The opening narrows over time. The interest slowly comes to an end. The emails, phone calls, and notes, all slowly dry up. People live busy lives. And nothing in our busy life changes accept the resolve that what is, is. There is no late night commercial that shows pictures of us. And maybe if you ever saw us, you would say,” gosh, how very good you look!” And we don’t complain because all the complaining that we can muster is of no use. And in the darkness, in the midst of the storm that never ends, it is there, if for no other reason than because, it’s who we are; we are a hoping people! At the end of all of us, whether your condition is chronic with pain, or not, nothing defines our real worth accept for one thing; our hope.
I love my shop! I go out and create in it, hoping to make something even more beautiful than the last object of my affection. But it is not the same now. It is an illusion of what was. Very little of my creative self works as it should or did and many days I walk out of that shop feeling more frustrated and in pain than creative and fulfilled. My neck pops and grabs. My hands freeze up and require me to stop and massage them. My back and legs begin to ache and I stand and walk around, often interrupting a creative thought or moment. Even yesterday, my anniversary day, I underwent more tests to see why all of my pain has no reoccurred. And yet, as they say, it is what it is! And to accept this as such is not in my DNA! I push every envelope possible! Ask Karen Castle Smith!
I challenge the boundaries of what is, all the way and up to, what can be! And if I am not careful, this mantra of my existence can be the anchor of my future. And only when the pain comes searing through the parts that are creative, do I stop and process it all and realize this one fact; my ability to create is not the anchor of my being. The anchor of my being is on one simple truth: It ain’t over til it’s over! Our foundation, our anchor is found not on one of any of the above qualifiers to our personhood. Our anchor is found only on that which we didn’t have a bit to do with. Our anchor is found on the very essence of our faith; a belief and hope that our life here is not all there is! And I have to remind myself of this as my body continues to do whatever it is that it is going to do.
For centuries, anchors have been a symbol of hope. This emblem was especially significant to the early persecuted church. Many etchings of anchors were discovered in the catacombs of Rome, where Christians held their meetings in hiding. Threatened with death because of their faith, Christians used the anchor as a disguised cross and as a marker to guide the way to their secret meetings.
My ability to carve may become diminished. I may have to change the way I do what I love and that may stop altogether. Churches and Institutions have misunderstood the physical dynamic that has come to define too much of my existence and have judged me accordingly. And incorrectly may I add! But my anchor and hope is not on my stuff, my abilities, my inabilities, my gifts, nor my talents. My anchor is found in the hope of a new day that will dawn because of my faith.