Tuesday, May 4, 2010

Signs

The Neville Brothers wailed on stage, as I navigated the crowd. It was one hell of a party. People dressed in business attire shook their grove things all over the dance floor. I made it to the door and as I walked out, my newly minted ex-husband was walking in with his date. I think that our expressions mirrored each other-shock.

I knew he would be at the mayoral inauguration party with “a friend.” I just figured that in a crowd of over 4000 we probably would not run into each other. I guess I figured that “friend” was just a friend, not some auburn haired petit hottie, in an almost electric blue halter dress. We said hello awkwardly and kept moving.

I am not sure how I am supposed to feel about seeing him with her. Did I think that he would slink away, into the outer darkness, a broken, lonely shell, never to date again? Shouldn’t I be happy that he met someone after all the sadness of our marriage? I guess so, but I did not want to see it, yet I guess that I needed to see it.

He seems to be moving forward with his life, and so should I. I think that I have been waiting for the blessing, and there she was, wearing an almost electric blue dress. I have been waiting for permission to toss off the garments of mourning and go forward. Now, it appears I have my permission and blessing, but I am not sure which direction I should go.

I am not sure why I have been waiting to move forward with my life, but at that moment, I realized that I had been waiting. During my marriage, I was looking for the sign from God that I needed to stay married. Before the separation, I was looking for the sign from God that I needed to end my marriage. After the official divorce, I was looking for the sign that I could move on. Each time the sign came, but not exactly the way I wanted it.

I was looking for the sign, and I got it. Frankly, I would have preferred the sign be something like Jason Stratham showing up on my front porch with roses. Instead, the sign is less subtle, not horrible but not what I wanted to see. Maybe signs are less a gentle nudge and more a slap across the face.

Had I missed those signs from God earlier, perhaps the more subtle ones? Or had I ignored them because I wanted them to be just the way I wanted them to be? I would have liked a letter from the Almighty stating: “Get moving, girl! Great stuff down this road!”

Nope. Instead, God gives his sign. There is no indication what lies ahead, but the sign stands in the fork of the road. Where do I go from here? I guess first I have to crawl out from under my desk. Then I have to open my eyes and see the signs that indicate the ending of one road and the entrance to another, and start again down the road.

4 comments:

Rachael said...

Oh, if all signs were like Jason Statham with roses, I'd be SUCH a happy person! :-)

A wonderful post. Thank you!

La Padrecita said...

from the highway just north of Orlando, Florida:

"When you come to the fork in the road, take it."

Mainly, just keep walking.
Blessings,
M. A.

Rachel said...

I don't mean for this to sound rude, so I apologize if I word it as such... You're obviously talented at writing (I really like your blog) and I cannot claim the same, unfortunately. So instead I put this disclaimer to ensure the following message is received with the respect that I intend:
I have a problem believing that G-d is sending us signs about things such as relationships and career paths. I think one of the biggest problems with the human condition is our habit to "wait for a sign" instead of making a decision ourselves. Perhaps there's a sign in the fact that the decision is difficult to make. Perhaps there's a sign in the fact that some decisions can only be made when completely separated from a situation or when you come face to face with it.
Why, do you think, we spend so much time thinking about what G-d would want us to do and praying that we'll be shown a sign? Is it just for the comfort of feeling as though we're not alone in the decision? Or is it to pass off some of the responsibility?
It's not that I don't believe in signs from "on high," I most certainly do. I don't know that we're the best at recognizing and interpreting them, though. I believe G-d sends us signs every moment of our lives and we pick and choose the ones we like and mold them to fit our needs at that moment. G-d gave us the gift of free will and I believe it was given with the intent for us to use it. Perhaps the only sign G-d gives us all is in the miracle of each new day when we awake, breathing and full of life. If that isn't a sign to keep forging ahead, I don't know what is.

Thank you very much for your blog. It's inspirational and very thought provoking.
I'd be honored to hear any feedback on my ramblings.

Nancy Brett said...

I like Rachel's comment about signs, and I liked the blog and related totally to that idea of signs, too, not questioning it, because I felt it was related in a wry and somewhat self-deprecating way. I do have friends, though, who basically don't bother to bring a map or ask directions because everything seems to be a test to see where God wants them to be. I get annoyed with that.

Maybe "signs" aren't what we think of as signs, in a spooky kind of supernatural way.... but reality making itself know...something quite simple, something that causes us to experience cognitive dissonance between where we think we are and what we think that should be like and where we actually are and what it's actually like. Paying attention becomes important, whether one ascribes signs to divine intervention or the relationship between divine intention and human intention.

Spiritual realities are kind of hard to put in words, and once they are in words, others experience that reality outside in, as it were. When I attempt to describe my inner life, it is necessarily with an outer language. Anyway, that's what I think. If you read descriptions about how the prophets got ready to be in that place of themselves where they prophesied, the bizarre preparations they sometimes made.... and yet... there is truth there, an inward truth realized through inward focus on external acts, until the truth blossoms within...

The concept of signs is similar to this I think... with the fascinating idea that, as she walked out of the party, meeting the woman in the electric blue halter dress, she too may have served as a sign to someone... while internally and externally just persuing her own course of her own life. And if the woman in blue hadn't been there,would there have been something else to give permission, to express that reality...

I think it's a matter for reflection. What experience is someone articulating when feeling that she is seeing a sign? And, of course, the idea that one is standing at a crossroad with absolutely no idea of what lies ahead--but just a sign-post there... reflects my own inner experience of Providence as well...

It's tough.