Deep calls to deep in the roar of your waterfalls. ~Psalm 42:7
For the last six weeks, my usually busy schedule has been emptied. I suspended my martial arts classes, my piano lessons, my Chinese tutor. I made a choice to devote my mornings to a writing project. (Mornings, I’ve discovered, are really the only time I have even the slightest bit of self-discipline and productive energy.)
So I cleared my calendar and set to it. Coincidentally, I also found myself temporarily without a TV, and then decided to not replace it for the time being.
That’s a lot of alone time with less distraction than usual. After a couple of weeks, I began to experience an inner discomfort, a restlessness, a vague dissatisfaction. I wanted something. But what was it?
My typical approach to such a question is to think about it. So I thought … and thought. But got no answer, proving once again that thinking is highly overrated. Nothing seemed quite right, like when you’re starving and standing in front of the open refrigerator but nothing looks good.
Meanwhile, this undefined feeling was expanding, like a spring welling up and spreading over the ground, like a wave swelling as it rolls toward the shore. It was painful, and a little scary. But there was no escape. It was inside me, calling me, touching my heart, drawing me deep.
Longing. My soul was longing. As all souls do. We long for home, for awakening, for remembering who we are, for union. Like salmon returning from the sea, this is the longing of creation, to manifest into form and then return to the formlessness from which it is birthed. We miss its quiet beckoning in the roar of our lives.
But now I heard it, unmistakable and compelling. I was distressed because I was resisting, wanting the familiarity of my distractions, the comfort of certainty, the safety of understanding.
This longing of the soul brings none of those. It is a call back into the mystery, unknown and unknowable. It is terrifying, and ultimately irresistible. We all hear it. We hear it in the beat of our hearts, in the rhythm of our breath, in the silence of our souls. Deep calls to us, and what is deep within us answers.
As the deer pants for streams of water, so my soul pants for you, my God. ~Psalm 42:1