Is it enough to take these notes? To be a collector of moments? To be someone who notices the smallest things and who writes them down? Can the bits and pieces of this life; the way he reached for my hand, the text from the sick child, the banjo sitting in the corner of my room wishing to be played be enough?
Raised to be special, raised to be important, raised to do more. Is it enough to be someone who picks fallen camellias from the brick path, treasuring the ones that have lost their pink and have gone brown?
Is it enough to walk the forest path with an ex-husband who stops you and says, “Listen to the trees,” and for that moment, eyes closed, the sound of the eucalyptus whispering above you is all you hear.
Is it alright to make a nest in my bed three mornings this week, because I needed to work and write from a quiet place of pillows and blankets, the cat sleeping between my legs. And because the world can feel rough, but working in a nightgown and an old sweater, hair unbrushed, face unwashed can soften the blow.
And can I sit with the thought I had that you can be disappointed and sad because you didn’t get what you wanted, and it’s also no one’s fault.
And because we have such a wee time here, I try to keep remembering that what seems so painful in the moment won’t always feel this way. And because Andrea Gibson, the poet, asked us to consider, what if every single person you meet has at one time or another googled the question, “how to stop crying? ”
And what if every time you ran into someone, you remembered that?
Would that help you feel less alone, and a little more gentle with yourself?
What if I were to tell you that when you take sex off the table, there’s an unbridled landscape called kissing that goes on for miles and miles, taking you into places you’d never have visited if you were hell bent on getting someplace else.
Is it news worthy to report that it’s me and a bunch of grizzled old men at the gym every morning, though today there was an older woman, and I noticed the heaviness around her middle, and the loose skin around her neck, and how she went right up to Ed on the treadmill and spanked him on the arm, giving him a little grin.
And yes, I reflected on my own aging body as I watched her, though it was her little grin that I am left with.
And what if I told you that I know a man who cannot speak or move because of a stroke, and who has been laying in a hospital bed in my town for 8 long years. And what if I told you that his partner, who visited him everyday for all those years, died last year, and now he lays alone. Is it enough that every time I pass the hospital I say his name aloud?
And when I heard the news that David Crosby had died, I turned on the version of For Free, which he recorded with Sarah Jarosz, and which I hope you listen to because music is everything and that’s what he left us with.
What would you say if I told you that there is a small girl living inside of me, who hides under the stairs of my heart, and who even after all these years, is the softest part of me? And that at 62, she has begun crawling out of her cave to find me.
And what of the cat who tucks himself behind me as we sit on the bench at the vet, because he’s scared, and how I can feel him breathing through my back, and the way we began breathing together, because I am an animal too.
Is that worth noting? That I met my cat on a bench and we settled each other down. Is that enough?
Listen to Laure read the piece …