July 15th, 2003

All of this recent thinking/talk about being a man, the conversations with Allen (my spiritual director), the letters written to people in my past, re-reading “Wild at Heart”, etc. has me thinking a lot about my true identity, Lord. I feel like I’m getting a grip on the edges of who I am…like lifting a tarp covered by gravel. You can see and grasp the edges of the tarp, and you can speculate about the size and shape of the rest of it…but you can’t see it.

I’m left with few words to describe what I’m speculating about. I feel so strange. I just spent 15 minutes with unusual chest pains (seriously considering calling 911) now I feel sort of disembodied. Maybe I’m over-tired…maybe I’m dying. I hear the lyrics of the song in the CD player…the singer shouts “Let your Kingdom Come!” I’m ready…I’m ready I’m ready….

I want to be what you want me to be. Now I’m crying. What the hell is happening to me this morning, Lord? I’m disconnected. I’m dizzy. MY legs are weak. I feel like something is breaking. I try to “say” that I want to be an artist, an emotional dancer,  I want to say what I want to be…but I don’t know what that is. What does my Dad want? Did you design me to be tougher than I am, or have I been trying too hard to be tough when I’m really not?

…the edges of the tarp…

Based on the lack of pain in my chest now, I’m guessing I will live. So what do you want from me today? Was this a little cardiac episode that would otherwise have gone completely un-noticed until, after I die of a massive coronary on my hiking trip all alone in the wilderness, someone reads this entry and I am posthumously found to be a prophet!?

I’m afraid of the wilderness, Lord. I am compelled by it too. But I don’t know if it’s the deep parts of me that are drawn to it, or the part of me that is trying to pretend to be a man – the play acting part of me. This outdoorsy persona was a re-occurring theme in my bull-shitting days. I still don’t trust my impulses here. I remember the mixed bag of experiences from my trip last year. What a thrill in so many ways – but once again there was this fear of dying, or getting sick,  mauled by a bear and left to die…whatever…all alone. Is that it? IS it the alone thing?

Edges of the tarp.

All I know for sure is that I want to be a mysterious, wilderness guy, who feeds on the solitude and wildness of nature. IS that who I am? Do I really have enough confidence to be myself…to die alone?

God, help me to live out today for others: for Brenda and the girls, for Erica, Karen McRae, and whoever else I’m meeting with today. If Allen is right, and the greatest gift I have to give is myself – then make me a worthwhile gift today.

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