The heater in my little box apartment is making the air warm and heavy while I stand at the pedestal sink. The water runs down the drain in deep red streaks as I wring out the last bits of my ratted ponytail. I pull out a comb and begin to work through the snarls one by one, sighing a little bit. I’m tired, and the rap music from my phone speakers makes the loose change on the counter buzz and vibrate. I’m tired, and the eyeliner comes off my eyelids heavy and black, streaking my face.
It occurs to me idly that the costumes and make up mean that October has come closed behind me. It’s fall outside, and she proved it to me with one beautiful picture of one tree with leaves so red they looked photoshopped. I get an extra hour of sleep on Sunday. I’m tired.
I stood in front of the mirror for an hour this morning, pulling my hair into hapless tangles and spraying it with foul smelling aerosol dye. I painted on eyeliner and dark red lipstick and used an evil looking knife to slice the sleeves off of a black jacket.
But October, really, was me standing at the sink rinsing it all down the drain, wiping it off my cheeks, and combing it methodically out of my hair (it was also hundreds of miles of I35 and the grace of friendships that don’t seem to atrophy from disuse). The loaded silence between the storm and the rebuilding.
Audrey said it the best. I refer you to her. http://dawdlingaudrey.wordpress.com/2013/10/28/528/
It’s October. For one more day. Another month will end and I will still be here. And then it will be November, with the promise of Advent so close I could touch it (yes. First there is a season to give thanks. But I’ve never been so big into Thanksgiving. I’m a Christmas in early November kind of person) I love that season. I love the idea of God Himself coming into the world through the pain and mess of birth. I love the idea of incarnation. I love the promise that we are not left here alone.
This year I need Advent. I need the picture of God moving in next door. Of Jesus leaving heaven and choosing, not just to come but to stay.
To stay. To rinse the layers off in the sink and start unwinding all the tangled messes.
“so give me hope in the darkness, that I will see the light. Cause oh, they gave me such a fright. But I will hold as long as you like. Just promise me we’ll be alright.”
Jesus is coming back. And when the tinny Christmas songs start to hang on the air, I can somehow almost feel it. Everyone is waiting, expecting something. And I know it’s probably some new Apple product or whatever, but…
The expectation is what I’ve been missing. I need to lift my eyes up. This year I need to see the glow of the angels coming up over the horizon shouting about peace and good will. Because He has come. And He has gone before us. And we are not here alone. And He will restore it all.