Sarah writes

May 1, 2012

Double Rainbow

Maybe I just crumble when I reach this level of stress. Maybe I’m just not made for it. Maybe the fact that I’m prone to extremes impedes my ability to handle anything at all when I’m stressed as much as I am right now.

Life has tides. I get that. I get the up and I get the down and I get the static–I’m always grateful for the static–but still, it wears a woman out to be moving around so much.

Can life be blurry and clear at the same time? I took about a year to figure myself out and I can tell you that the shadow of self I see staring back at me as I glide against the sunlight is more focused, more detailed, more permanent than it’s ever been. And yet, everything that is not in my head and in my heart–which is, of course, everything else and other–is like a kaleidoscope puzzle. I’ve kind of determined that I’m not the one to sort out the shapes from the colors, and so I just sit and wait for the skies to clear around me. Waiting is hard. I’m not good at waiting.

I saw a double rainbow the other day. It rose above us on the soccer sidelines. Many parents took out their phones and their cameras and snapped pictures of the magical moment. I kind of just stared at the sky, moving my head left to right and right to left like I was watching a tennis match. And I laughed this oh-so-free laugh, like nothing could touch me in that moment.

Maybe that’s what it’ll feel like when the puzzle breaks free of the kaleidoscope and comes together to form one, whole picture. Maybe that’s what it’ll feel like when the focus I have on the inside stops feeling so separate from the world I live on the outside. Or, maybe my life will always be like that double rainbow. One strong, perfect, rainbow beamed across the sky, showing each of the Roy G. Biv colors. And another, just above and beyond it, slightly fuzzy and nearly broken in the middle. Faded. Worn. But still there. And just as important as the one standing in front of it.

It’s Tuesday. That means you Just Write and then go join Heather.

Read More in Sarah Writes
Jen writes

You tased me. I’m on the floor. Well done.

Reply

Sarah replies

I’m full of all kinds of lightning, baby.

Hoof :)

Reply

TheKitchenWitch writes

This was beautiful, Sarah! And it struck such a familiar note with me–it felt like home.

Reply

Sarah replies

Home.

This word is heavy I don’t think I can say anything about it right now.

I think it just might be a topic in a future Five for Five. (Uh-oh, look at me…thinking future ALREADY)!

xo

Reply

Amanda writes

Looking up is so precious.

Thanks for the reminder.

Reply

Sarah replies

Remember this next time you are standing at the bottom of a fire tower, k?

:)

Reply

Amy writes

What a beautiful word picture… Two rainbows side-by-side, one strong and vibrant, the other faded and worn. Loved it.

Reply

Elizabeth writes

Hi. This is how I feel these days, too. All of what you’ve said here.

It’s odd… as much as we’ve lost touch a bit this last year, I have sensed through the glimpses I’ve gotten of you that we’re still riding the same wavelength. Thanks for sharing this. Here’s to hoping for clarity and bits and pieces falling into place.

xo elizabeth

Reply

Sarah replies

Ditto, friend. Maybe when two people find themselves on the same wavelength at some point in time it means they bend and extend–surf the wavelength together and separately–instead of just falling off and out of touch when life happens, as life always does.

To clarity. **Clink**

xo

Reply

amanda {the habit of being} writes

gah! this is loveliness, absolute loveliness.

and this, “I took about a year to figure myself out and I can tell you that the shadow of self I see staring back at me as I glide against the sunlight is more focused, more detailed, more permanent than it’s ever been,” describes where i’ve been and where i am now. it’s a good place to be and i’m glad i have company ;-)

Reply

Sarah writes

Even though I feel much more whole from the inside-out, I often still feel lonely. Part of the human condition, I suppose. But oh yes, company is good!

Reply

Jack@TheJackB writes

Waiting is very hard. I sometimes move things when I shouldn’t because waiting took too damn long.

Reply

Sarah replies

Me too, Jack. And then I curse myself for rearranging life when I really have no business doing it. I think I ought to just sit tight and contemplate the rainbows for a bit.

Reply

Heather Caliri writes

I love it when for a moment nature gives me a kick-ass, holy-Moses sort of blessing. What is the big, beautiful surprise of a world we live in?

Reply

Sarah replies

I love that kick ass and Holy-Moses TOTALLY work in the same sentence.

And I also love this big, beautiful surprise. Even when it steals my minivan. Even then! And that’s saying something, huh?

