i miss the busy because

without it, there is no reason for me to look back on a week

parched of prayer and starved of scripture with a shrug

and motion to “all this activity, you see,”

that kept my heart occupied elsewhere.

without it, the stress doesn’t make much sense,

 and i have to face the fact that it is within me,

an anxious sore that will not heal.

it keeps me from being other things–

like worried or lost or lonely

or weighted down with all the fallen.

now my heart-questions have a chance to sidle up to me,

with whiskers to stroke my leg and breath to suffocate.

somehow, this isn’t peace.

instead, it’s the quiet of a sticky night in a southern summer:

cicadas screaming, when blade and leaf are still.

teeth on edge and hair on end,

we wait for the storm stewing somewhere.


5 thoughts on “i miss the busy because

  1. This is beautiful, Antonia. I know this nervous quiet, and sometimes I push right through it to the other side, and sometimes I wallow in the in between, and often, too often, I run right back to busy. Thank you, I needed this tonight. Just tonight I read this Nouwen quote that speaks to the nothingness:

    In solitude I get rid of my scaffolding: no friends to talk with, no telephone calls to make, no meetings to attend, no music to entertain, no books to distract, just me–naked, vulnerable, weak, sinful, deprived, broken–nothing. It is this nothingness that I have to face in my solitude, a nothingness so dreadful that everything in me wants to run to my friends, my work, and my distractions so that I can forget my nothingness and make myself believe I am worth something. –Henri Nouwen, The Essential Henri Nouwen, p. 82

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