Long long ago…and tomorrow

Someone very dear to me (and you know who you are) once said to me:  “I see God in you….in  your constant commitment to learning and questioning and knowing what it is, exactly, that God is telling you.  Keep asking questions.  I think God is in the questions for you–you see Him there.”  Well, I have a confession to make:  I really haven’t been asking too many questions the last couple of months — I believe, really, that I was tired.  And, that maybe it was time to just let a year of whirling-dervish question- asking settle.

But, as will probably not surprise this friend and many others, as I prepare to go abroad for a singing adventure, with all the attendant cleaning up and preparing and planning that goes with it, the questions (which I agree, are a fundamental part of my nature and of my relationship with God), have begun to re-assert themselves.  I guess if you keep moving while you are standing on the broad plain, you eventually will at least see new mountains in the distance.

Well, the mountains are rising.

I guess it all began when, for reasons that I don’t understand, I started cleaning out boxes of “stuff” from the top shelf of my closet.  I have a lot of shoe boxes where I have stashed pictures, travel momentos, letters, cards –you know, the kind of things that you think might give you pleasure when you are old and in the nursing home, or, that maybe you might need to write a memoir, should you ever want to do so.

Crouttes, France, 1991

Truly, I thought that I had gathered all my old pictures a couple of years ago, when I prepared a stack of oldies but goodies to go off to be scanned for preservation.  But I was wrong.

In these boxes, I have found many hidden treasures — pictures of long dead friends, long ago performances, and my favorite prize,  this picture from the first time I sang in Europe.  The picture is especially dear, because that event was not only the first time I sang in
Europe, but the first time I had ever been to Europe.  And, all of that happened shortly after I met someone very special, who has been my friend and my partner in crime ever since.

Okay, so the picture is from 20 years ago.  And my first thoughts were not kind — yes, I had gained about 50 pounds since (grr), and gee, I guess I actually have gotten older.  But what really troubled me was this:  I could see something in the face of that 20-year-ago Susan that, well, I felt that I had lost somewhere along the way.  Not that I hadn’t gained many wonderful things during those 20 years, greater sense of peace and understanding among them.  Oh, yea, and my hair was lot better in all these older pictures. But I can do something about that.

And so the questions returned.  I think I have an idea about what I lost, well, didn’t really lose, but set aside.  I’m going to sit with that knowledge for a while, as I board yet another plane and go away to make music and learn things about live and faith and myself.  And I’ll keep you posted as I ask and ponder and query and hopefully grow as I did so long ago on that trip to France.

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