Reply

BigLittleWolf writes

I love this, Sarah. Partly because I get it, as many parents do – feeling our priorities constantly pulled and shifted. But also, because I once saw a double rainbow – about a year ago. It was an extraordinary sight. Thinking about your description of “life” with its amazing stressors (and joys), I can’t help but think of the double rainbow as our two versions of self: the one we are at the core, and would be, without all those other pulls; and the one we are with those very distractions and energy-depleting tugs that make us less in some ways, and so much more in others.

Person-woman-self, Partner-parent-self.

I suppose we should add another layer of rainbow – for making a buck?

;)

Beautiful piece.

Reply

Sarah replies

The two selves get so, so tired of taking turns. Sometimes I wish they’d just join hands and walk together in life. Maybe they do and I’m just too scared to say it or see it. But it feels like they are separate and they each get turns and on any given week one of them is wanting for some ME time.

Does that even make sense?

Reply

Robin writes

A double rainbow is awe-inspiring! The last one I saw – I was driving in my car – and I followed it. I tried to stay on roads that allowed me to continue my rainbow watching – until I ran out of road (hit the river). It was beautiful!

What is more awe-inspiring? That you took a year to figure yourself out! I wish…

Stress … it sucks (can I say that here?). It sometimes feels like we are two different people – the one inside (our true self) – and the one outside (why?).

I loved the imagery – the analogy to your life’s experience. Awe-inspiring! Beautiful!

Reply

Sarah replies

I wish I could do that right now…drive until I ran out of road. I wonder how far that would take me, what it would look like, who I might meet when I got there.

And yes, it sounds a little crazy but I really do think that I took a year to figure my sh*t out. My SELF. I kind of hibernated up in my head for a good, long time and you know what? I worked really, really hard and here I am, on the other side, and the picture is prettier here, and I’m oh so happy!

But I’m also oh so happy to be writing again. I’ve missed this place (more than I knew).

Reply

Tricia writes

Beautiful post. I also crumble at a certain level of stress. I sort of just stop functioning. Blurry and clear at the same time, yes I get that.

Reply

Sarah replies

My friend Cindy first introduced me to SHUTDOWN. I was having a rough day a while back and we were texting and she just asked me, “Have you shutdown?”

It took me about 1.2 seconds to answer that. “Yes,” I wrote. And then I knew what to call it. And I started to figure out when and why it happened. And now I can see it coming and I have at least a tiny bit of control over it.

And thank goodness, because the stress never ends, does it?

Reply

Heather writes

This really struck me, as well – sounds like me trying to bring pieces of my life together into focus. I enjoy your writing!

Reply

Sarah replies

Thanks, Heather. It’s good to be writing again. It’s been a long while.

I think part of my problem has always been that I’ve tried to bring all pieces together in focus at the same time. Sometimes you just need to start with one. And it may take a while with that single ONE. But that’s okay. Really okay.

Reply

Aidan Donnelley Rowley @ Ivy League Insecurities writes

Blurry. Yes.
Clear. Yes.
Both. And.

Beautiful post.

Reply

Sarah replies

Thanks, Aidan. Blurry and clear and lucky to see both.

Reply

Rudri Bhatt Patel @ Being Rudri writes

Lovely post Sarah. I absolutely adore the last paragraph. Well said.

Reply

Sarah replies

Thank you, Rudri.

So, so great to be back here.

Reply

liz writes

This is that Sarah style writing that won me over back on the day…

Reply

Sarah replies

I kind of wish this were Facebook and I could “Like” this comment. You reminded me that I am not so different that I can’t be what I am like I was “back in the day,” as you say.

I liked the way that woman wrote. I’m glad she’s still a part of me.

xo

Reply

Stacia writes

Faded. Worn. But still there, still important.

Some days, that’s all I hope for.

Reply

Sarah replies

Most days, yes.

Me too, oh me too.

xo

Reply

Tiffany writes

I could have written this post…although not as beautifully.

Reply

Kristen @ Motherese writes

Oh, girl, I love this metaphor, this idea of the present, distinct self in the foreground and then the hazy, back-up, memory, soul self still there too. I feel lucky that you feel this way too and that you give me a way to say it.

And mostly I feel happy to come here on a Friday afternoon and read these words from my friend.

xo

Reply

grace at {Gabbing with Grace} writes

that pic is GORGEOUS!

Reply

alita writes

This was such an elegant post about the blurry lines of weariness and the pop out CLARITY of your soul. It all works in the end doesn’t it? Its because you work at it, mama.

Loved this.

Alita

Reply

annie writes

Isn’t what God did incredible?!!?!!
A single rainbow stands as good things, but a double rainbow stands as twice the luck!!

Reply

Leave a Comment

Previous post:

Next post: