"Holy contour"


Some days, it’s easy to wake up and be excited about life. There are things happening. There’s stuff going on. There is a resolve, and a hope, and an expectation. There is the possibility that this might be the day that changes the rest of your life.

But a lot of days feel like today. Just another Wednesday. Just another daily grind. Just another wake up, go to work, eat lunch, back to work, go home, feed the dogs, go on a walk, take a shower, go to sleep. I would venture to say that most of the time, we experience days like this.

The “big moments” are few and far between.

Yesterday I mentioned that “adventure isn’t always exciting” – and I am currently experiencing that first-hand. We live in a world so conditioned for the thrill, the adrenaline, the fireworks, and it makes it hard to be satisfied during the quiet stretches. I want something amazing to happen – something that will act as an injection of joy and achievement and fulfillment.

But you can’t win a gold medal every day. You can’t land your dream job every day. You can’t fall in love every day.

Ultimately, I think that the “big moments” feel good because of the little moments. The gold medal feels good because of the thousands of hours invested in the hard work of training. The dream job feels good because of the misery felt in the former cubicle. The new love feels good because of the prior loneliness and longing. The “big moment” is the result of the often monotonous momentum leading up to it.

But all of our moments, big and small, exciting and tedious, are a part of the same thing: the only life we’ve been given. And as Jack Kerouac wrote, “Believe in the holy contour of life.”

I believe that there is shape and significance to our lives, even in the silence.


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  1. Philip Letizia on September 3, 2008 at 10:10 AM

    I’m thankful for those people who can put into words exactly what I’m thinking, and describe it in a way that makes it even more clear to me.

    “The holy contour of life”, is amazing. Wow.

  2. Sarah on September 3, 2008 at 10:18 AM

    I saw the title of your post and thought “Holy contour, Batman!” I like how you meant it better.

  3. Shannon on September 3, 2008 at 10:47 AM

    I hear ya, Annie. Here’s to the daily grind…

    “We seem to have focused so much on exuberant beginnings and victorious endings that we’ve forgotten about the slow, sometimes tortuous, unraveling of God’s grace that takes place in the ‘middle places’.” -Sue Monk Kidd

  4. giving up slowly on September 3, 2008 at 7:14 PM

    Excellent. I’m glad that you can embrace life even when it’s quiet. :)

  5. Tim and Krysten on September 7, 2008 at 2:41 AM

    thanks for this wisdom, annie. you parsons kids are one bright group…except for jeremy. what a dolt :)

    but seriously, what a dolt.

    but seriously, i really needed to read that today in this vast sand-infested wasteland.

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