The Need to be Special

Forgive me, O God, for anticipating that I am somehow more special, more liked than those around me. I know better. But then again, surely I am just a bit more special. The camera lens is somehow pointed at me, I’m certain, even when the photographer is taking a wide angle shot of the whole room.

I do believe that I am loved and desired by You. When wrestling with this fifteen years ago, I found such sweet relief in Henri Nouwen’s words  that You do adore me but never at the exclusion of another—that we are all your most favorite. That You have a story for each of us to write, with chapters we’ve not yet even thought about or imagined. Your pen waits poised above the paper of our lives and still we, your characters, choose to sit down and wait out the day. We can believe and lean into this story that awaits us, a story which never excludes another from Your love.

But then there is David, “the apple of your eye.” What about him? Why did he get the special label? Was it because he had the heart of my Spencer: dancing, hoping, worshiping, anticipating—bringing such delight, that You couldn’t help Yourself from choosing a favorite? Was it because he dove into life head-first, all in, buck naked, holding nothing back? Because he was willful, optimistic beyond reason and repentant when things fell apart? Surely it was because he had an eye for beauty and in doing so…saw You.

If so, I know this Divine love You had for David, because You gave me this boy, my Spencer who never fails to delight me, this apple of my eye, whom I adore even while my heart cracking open.

*    *     *

I have these grandiose ideas. I imagine wanting fame. No, not fame, that sounds too exhausting and at a great loss of freedom. No I simply want to remain… and be found.

Okay, I want to be identified outside of the masses. I cannot deny it: I want to be special. I love living in a house on the corner with shutters like no one else has, a home that faces a different direction than all the others on the street. It’s highly visible, this house. It is not more expensive or bigger or more anything really; it’s just pretty…and easily identified. I can describe it and everyone knows which one it is.

I don’t have a mane of unruly red hair. I am not tall with commanding presence. I don’t make heads turn. In spite of what my husband might believe, I enter into rooms unnoticed. I will continue to age and with that, I will surely become a non-entity.

I understand my surfer friend CV’s desire to be inked in bright colorful sleeves. To carry one’s story on the outside. To be read, to be seen

Why move to a city and get lost in the faces of the crowd? How many people live on Orcas Island, for example? Brilliant posturing move for an author. With selling this house, I will face the potential move into a condo tucked in a sea of condos that look like every other one.  A part of my soul dies at the thought. Will I ever lose this incessant desire to be found? I don’t need to be extraordinary. Well, above average, maybe. Okay, yes, I’ll take extraordinary, as long as it doesn’t take too much effort.

I want to be found on the internet. I want to be found in the bookstores.

Yet, ironically I choose to live small, out of the way. I remain hidden. Even the blinds on my house are most often closed. I don’t want people seeing in. Especially at night. I am hard pressed not to let anyone glance in at my inner sanctum. Daisy, on the other hand, would set herself up in pink fuzzy slippers and a boa and leave the windows flung wide open.

Am I afraid of disappointing? Or is it this one-way intimacy again. I want to be found so they might come here and find me and be thankful that I am here and that they might find sanctuary and comfort and I’ll remain mysterious and quiet. “She’s an enigma,” they’ll say.

“We never know what she’ll have for us next!”

“She was a recluse, but we all wanted to know her.”

“Her prose captured us. We were never sure if her stories were about her or just fictional characters.”

My mother, Jesus, Mary. Bono, Mother Teresa. Who really knows the depth of what lies within them? The maverick sounds good. We dream of this in a hero, don’t we? The lone ranger who is stalwart and strong, always showing up just at the right time, a knight, an incredible lover, but always mysterious? He doesn’t need, doesn’t bend unless you are his special one, and only then he let down his guard, and only on his own terms, and just for a moment.

If the mystery is solved, one is ordinary again. No longer larger than life. Easily defined. Dull. Forgotten.

Maybe I need to go the way of other high profile authors: learn another language or two, travel the world, hang out with some famous people, list them in the acknowledgments and casually use their first names in the story?

I just might, but in the meantime, I am in love with the romantic image I’m granted, the description of life in the Rocky Mountains, a quaint ski town, the romance of the Big Sky.

The undeniable focal point as one bumped up our treacherous rollercoaster dirt road was the neighbor’s house, an impressive monstrosity back then, alone on its rolling hills and fields below. It commanded attention, front and center. However, I loved a quaint ivory-colored chalet with a green roof.  Venture up that same road, letting your gaze leave the obtuse mega-obvious until your eye travels just a few degrees to the east of the gulley. There she is, sitting with her shoulders back, her face to the southern sky. Unpretentious. Alone with simple dignity and charm. How, I loved that chalet. Her panoramic views, the fire in her little red wood stove dancing, her rainbows, her wild creatures in the black of night.