1. Dreaming about swimming through tight cavern spaces with barely enough room for an air pocket. I watch my claustrophobic brother glide through the same tunnel as if it were the open ocean. It’s some kind of field trip; there are people everywhere. I’m pulled under as part of the experience. Dolphins and whales pass all around. I jolt from sleep as if it were a nightmare. And then the alarm goes off.
  2. I put on a full face (minus lipstick–I don’t own any), even liner and shadow, which I never wear unless I’m going out-out. I think of all my friends who would be proud, of all the praise I get when I do this. I pray for God to fix my stubborn hatred for makeup and clothes like He did with my animosity towards the gym.
  3. I’m craving time. The quiet, expansive kind where we can talk about serious things with light hearts because there’s enough space for big feelings and thoughts to breathe. Alone together. Outside, with coffee, for preference.
  4. I am a details guy, a rider, a Type-A, an administrator. I see how the pieces fit together.
  5. First service: Nothing. Numbness. Desire to be not so. Witnessing a friend.
  6. Second service: Presence. Tremors and sobs. Relief. Nothing has changed but everything is different.
  7. I’ll stand with arms high and heart abandoned in awe of the one who gave it all. I’ll stand, my soul, Lord, to you surrendered–all I am is yours.
  8. A fatherly kiss on the forehead, mothering arms that hang on just a little longer than you think they will. I realize my soul is aching for someone to shelter me, to cover me, to worry about me for a change.
  9. You can’t stay in the moment. Eventually, you have to go back into the world. To missed lunches and rushing past friends and long drives and awkward conversations and all the mundane normal things you left behind for those brief hours–the things that make life so hard but so worthwhile. You have to carry the moment with you even as everything around you makes you forget.
  10. A perfectly pink sunset–the kind of light I’ve only ever seen here and in Los Angeles. There’s poetry in the parallels.

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