Because it slips…

In Essays on June 6, 2009 at 11:27 pm

When I was a little girl, I used to be afraid of everything.  Volcanos on the news?  Watch out!  Earthquakes in Indonesia?  We’re done for!  Whatever it was, I was terrified it was coming my way… because the world was precious, and it seemed that it was constantly in jeaopardy.

And now that I’m older, I realize that it’s not “the world” that in jeaopardy, it’s us. We are fragile, fragile creatures.  We can be anything we want to be, but we break apart so easily. And I am tired of being afraid of the wreckage.  Because it comes.  Either way.

See, I’ve always been a little more sensitive to the world and her moments than most people.  I’ve never been able to sit in the midst of “special” without recognizing the fragility of it all…  It makes for hard joy when everything feels that precious.  It sets you apart.  

And I’ve been thinking about this a lot lately, as I continue to try and better understand myself and how I work…  I’ve been thinking about my tendancy to hold the world to such high standards, of my habit of heartbreak when I realize that it’s just me seeing the world this way,  and that people really do try to do their best at life, but there aren’t many who also see it while it’s happening.

I’ve been thinking that it’s a gift and a big pain in the ass to operate this way – to feel everything so deeply at times that it seems the earth itself is vibrating.  

Because when I look at the people in my life that are important to me, I see through their freckled skin and into tomorrow’s wrinkles, and it puts me in mind to place more importance on a shared afternoon than they can understand.  I distance myself by my understanding of the moments preciousness, and there’s no reachng across a divide like that, for I am suddenly outside the moment, watching my mortal self laugh… I am no longer just inhabiting my body, but the very wind.  And it’s lonely and far-off.  

And the more I think about it, the more convinced I become that it is this, living on the perimeter of life, that allows me to write the way I do.  It is my vantage point as observer, as lover, as big-time feeler, that I am able to see into the dreams that dance across my mind and breathe their life onto paper.  

A strange gift with an even stranger price.

For although I strive to live and engage in this world, it will always feel confusing to me how people can throw it away like so many hamburger wrappers… thinking an opportunity will come again, thinking that a moment will come again, thinking that they will have any sort of “Again”.  

Because it’s all happening now… Nothing you ever see or do will ever be exactly like it once was.  You will never look or be as young and beautiful as you look now, and the more time you waste fretting over that which is gone is more time you will deny yourself the joy of what is before you. 

So, while I don’t recommend living every second as if it is in technicolor, do something today, something you might normally take for granted – like kissing your spouse, or enjoying a bit of chocolate, or even settling into freshly washed sheets – and just be in that moment.  Relish in the wonder of being.

Because, while I no longer worry about volcanos, I still feel time slipping through my fingers… slipping and sliding across my skin and the skin of those around me.  And when life is this precious, how could we ever pass up an opportunity to celebrate those moments that make it all worthwhile?

  1. I probably don’t say it very often these days…but I love you.

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