Saturday, July 28, 2012


I was praying the other day, and not in the way that you might be thinking.  Instead, I was praying in the kind of way where tears were falling and words had escaped me and my house was silent except for the occasional sound of my refrigerator grunting.  I was praying because I was alone and frustrated and just needed someone to listen to me without verbally saying a word. I was praying because I needed a reason to be still that wasn’t anchored in sadness, a reason to be quiet that wasn’t laden with self-pity.  I was praying because sometimes all you have the energy to do is let your thoughts bubble to the surface and get some air before they get pulled back down by the routine of getting out of bed and putting one foot in front of the other.

It was the best conversation I’ve had in a very long time.

I’ve long wrestled with the idea of vision.  I’ve never been a person with great vision for my life, no matter how hard I’ve tried.  When asked to articulate the things I want and goals for my future, I’ve always struggled to find words that feel sincere to who I am.  I suppose I would like the kinds of things that most people speak of: a spouse, a family, a way to pay my bills that doesn’t make me miserable at the end of the day. But the fundamentals of my life, the things that fill up every day and motivate me to be better, more graceful, these are the things that I have long struggled to articulate. As a result, I often have felt lost. I’ve felt isolated and frustrated, and in the end, I’ve allowed myself to fall privy to everyone else's successes without any enthusiasm for my own.

But it was in the midst of this business of praying on this particular day, this conversation, that I realized just how visionary I am.  No, my dreams aren’t currently embedded in a family or a husband, as so many of my peers’ dreams seem to be. They aren’t even connected to a significant other or a career path, even though I’ve spent countless years aimlessly working towards both. Instead, while sitting quietly in my room, feeling the cool air from my over-worked air conditioner swirl around my feet, I understood for the first time just how small, and how vastly important, my dreams for my life are. No, I can't articulate my goals in concrete terms that would impress at a job interview. But I can sure as hell tell you how I want my life to feel- how I want to measure my days.

I want more perfectly ripe peaches and early morning lattes. I want more late evening walks with my dog and extra large glasses of red wine on my back porch. I want to dance more and cry less.  I want the feeling that comes from hearing a song that moves me to my core, and I want it to linger for as long as possible. I want late night conversations with people that I love and more evenings spent by candle light.  I want good books, long baths, and tacos that change my life. I want more quiet moments, listening to the house breathe, and more rowdy ones too, listening to friends laugh and shout.

This is my vision. These are my goals.

This is my prayer.


Ruth said...

Beautiful. Absolutely beautiful.

::LYNDSEY:: said...

courtney. wow. you have GOT to keep writing...please. i love the way you placed this piece together. incredibly well written. i like hearing you write on prayer and your faith.

karenhendley said...

Congratulations! You own a vision. I suspect that you also want the work you do (to make money) to have meaning! Please know that it really does in so many ways.

And, woohoo!, I hope you include me in this "Joy Vision" because part of MY vision is to spend more time with people I REALLY enjoy---AND the Lattes sound nice too. And don't forget listening to record albums.

Keep writing--it means a lot to me to read your mind. Seriously!

Jared Gould said...

Good stuff.

Cassandra said...

What I love about this is that you've already come upon something many people are still oblivious to - that know how we want our life to feel is just as important as how we want it to look. Probably more important! I hope you get to feel all those beautiful things you mentioned and that they create more love and beauty in your life. Blessings!

karenhendley said...

Courtney, I am reading The Maytrees---no words, I am taken in! But this line stood out so for me:

"She longed for the life she already possessed, a life large as clouds'."

Does this speak to you as well?

Courtney Hope said...

Love that line. And I love that you took the time to share it here:) Can't wait to hear more of your thoughts.