Sunday, November 09, 2008

Lost Socks and Other Slips Betwixt the Cup and Lip

There's been a pattern emerging in my life just lately. A leitmotif, if you will. I've been losing my grip.

No, no, literally, not figuratively. :-)

Things have been slipping through my fingers, falling out of my hands, I've been even more clumsy than usual, and I'm not sure why, or if there's even a reason. The funny thing is, I haven't dropped anything.

In the grocery store the other day, I pulled a bag of chips from the shelf. The one next to it came out, too, and in reaching to catch the second bag, I lost my hold on the first. After a fraction of a second of bobbling chip bags, things came to a stop and I was standing slightly crouched, but with both bags of chips cupped lightly and safely in my arms. A few days later I was measuring spices for a spread I was making, and as I picked up a teaspoon measure, it slid out of my grip. As it fell towards the counter, I caught it up in my other hand. It seems like something similar has happened five or six more times in the past few days, but I can't clearly recollect.

Each time it happens, it makes me think. Think about things in my life that I've lost my hold on. Things that seem to be getting away from me. Things I don't have in hand, and don't have under control. Things I'm afraid I'll lose. This reminds me that even when my grip is tenuous, I can still hang on, and even when I can't hang on, I can reach out again as they fly from me, and grasp them with a grip even stronger. I just have make the effort with confidence and without hesitation. After all, I stumble all the time, but I very rarely fall to the ground.

In the past it's been my habit to jerk away when I drop something. To raise my hands clear and watch it fall. This is because I used to work with soldering irons, when reaching out to catch a falling object could mean a serious burn. I think I've done the same thing on a metaphoric level as well. When I lose control of things and they began to slide away from me, there are times when I've just jumped clear. And there are times when that's appropriate. But there are other times when a quick, deft action can save a situation that seemed lost.

Anyhow, it's something to think about, and maybe an example of the still, small voice that doesn't speak in the tempest, the earthquake, or the fire, but instead through the little things we take to heart. And while we're on the subject of things that seemed lost, but are unexpectedly recovered, I found one of those socks that disappear in the laundry, half of my favorite pair. It's been missing for over a year. I feel like the woman who has twenty pieces of silver and loses one, how happy she is when she finds it, and how she calls out to her friends to be joyful with her. Rejoice with me, for the favorite sock, which I'd lost, has been found!

I think it's a sign. I don't know of what. Presaging other things I think I'll never see again, that may reappear in unexpected places? I don't know.

But I think it's a sign.

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