Monday, June 28, 2010

The Pain of Wanting

Wanting arrived on my doorstep. A brightly colored child dressed in too-too and ballet slippers. A bubble blowing, twirling little girl who ran through my house and heart without stopping.
"And who are you?" I asked, unsure if I should let this child be mine.
"Wanting," she said and with another twirl she was gone.
Up stairs and downs stairs she ran, taking my hand the next time she passed by me and pulling me out into the day. Together we skipped out and through my herb garden, giggling as if the sun would always shine.  Collapsing, we let the grass tickle our backs and told each other stories. Tales of all the things I have dreamed since I were her age. We spent the entire day making daisy chains and pulling leaves off clover until she remarked that the afternoon sky looked like pink lemonade with cotton candy clouds. And then she left. Or went to sleep. Or took up residence in a room of my heart until the next moment I had to give my time to Wanting and all her dreams.

The following day Wanting returned. Or woke up. Or led me back to my heart. This time she was dressed as an Indian, complete with paper head dress and peacock feathers. Her feet were bare and her hair was as wild as the wind that picked up as soon as I opened the door of my heart to her. Her feet pounded the stairs of my house, her grin peeking out from around corners. Her squealing echoed through the halls.
"I gotcha!" she yelled after every plastic arrow shot from her bow. Laughing, I found my own plastic bow and together we raced after each other until we could race no more. On the sweet summer grass we built a tee pee and laid under the sheets pitched between the kitchen chairs speaking about dreams. All my hearts desires. For Wanting knew them all.

For untold glorious weeks she arrived at my door when ever my heart had time to dream. When ever I had time to once again be that child. To race with the winds and make shapes out of clouds. To finger paints rainbows and bake mud pies.

I took the hand of Wanting and kissed her sweet cheek. She and I, we knew some things. Dreams were simple. Dreams were delicious. Dreams smelt like night jasmine and the summer earth after the rain.

And then it happened.

Wanting fell. We were walking along an unfamiliar path. But the sky was golden and the willows along the stream seem to call our names. Further and further we walked. Everything in us said this was the way we wanted to go.

I pointed to a flock of birds over head. I should have been watching her. I should have seen it coming. But I didn't. Her foot must have caught on something. Reality, I suspect. He can be a bastard. He is certainly no respecter of little girls, nor is he precious about dreams.

One moment we were waling together, Wanting and I, hand in hand. And the next she was gone. I raced madly up and down the stream's edge calling her name. But she didn't surface...
Did she even fall down here?

I am still calling.
I have hope.
Wanting is a resilient little thing. And if she fell into the water I know she can swim.

But to not have her with me, to not breath the scent of summer grass or be able to share an afternoon full of pink lemonade skies, hurts. It just hurt. Wanting hurts. And I hurt. And that my dear friends is the stark reality of dreams. Wanting is beautiful. Until she meets reality. And then she can be difficult to find.

So I call out. I search. And I wait. Until Wanting, is found, returns or leads me back to my heart, I will be here.

What about you?  Have you met Wanting? Do you walk together? Or are you calling her name?


  1. lovely!
    I've met Wanting and her cousin, Longing. They sometimes show up with an older gal, a teenager, name of Desire. Also, there is a little guy, who's name is Play. I try and pay attention to them all - even Reality, who really is just kind of scared and wants the best for us all too. I sooth her and give her time in my heart as well. Then she doesn't sabotage the others...

  2. Oh yes, I know her well :) Sometimes I think too well, but the truth is, life is a whole lot less glorious without her.

  3. I know her well. She laughed at me when I said, "here comes that ugly bugger Reality." She said, as if I were terribly simple, that that was Obstacle, not Reality. She said, how do you know that I am not Reality, in play clothes?

    Since then I have met Discouragement and Weariness, but to counter them, Wanting inroduced me to her sisters Magick and Faith.

  4. Wanting left me a present last night: I wrote a big chunk of my latest story.

  5. Oh, words cannot describe the beauty of this post, Tabitha.

    Yeah, as a child who changed schools every year, I'm well acquainted with Wanting and her good friend Lonely.

    Thank God for the Savior, Who has become my best friend no. matter. what. And a cool gang cloisters about Him, named peace and contentment and happiness. I am forever humbled to be included in this family. Even me! Even me!

    Love you,

  6. Oh, my dear girl, this post leaves me breathless. Couldn't help but feel that Wanting is better than Beast. I have known Wanting many times in my life. But I've learned that Wanting doesn't always mean receiving. And if I don't receive what I want, I need to not assume bad things about myself. Be patient, dear one. Those things that are meant for us, do eventually reach us.

  7. Wanting is a resilient little thing.

    This is just beautiful, Tabitha. Loved it, and its truth.

  8. A beautiful post with great imagination, yes I have met Wanting she too disappears as quickly as she arrives.


  9. Beautiful! Yes, I've met Wanting, and I've searched for her as well. She's a tricky little thing.

  10. Elusive.
    She's slippery, that one.
    I'm still calling for her, but I've heard her answer back several times.
    I think I must search deeper.
    She's always there, we must not let her run away, and let Reality have his way.

  11. Hope rather than Wanting keeps me company. I see her bright little expectant face at the window of my life. As yet she has not disappeared, though I am sure Reality is trying to trip her up. Great post Tabitha!!

  12. Wanting is dancing with others right now, but I know she's heading my way.

  13. I am like the Duggars (from the tv show, 19 kids and counting...) well I have 19 wantings and counting. There are many of them and they are all very evasive. Here you gave Wanting life and breath and a face. And yes, there is pain in longing to embrace them, even if it is just a few. I cannot see them but I hear their distant laughter and know that they are nearby holding hands with Future.

    Thanks Tabitha for stopping by :)

  14. Serious things spoken through your amusing quill....

    Wanting never stops persuading us of all that we could want...what i have learnt most of all from her is ...the importance of 'Being' than 'Having'! And about 'Having' and not being 'Possessed' by it!
    A wonderful post full of refections!!!

  15. "took the hand of Wanting and kissed her sweet cheek. She and I, we knew some things. Dreams were simple. Dreams were delicious. Dreams smelt like night jasmine and the summer earth after the rain."

    Yes, childhood smells of night jasmine and summer earth after rain... esp. where I grew up.

    Wanting once decided to forsake me. It was a terrible experience. She had to go, because it was time for Reality to grow me up a bit. I mourned that summer. A mourned for the little girl, my secret inner twin, who flounced away into the sunset of my past to make way for the woman I was about to become.

    Responsibility, and her grey-eyed cousins Discipline and Control led me through the door to my future self.

    After 4 years of being without Wanting, I have started to hear her coy laughter echo once more from the corners of my mind. I think she's coming back.

  16. Wanting showed up at my house yesterday, my first day of retirement, and brought along her friend Freedom.

    Thanks for the reminder to notice the little girl when she appears.

  17. What perfect personification this is. I love how you love her and I can so easily put myself in this story. I promise, she's not gone forever. In the meantime, rest in your current reality and know this too shall pass.