THERE'S NO ART to beginning – you just do. Clumsily, luckily, unsure or maybe mostly confident, or maybe in full ignorance, you find yourself too far beyond the end for it to possibly still be considered the end. That’s just how it happened for me – too far beyond the end.
Swallowed by an ending, the spotlight quick faded before the curtains could even touch closed. It’s absolutely isolating and frightening, both at the same time.
I am a survivor, but by no means at all is my story a tale of a self-made man who overcame great odds and bootstrapped to victory. No, mine is a story of the kind of survivor who was found just wanting the end.
Quite simply and never forgetting, the beginning found me. I should be duly clear here: the beginning was, and is, God. And not god as in, a god or feeling or some self-sustaining resolute strength discovered within myself fueled by an ambiguous goodness somewhere out there, I thoroughly mean the Creator, Divine Trinity – Father, Son and Holy Ghost. There is no forever blooming, never spoiling beginning outside of Him. Understanding the psychology of grief and my breaking couldn’t nor wouldn’t get me to a new beginning. Neither would time’s passing, which is such an empty lie to tell someone suffering the shock of loss or tragedy of life unraveling. God in all of His regular might led me far, far beyond the end of my first wife’s death to the warmth of a day I could’ve never dreamt up in my best, undisturbed night of sleep.
Journal entries that pawed at death and ash in the form of spiraling questions, accusation and curses, discovered God’s welcome, even His beckon. ‘Come to Me, all who are weary and heavy burdened,’ echoed determinedly in my sunken heart. I came because He called to me and I had nowhere else to go. My dreams, my hopes and my security – the life I built – lay ruined and left me without home. That’s where I was found. Those original journal entries grew into pages of words telling the grandest of stories of my finding, in the too far beyond the end. Those pages piled into a book that I called, Earth and Sky.
Today, I celebrate the writing, but more so, the story. It’s who I was, where I’ve been and who I’ve become. I do hope you find the time to read my story. It is one far greater than I could ever tell, one that will forever define me, for it was in those pages that I was truly born again.