This–like me, today–is in fragments.
These things happen.
The email informing me that I had been offered a place to study theology from the St. Mary’s School of Divinity at the University of St. Andrews in Scotland arrived on 9 February, 2012, at 7:57 AM Central Time.
1:57 PM in Scotland.
They accepted me when they got back from lunch.
I marked this detail in a notebook, along with three ideas for short stories, two of which are inscrutable in retrospect: letter, The Heathen, wheelchair. (“The Heathen” would go on to win first prize from the CCL that spring, the ideation of the other two was lost in the fragment notations.)
Acceptance began an immediate fight for stasis within me.
Life is a search for a lexicon of metaphors to describe our condition—a pretty way to describe clichés.
Bird in a nest being pushed to fly, but doesn’t think ready. Flap wings with the best of them, make a show of how to take off, but never leap.
(And I hoped that I wouldn’t have to.)
Everything is greener on the other side.
I should clarify what was truly at stake: moving to Scotland was a beautiful opportunity.
There was nothing particularly wrong with going—except that it meant going.
It meant leaving those loved well, pulling up roots to walk as orphan child a little bit longer.
Fear of being abandoned. I have written about it before.
I made a rosary of praying that I would not go. The next day, I’d reverse the prayers. The next, again.