In Chekhov’s haunting play The Seagull, the beautiful country girl, Nina, who dreams of being an actress, writes to the narcissistic playwright, Trigorian, “If you should ever want my life, come and take it.”
He does; oh he does! He comes; he takes it; he casts it away, a poor discarded thing. Nina returns home, broken. She has failed as an actress, playing second-rate roles in second-rate companies in the provinces. Her true love, the play’s protagonist, Konstantin, unable to cope with Nina’s tragedy, kills himself.
* * *
“If you should ever want my life, come and take it.” That kind of surrender to a human being is never safe. All human beings are capable of betrayal–though not all will betray.
To whom is it safe to say–“If you should want my life, come and take it?” Only to the maker of life, the giver of life, the one who can turn our life around in a moment.
To him is it safe to say, “You do want my life. Take it, take it. Make of it something I have never imagined. Take it.”
* * *
“I have held many things in my hands, and I have lost them all; but whatever I have placed in God’s hands, that I still possess,” Martin Luther wrote.
I too have worked on plans and dreams and schemes which have come to nothing. But increasingly, I am placing everything I do in God’s hands, and there it is safe.
More and more, I find myself saying, “Take it,” as I feel intensity rise. I think of areas of my life in which I struggle, or which are relatively successful. “Take it. This mess I’ve made. This failure. This ambition. This broken dream. This ancient dream. This delicate shimmering dream. This thing which is inexplicably working. This longing. Take it!”
“Take it and make of it something beautiful.”
“For when my dream is in your strong capable hands which begin working on it, shaping it, moulding it, reshaping it, ah, then it is safe.”
Grateful for being hosted on Heather Caliri’s blog—A Little Yes