself the advantage of patience and Zen. My life would feel a lot easier if I did not fight between the two but found the advantage of tapas. Tapas in food, tapas in life, tapas in morality. A little of this, a little of that, a little bit of grace.

Dilyn was the first to inform me of the rigid structure I lived in. In the Starbucks drive-thru we frequented our entire friendship, her lively eyes, yet tired spirit spoke to me with the same grace that she has been lending me since we were thirteen. Then, our brakeless bikes guided us to Starbucks where we would sit on the patio in all weather, delivering to each other a stream of consciousness not far off from our journals. She has sympathized with my worries and learned to decipher my thoughtless banter better than I can myself, guiding my spirit when I could not. So, for her to inform me of my rigidity in the homeland of our friendship felt quite fitting.

Black-and-white line drawingIt doesn’t take long for Dilyn to tell you what you need to hear. I needed to hear that two things could exist at the same time. That my friendship, although a friendship, could still be platonic despite feeling more. I could feel more but still have the same platonic relationship. Two realities could exist together despite neither being completely true. Existing in both had me living in grey, until black or white took over.

I fail to see the grey most days. I fail to feel the grey most days. But I am motivated to find the grey, to find the space where all exists at once. I believe if I describe the black and white enough, the two parallel lines of reality I live between, they might intersect. If not to intersect, maybe the liminality in between will guide me into accepting Dilyn’s advice.

The more I share, the more I want to find my own liminality and accept the grey of life I refused. I want to grant myself gra(y)ce.

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The Passage of Time


Sometimes you just have to let time pass is what I have been learning this trip. Buses, trams, trains, walks, emotions. Time is going to pass either way, but if you continuously fight it – the feeling stays; the dread, the weight, the pain of trying to stop something you cannot control. I am learning that I need to just soak it in, that I need to just stop fighting it. The weight will not dissipate if I do not let time pass. Yet, time evidently flows so fighting only prolongs the pain. I inherently allow the pain to continue. Although the opposite of every emotion, the quickest way for the pain to leave is to allow the pain to take over. To allow the time to pass. When I am stuck on a delayed train in the countryside, the only thing stopping me from freaking out is the reminder that time will continue. Time seems to make the world continue so steadily. It is the great equilibrium of the present, the reminder that we will continue. If everything else fails, time will continue. Time is the constant that preserves hope. 

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A Daily Dilemma (Outro)

My daily dilemma is deciding whether everything or nothing will matter. Unlike other dilemmas, compromise proves impossible – the day either consists of strategic planning (everything) or impulsive decisions (nothing). I feel compelled to spend a portion of my time focusing on everything, working toward goals I hope to someday reach. The butterfly effect characterizes everything days as I rely solely on the hope that my actions from now establish a foundation for later. 

Contrary to everything, we are left with nothing. Nothing consumes everything. I fill my days with experience rather than calculated preparation, attempting to balance the days, Yet, experience is preparation; everything is nothing.

 As much as I attempt to plan my everything days, nothingness results. Undoubtedly, any prearranged activities will fail to betide to some extent – not all – but a fair amount do not materialize after calculated preparations. Yet, an absence of my planning lead to nihilations as the evanescence of my life carries on. My days continue as I fail to meet the goals I set. I cannot escape the continuum of time that persists. 

So what results? Nothingness. When I create an expectation of everything for the day, I inherently create nothingness. Everything and nothing impossibly find each other through an endless orbit that defines my days.

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My Yiayia Sylvia epitomizes the divide between everything and nothing. From twelve weeks old, she cared for me every day as my parents worked, instilling a basis of values unaware to me until recently. 

Weekly memories of our trips to the University of Chicago that delved into her childhood and our Greek history induce the qualities I inherited. Our hikes around campus commenced before any morning class sought to begin. Landmarks triggered stories of her undergraduate years and memories of growing up in the South Shore neighborhood of Chicago. After hearing the stories, I learned to finish on my own, Yiayia insisted we visit the Greek store on 95th St to acquire the ingredients necessary for the traditional dish she would teach me to cook. 

Those days have gradually disappeared as she has lost her license, and her sight and hearing deteriorate daily. She now resides in a room at my Aunt’s house, comfortably seated in her reading chairs. The few times I see her a year now, she unremittingly reminds me that the older I get, the faster time passes; at some point, she says, “You stop making new memories and are forced to relive what you already know.”

Everything gauges insignificance when subsequently you will remain with the present. The future will no longer loom, but the present will beat down. Now, the present beats down on Yiayia because she can only reflect on the past. There is no future for her – nothing matters now. Yiayia taught me that nothing assimilates into everything. Exclusively focusing on the future prevents experience; yet, exclusively focusing on the present prevents preparation. The two have a symbiotic relationship, unaware to me every morning as I choose between the two. The daily dilemma disappeared when I realized I needed both. Everything and nothing. Everyday.

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