Wednesday, October 27, 2010

I'll Fly Away, Oh Glory....

Last weekend I flew away, for the second time in less than a year. The first time was to Orlando, and if you want to read all about it, Corey is pretty good about keeping it on the front burner. When I came home I tried several times to blog about it, but nothing I wrote could begin to explain what we had all experienced there. I could tell about the nervousness of doing something dangerous, of flying away to meet people I only knew of in cyberspace. I could tell of the childlike joy we all felt as we explored our villa, or jumped hand in hand into an icy pool. I could tell of a dinner prepared by loving hands, and an unfolding of selves around a big table. I could tell of the laughter and tears, and the giant burning pain of parting. But it wouldn't be enough. It would only scratch the surface of what happened in Orlando.

But I can tell you about what did not happen in Orlando. A group of women did not get together to try and impress one another. A group of women did not get together and create a pecking order. A group of women did not get together and piss and moan about their spouses, children, or hard lives. Sure, we shared our struggles and frustrations, but through it all, every woman was expressing her complete commitment to the life path she had chosen. Even those who were struggling mightily, expressed profound gratitude for their partners and families.

If I had to tell you the message of Orlando, first I would have to climb to the rooftop. From there I would shout, "You are not alone!" You may feel alone, but it is a lie. Your sisters have been scattered, but you can find them if you try.

This past weekend I flew away to Texas, to a reunion of sorts. Six of the original nine traveled from around the country, to camp out on the living room floor. Though there were only six beds, there were nine spirits present. Life is life, and one can't always pack up and run away to Texas. And again, I am at a loss for words. I could tell you about the joy at seeing now familiar faces. I could tell you about talking deep into the night, playing games, eating and drinking far too much. But I would again, be scratching the surface of the thing.

This time we did not talk of our families, our children, our common bonds...not so much anyhow. We spoke of ourselves more often, of our unique histories, and thoughts, and dreams. We discovered how different we are, and most surprisingly, how very much the same. The wonder of Orlando remained, but here also an ease that I had not felt before. If the shouted message of Orlando was, "You are not alone", then the message of Gonzales was a sigh and a whisper, "Yes. I am not alone."

We spoke of how it builds us up and fills us. We, who taste discouragement every day, know that we are winning. It may not feel like winning, but we are winning. In general, Gonzales whispers, but if it shouts anything it all, it is "I want to be more than I am. I will not give up."

Beautiful airplanes, fly me home. I would rather be there than anywhere. But fly me away once in awhile, to Orlando, and Gonzales, and any other place my sisters are.