Far from forlorn, I wade my way across an ocean that contains fragments of the past, present and future. I dwell on the past, when my broken heart gets the best of me and just as I’m about to go under, I rise to the surface—focused and real—ready for the moment and gunning for what’s to come.
But the tide always changes my course and when I look toward the future, the undertow tends to bend my body in such a way that I lose my compass course. I am swimming forward. That’s all I know. And each wave that crashes over my spirit leads me every which way and I feel happy for the adventure and I feel grateful for the ride.
A little bit of my heart goes with each sunset that I witness. Whether its the extreme quiet that blankets the air around me or its the overwhelming stillness that scoops me up and pushes up against my need for movement—I don’t know what it is—but when the sun makes her slow exit, I feel a sort of melancholy combined with joy.
It’s another day that’s passed and I made it through with eyes and spirit open. Or at least I tried. It’s another day that has seen all there is to see, from grief to anguish to hippy hoppy happy to sublime peace.
There she goes and part of me goes with her, like I’m somehow trying to make it my business to add my input to the ending of daylight and release my sorrows into the night.
Yours In Hoping Most Of It Comes True,
It’s the simple, tiny, gorgeous things that hold my life together like glue. The way the light streams in from the bedroom window in the morning, making the room seem glowy. How that print I searched for and framed hung above my writing space, paired with the pink and yellow and teal glass ornament makes me content to sit and do my work. And in the evening, when I light the candles that lend a calm, peaceful feeling—I feel glad that I spent as much time as I did in order to choose just the right ones with just the right scent.
I’ve spent my whole life becoming me. And I’ve learned, over the years, that I need a sense of beauty in my environment if I am to feel whole. Not large, expensive works of art or complicated pieces of adornment but trinkets and possessions that make me smile when I see them—reminders of my capacity to gather loveliness.
This is my life, I think. This is my creation of what appeals to my eyes, my heart. This is what keeps me feeling hopeful during times of tumult. That small collection of heart-shaped rocks I have? Those represent the gorgeousness of all the years I have lived and all the places I have gone and seen and noticed. This is my life, I think—and when I look around me I think, how beautiful.
Connie the Collector
I’m a champion eavesdropper. I’m not a spy, mind you, and I don’t hide around corners listening to whole conversations other people are having. I just happen to be lucky when it comes to overhearing the sometimes ethereal and profound and dumbfounding things strangers say when I pass by them, within earshot.
Recently, when I was leaving the grocery store, I passed a woman who was holding her two maybe three year old child and just as I whisked by them I heard her say, “Because you’re so handsome, that’s why.” What a lovely mama, I thought. Pumping up her son with confidence and grace.
Then there was the couple I brushed shoulders with on a hiking trail who seemed to be arguing about something really intense. “If you were more confident it wouldn’t matter,” he said to her as they trudged by me. I wanted to turn around and take the woman with me. I wanted to tell the man he was an ass. But that’s the thing about just getting a little snippet—you never know the whole story and you never know the outcome of the conversation.
I only know that humans intrigue me. The way they interact when others aren’t fully involved. The way they encourage each other—like two women I passed on Main Street where one woman was saying to the other “You have the best eyebrows I’ve ever seen.” I wish I could have plopped into their lives and offered up some encouragement if that what was needed.
The whole concept of hearing things in passing reminds me of my favorite Pema Chodron quote. “It’s not that we set out to change the world,” she says. “It’s just that we become curious about how other people are feeling.”
Each incomplete conversation I overhear has had a slight impact on me—some larger than others. Hearing the little tidbits and sprinkles of lives that others are living. They can be so grand and profound, in my experience and they can be heartbreaking and superficial if you take the time to listen.
Pardon My Intrusion,
Betsy Big Ears
Lazy afternoons and slow evenings are my favorite type of weekend time. Long, languid hours spent picking out what tasks to do. Leisurely walks with the dogs. Overcast skies that turn to sunny shininess then back to overcast. Thinking about what I will conjure up for dinner. What time is the game on? Making time to write in that suspended space of not having to write but simply wanting to. Feeling the separation between day into night—how it envelopes the house slowly as the indoor lights go on. That glow of dusk, that undeniable feeling of sleep coming soon and knowing that sleep will blend into Monday—another week. It all wraps around me and soothes my racey mind. It calms and coddles my restlessness and casts a glowy reflection over things. Most of all, it settles me into the beauty of my routine and reminds me that the small, simple, predictable things are the way toward solace.
Look How Close the Light Seems,
Thelma the Thinker