Sunday, September 27, 2009

If I'm not going forward, I'm not going anywhere.

I saw a moth fall from the sky. It fell, in smooth, tight spirals, the way seed pods from sycamore trees do. We called them helicopters and they littered the streets of our childhood, on our way home from school in the dusky glow of autumn evenings. I only saw the moth when it reached my eye level. It could have been falling for years.

1. It's late at night.
2. You're driving home.
3. Call your husband and tell him you see a strange light in the sky.
4. Hang up in the middle of the call.
5. Leave the car on the side of the road.
6. Hitch a ride somewhere.
7. Anywhere.

And what if that was the last time I'll ever see him, standing at my door in a kilt at nine o'clock this morning with a sad smile on his face and a battered old bag by his feet? I said I hope you have a good flight, but really I meant to say I love you and I'll miss you. I think he understood. I had cried half a years worth of tears the night before but I wanted to cry again. He walked down the corridor and I went back to sleep. "Dust in the wind," he said.

It happened on a Friday in early August. No, no, it was a Saturday. Back then, days of the week lost all meaning, they all just merged together into one sprawling moment in time that lasted the whole summer. Each day was a chapter within the greater story of one life. Some days two lives shared the same chapter, and those were the days that mattered most. One of those days was a Thursday, when they looked each other in the eye and admitted this was happening. Another was a Monday when they held hands because they didn't know what else to do, and several Mondays later they held hands because it was all they knew. Once, it started on a Saturday and she stroked his arm with her delicate thumb until it was a Sunday and he slept while she could smile and be exhausted and impatient all at once. I miss this.

And when you're sitting on the side of the road crying over what feels like the best goddamn thing you ever had--well, at least you had it.

I knew that no matter how bad you feel, or what horrible thing happens to you, that the world just keeps on going. That the rest of the world doesn’t even realize that the monsters are eating your heart. A long time ago it used to bother me that I could be in such confusion, such pain, and the world just didn’t give a shit. The world, the creation as a whole, is designed to move forward, to keep on keeping on without any one individual person. It feels damned impersonal, and it is. But, then, if the world stopped rotating just because one of us was having a bad day, we’d all be floating out in space.

"The process of growing up was nothing more than figuring out what doors hadn't yet been slammed in your face."
--Jodi Picoult, 'The Tenth Circle'

I need to do something. Tonight I remembered that it feels good to lay in the middle of the street with your friends and look at the sky. Today I remembered riding bikes around the city and sitting by the river. I remembered feeling frustrated and unsure--but inspired and satisfied. I'm always missing something and I just know that I need to make some changes. If I'm not going forward, I'm not going anywhere.

We all grow into the beautiful person that we're supposed to be--some earlier. Some later.

I would rather live my life as if there is a God and die to find out there isn't, than to live my life as if there isn't and die to find out there is.

The paper cuts
The cheating lovers
The coffees never strong enough

“If you change the way you look at things, the things you look at change.”
--Wayne Dyer

Raindrops on roses and whiskers on kittens. These are a few of my favorite things.

Rules only work when everyone plays by them.

Envy comes from wanting something that isn't yours. But grief comes from losing something you've already had.

Being brave doesn’t save you from the monsters. It just ups your chances.

“Time is a circus, always packing up and moving away.”
--Ben Hecht

"And above all, watch with glittering eyes the whole world around you because the
greatest secrets are always hidden in the most unlikely places. Those who don't believe in magic will never find it."
--Roald Dahl

"Have you really read all those books in your room?" I asked. She laughed. "Oh God no. I've maybe read a third of 'em. But I'm going to read them all. I call it my Life's Library. Every summer since I was little, I've gone to garage sales and bought all the books that look interesting. So I always have something to read. But there is so much to do: cigarettes to smoke, sex to have, swings to swing on. I'll have more time for reading them when I'm old and boring."

At twenty we worry about what others think of us; at forty we don't care about what others think of us; at sixty we discover they haven't been thinking about us at all.

If you have faith as small as a mustard seed, you can say to this mountain "Move from here to there", and it will move. Nothing will be impossible to you.

"You grow up the day you have your first real laugh -- at yourself."
--Ethel Barrymore

"The odds are very good that worrying is a waste of time. And besides, worrying won't change what happens anyway, will it?"
-Judie Angell, 'A Whisper in the Night'

No comments: