Wednesday, November 19, 2008

Day three hundred and twenty two ... Something's ever easy.

Ever the optimist am I.

I can't help it, especially on days like today.

Overnight, I got my 6.5 minimum hours of sleep before the smell of fresh brewed java tugged me from my reverie.

My coffee maker continually showers me with love. It works while I sleep, and then it gently coaxes me awake to come play on its break. I oblige with feigned irritation, and then enjoy the many levels of awareness that can only be discerned in those first precious minutes of each day, as dreams are sorted from reality like junk mail. But even at that, some junk mail is worth saving.

I picked up the invitations to my party from the copy shop; they were ready and they were as I ordered them.

I made it to the insurance company on time to sign the papers for my homeowners policy. It felt strangely perfect that I could see my future home in the distance as I crossed Main St. in my little Rockwell village. If there ever was a catastrophe (heaven forbid) they could more than likely have the papers drawn up for me before I narrowly escaped.

I made it to my shrink on time as well. She confirmed what I already knew: I was crazy, but not insane*. How cool is that? 

I navigated the roads on the outskirts of my town which are starting to show the signs of holiday related congestion. Thanksgiving is much later than it usually is this year. Regardless, it almost seems like we are all following our own internal clock--the one that says that we should all be doing, going, thinking, buying, stressing, speeding, spending, dreading, preparing, and anticipating at a breakneck pace. But just like the feeling you get panicking that you're late for work on your day off, it's merely an illusion. We've got another week.

The buildings all around are showing it as well. Be it the painted window displays, the wreaths and other decorations being applied by the state workers to the municipal buildings, or the homes whose owners got a jump on the action, stringing up lights to glisten in the nighttime, flying in the face of a recession with a stiff jump on the electric bill. Somewhere--but not everywhere--it's beginning to look a lot like Christmas.

And I continued to improve my moves in the dance of life. From the timing of making a run of traffic lights, to finding a spot near the door at the department store (and hearing my favorite carol, "Noel," to start off the endless cavalcade of Christmas music) to finding the register that was only one shopper deep, with a clerk who actually knew how to ring up purchases, it was all going my way.

And I don't mean to jinx it, I don't intend to brag, and I don't take it lightly. It's just a few more examples in a seemingly endless deluge of evidence that if you look in the right spots; if you disregard inconsequential irritations; and if you--without fail--acknowledge the great things that happen in the most mundane tasks, then you may very well be able to tackle the bigger, more important, and more volatile issues with a bit more ammo and with a more effective perspective.

The flower on my cactus that I wrote about in the last post--it just fell off onto the floor as I was typing that last paragraph. Why do I mention this? Because it happened. Because I was there with a camera last week to capture it in full bloom, and today, after being out for hours on errands, fate and the biological cycle that all living things must adhere to was completed in front of my eyes (actually I heard it drop with a thud, then I saw it on the floor). And if I am going to allow myself to live fully and with an eye and an ear for the elegance of positive thinking, then I must give myself a receptacle for the detritus that accumulates in its wake, and, if at all possible, see purposefulness in that. I must understand, with every one of my senses, that where there is beauty, someday there will only be the space where that beauty stood. 

I put fresh strings on a guitar, only to have them break or corrode.

I play a new record on a turntable, only to have the grooves widen and the sound become muddier.

I put up a picture of a loved one, only to have to take the nail out of the wall, leaving a hole.

And I water a plant to see it flower, knowing full well that its fruit will fall off someday and become dust.

But now the limb on that plant is not only stronger, it is lighter too. Last week it adapted its fibers to take on the weight of the brilliant flower which grew at its end. Now, that flower is gone and that same cactus leaf is free from responsibility. It can stretch a little closer to the sun; it can reach out and up with a little more power. It has lived through an event it had no control over.

Nothing will last forever, but anything one can observe will only last as long as we do.

After that, it's anybody's guess. 

Thanks for reading.


*This diagnosis is fictional, in an effort to add humor to my story, but its inclusion is not entirely inconsequential.


Anonymous said...

Alex, this post recalls for me (favorably) the late David Foster Wallace's commencement address from a few years back at Kenyon College. Check it out:

regards from Brighton, ~Malthus

guess said...

Yet words, will last forever..Wonderful read yet again..Thanks for the journey..