I am looking at the picture that Neil took of me. In it, I look so sad… My eyes are gazing outside the window and I am lifting the curtain.. as if.. as if I am waiting for someone to arrive. I have such longing in my eyes.. and it feels like the eyes are saying the longing is about to turn into a big disappointment at the realization of the person I am waiting for never arriving. Sounds like the story of my life.
I always wait, but they never come. Like the times I waited for my dad’s safe arrival while he was out drinking every night. I would stand by the window and wait for his return. I would stand there with my prayerful heart, wishing for my dad’s safe homecoming, but he was always so late, and I had to go to school early the next morning so I’d just go to bed, hoping the sleep will come and my anxiety will go away. When the morning came, I’d find my dad sleeping in his room. I always did find him sleeping in his room when I woke up. There were mornings when he was missing, but, he always came back… eventually. There were nights he came back home bleeding.. and nights when we got called by some stranger letting us know that they found him, asleep on the street. It happened once on a cold winter night, and I was old enough to know that he could have died if someone didn’t bother to call us.
But it’s all in the past now. He’s never late now. My dad is always on time. He goes to work, and then heads straight home. He doesn’t really have any friends now here in the States, and I think he likes coming home, back to his grandchildren, back to mom’s yummy Korean dinner.
But today, before my dad arrives home from work, I left.
I came to my studio, to be alone. I have grown up now, and, I like being independent. After so many nights of longing and wishing and waiting, I have grown up to love my solitude. I am used to my silent nights. I am comfortable having no one to return home. I am ok even if no one comes back to me at the end of the day…
This is what I have become; a loner. Those nights of waiting in silent fear have made me into this person. Alone here in the studio this evening, I feel quite lonely, and it feels very familiar. I am comfortably numb to loneliness.
I am back to my lonely quarter, dwelling in my lonely heart chamber.
Where no one exists, not even me, but only God..
God alone exists there.
And there, only there, I find my complete union.
It’s me and God tonight.
Just the two of us.
I am expecting no one, and I am not staring out the window, helplessly waiting in desperate longing.
Not any more.
I am already with the One,
The God who is, and who was, and who is to come.
* * *
Hymn for Vespers
To thee our inmost heart doth cry,
Our voice resounds in melody,
For thee chaste love with longing yearns,
Our humbled soul doth worship thee.
And when dense blackness falls to close
The day in thickest folds of night,
Let not our faith such darkness know,
But by that faith let dark be light.
Allow though not our souls to rest;
Our sins in rest, we pray thee, bind:
Let pure, refreshing faith be strong
To cool all dreams that heat the mind.
Stripped clean from senses’ danger, let
Our inmost heart dream deep of thee;
Let not our envious foe disturb
Our rest with guile and treachery.