Ok, I admit it. I have a bit of control freak in me. I like things in order, I’m a fan of symmetry, I appreciate defined lines. People always get on me because I will never wear wrinkled clothes, and I used to be so bad I had my closet organized by solids, then stripes and colors light to dark… J teases me that when I say I am going to drop by at 1, she expects me at 1.. not 1:01 or 12:59… Yep, that’s just me.
So, when SuuperG, Gina Stark penned a quote on Twitter, it caught my attention. Well, actually, it caught my attention cuz it was Gina, and to know her is to love her and what she says and does. I did a quick response, then I read the quote again, and I thought it was so profound, that I had to really think about it, internalize it, and let it change me.What is this quote,you ask? Ok, here it goes:
Life is messy. Bring a napkin.
On the surface, sure, but for the crazy ordered person like me, messy throws a big monkey wrench in my comfort level. Now, I know that life is messy. Always has been. But my method of dealing with the mess was to try to get away from it. Not acknowledge it. Pretend it wasn’t there. I would rather stare at the order of my closet than deal with the messyness of life (dude, is that even a word?). Messy stuph doesn’t fit in an ordered life, or so it would seem. You can’t control the messy. You can’t predict it. Urgh… just thinking about it sends shivers through my body…
But life, still, is messy. I knew that when I was 12 and found out that my little sister had cancer. I knew it when I had to shut down my church. When each of those situations happened, I thought “It’s not supposed to be this way”.
Life didn’t take pity on me and stop being messy. In fact, it went on a rampage, and continued to be messy. How dare you, Life! Aren’t you supposed to give me something I can work with? But… maybe it was…
Left turn in the middle of the story… I love to eat, and given the opportunity, I love to tear into a good rack of ribs. As I’m smacking away, I’m internally detesting the mess on my hands (yes, I have it bad), but you just can’t eat ribs with a knife and fork! The only way to fully enjoy them is to enjoy the mess that comes with them. Grab a bunch of napkins, prepare to lick your fingers over and over, and relish the experience.
I think this is why Life continued its rampage. Not to spite me, but to invite me into the dance. After all, with all of the bad messy stuph I experienced, I’m still here and still going strong. And there have been good messy things as well. Last night I got together with a couple of guys from my church, and part of our conversation was, believe it our not, how we got mad at each other :-). Not hateful, vengeful, bitter anger, but situational, where we had to check each other. It was awesome! What made it awesome was that we each knew that the offense was not intentional, and felt safe to enter into the mess and talk about it rather than hide it and act like everything was ok. We talked, we laughed, and we had pizza. Yes, I ate it with my hands…
So, I love the quote. Not that I’m going to totally give up my controlling self (my closet isn’t quite as orderly as it was..), but I think there is something to carrying around a napkin, being prepared to taste the beauty in the mess, and not let a bit of the sauce of life go to waste.
Enjoy the dance. Relish the messy. Bring a napkin
to see why you should love Gina, you have to visit her blog: http://gitanablog.com
Somewhere I read that Seal never put words in his CD cases, because he wanted people to hear what they hear. There’s something pretty cool to that (and I love Seal’s music). Here’s one of my favorite: