It is a mystery to find yourself waking up one day and feeling okay. The world hasn’t changed, your situation isn’t any different from what it was yesterday, but you have.
You’ve changed. And you’re okay.
What an immense feeling. What a world this is.
may my heart always be open to little
birds who are the secrets of living
whatever they sing is better than to know
and if men should not hear them men are old
We tell ourselves stories in order to live. The princess is caged in the consulate. The man with the candy; will lead the children into the sea. The naked woman on the ledge outside the window on the sixteenth floor is a victim of accidie, or the naked woman is an exhibitionist, and it would be ‘interesting’ to know which. We tell ourselves that it makes some difference whether the naked woman is about to commit a mortal sin or is about to register a political protest or is about to be, the Aristophanic view, snatched back to the human condition by the fireman in priest’s clothing just visible in the window behind her, the one smiling at the telephoto lens. We look for the sermon in the suicide, for the social or moral lesson in the murder of five. We interpret what we see, select the most workable of multiple choices. We live entirely, especially if we are writers, by the imposition of a narrative line upon disparate images, by the ‘ideas’ with which we have learned to freeze the shifting phantasmagoria which is our actual experience.
Can it be? I don’t know what it is that’s come over me, but I do know the feeling is as though a fog has lifted, as though a shroud has been taken away, as though a cloudy sky has parted. I can’t quite put a finger on what it is I feel, but for the first day in a really long time, I feel quietly, moderately, almost peacefully content.
This is the peace that comes with giving something up that was once a dream, but is not for today. This is the peace that comes with saying - yes, you can go, with my blessing. This is the peace that comes with accepting what the world offers today, without hope or intention for anything more. This is the peace that comes with knowing everything, even today’s contentment, is temporary - and knowing that that is okay.
This, my friends, is as close to bliss as I can claim in this moment. And for that, I am happy.
i thank You God for most this amazing
day:for the leaping greenly spirits of trees
and a blue true dream of sky;and for everything
which is natural which is infinite which is yes
(i who have died am alive again today,
and this is the sun’s birthday;this is the birth
day of life and of love and wings:and of the gay
great happening illimitably earth)
how should tasting touching hearing seeing
breathing any—lifted from the no
of all nothing—human merely being
doubt unimaginable You?
(now the ears of my ears awake and
now the eyes of my eyes are opened)
~ e. e. cummings
Today is a brand new day. My hope is for you to remember what it is like to feel shiny, idealistic, and new.
Today, I thought about what I want to be when I grow up. The answer is always happy. But there was something else I thought of, just today. At the end of everything, I want to look back on myself and see an adventurous soul, who was humble, honest, and happy.
I had always loved this line, but never knew who said it:
When it’s over, I want to say: all my life I was a bride married to amazement.
Then, I discovered this, and rediscovered Mary Oliver.
One day you finally knew
what you had to do, and began,
though the voices around you
their bad advice —
though the whole house
began to tremble
and you felt the old tug
at your ankles.
“Mend my life!”
each voice cried.
But you didn’t stop.
You knew what you had to do,
though the wind pried
with its stiff fingers
at the very foundations,
though their melancholy
It was already late
enough, and a wild night,
and the road full of fallen
branches and stones.
But little by little,
as you left their voices behind,
the stars began to burn
through the sheets of clouds,
and there was a new voice
which you slowly
recognized as your own,
that kept you company
as you strode deeper and deeper
into the world,
determined to do
the only thing you could do —
determined to save
the only life you could save.