Near misses

It rained last night- one of those hard, summer rains, front coming in a riot of red and yellow on the weather radar. We were inside, and heard the rain pelting the windows, the crashing of thunder. Lightening charged the air and we all looked in askance at the lights, hoping the power wouldn’t go out. 

Storms make us worry about our physical things. The weather radio says damaging winds and rain, injury to roofs, siding, cars likely. We had a new roof put on our house not too long ago, and this spring we finally had the siding replaced on the right side of our house, saving to redo the rest at a later date. Outside, my new-to-me car is parked, the first car I’ve driven that isn’t a hand me down or was purchased cheaply, in slight desperation. Guard these things from the weather. Ah, but they are only things, and they can be replaced.

It’s funny (funny-odd, not funny ha-ha) how the weather mirrors the mood, sometimes; how it sways as we humans swell and sway. Years ago, at the funeral of someone gone too soon, the skies were gray, the rain drooled down the car windows as the tragedy played itself out. Last night, a storm between humans mirrored the storm outside. Perhaps our human nature is more closely linked with physical nature than we thought.

Driving home, the storm just passed. The roads were wet, reflecting the street lamps, night hugging in, all around. I grip the wheel, being careful, and stop in a sea of red tail lights. Traffic is stopped, and it could be because of construction, but we know it’s because of a wreck. We inch on, and first we see the red and blue police lights, and then we see the red pickup, front pointed toward the embankment, having slid off the road. A close call- the truck was not in the embankment, or tangled in the road side trees, after all. 

But then we go further, several feet, and there is a black car, smashed, upside down, splayed in an unnatural diagonal across the road. We gasp. I try not to slow down and gawp. “Those people are probably dead,” my husband says, and I whisper back, “I know, I know.”

How much of life is a series of near misses? How fortunate I feel that I have not yet drawn the black card, how I have never really experienced true tragedy, and how any heartbreak I’ve ever experienced is nothing in the comparison of some. How much of it is luck, how much of it is fate, and how much of it is my diligent effort to stay out of the way, to fly right? Sometimes even if you have the wings you need, and you’re steering right, a sudden storm appears, and maybe you’ll be able to soar over it, but eventually the storm will suck you down into its clutches. The question is, are we strong enough to power through it?

Near misses

It rained last night- one of those hard, summer rains, front coming in a riot of red and yellow on the weather radar. We were inside, and heard the rain pelting the windows, the crashing of thunder. Lightening charged the air and we all looked in askance at the lights, hoping the power wouldn’t go out. 

Storms make us worry about our physical things. The weather radio says damaging winds and rain, injury to roofs, siding, cars likely. We had a new roof put on our house not too long ago, and this spring we finally had the siding replaced on the right side of our house, saving to redo the rest at a later date. Outside, my new-to-me car is parked, the first car I’ve driven that isn’t a hand me down or was purchased cheaply, in slight desperation. Guard these things from the weather. Ah, but they are only things, and they can be replaced.

It’s funny (funny-odd, not funny ha-ha) how the weather mirrors the mood, sometimes; how it sways as we humans swell and sway. Years ago, at the funeral of someone gone too soon, the skies were gray, the rain drooled down the car windows as the tragedy played itself out. Last night, a storm between humans mirrored the storm outside. Perhaps our human nature is more closely linked with physical nature than we thought.

Driving home, the storm just passed. The roads were wet, reflecting the street lamps, night hugging in, all around. I grip the wheel, being careful, and stop in a sea of red tail lights. Traffic is stopped, and it could be because of construction, but we know it’s because of a wreck. We inch on, and first we see the red and blue police lights, and then we see the red pickup, front pointed toward the embankment, having slid off the road. A close call- the truck was not in the embankment, or tangled in the road side trees, after all. 

But then we go further, several feet, and there is a black car, smashed, upside down, splayed in an unnatural diagonal across the road. We gasp. I try not to slow down and gawp. “Those people are probably dead,” my husband says, and I whisper back, “I know, I know.”

How much of life is a series of near misses? How fortunate I feel that I have not yet drawn the black card, how I have never really experienced true tragedy, and how any heartbreak I’ve ever experienced is nothing in the comparison of some. How much of it is luck, how much of it is fate, and how much of it is my diligent effort to stay out of the way, to fly right? Sometimes even if you have the wings you need, and you’re steering right, a sudden storm appears, and maybe you’ll be able to soar over it, but eventually the storm will suck you down into its clutches. The question is, are we strong enough to power through it?

My camera museum


My mom gave me her old curio cabinet yesterday. I thought about putting wine glasses or random knickknacks in it, but today as I was looking around my house, I thought, of *course*- put my collection of antique and antiqueish cameras in there! They’re looking quite festive!

Here’s closer shots of each shelf & descriptions:

http://instagram.com/p/q9wtohtZP-/
http://instagram.com/p/q9wx-fNZAP/
http://instagram.com/p/q9xJqdNZBE/

Some of the cameras are thrift shop finds given to me over the years, and some are refugees of the 80s. The neatest old one is my grandmother’s Brownie. I have some photos of her holding it as a young woman on a trip to Myrtle Beach- will have to share.

The only camera in the collection that I have used and that works is my Dad’s old Yashica. He bought it in Japan when he was in the Army over 40 years ago. He took all the photos when my sister and I were kids with it. I remember him using the camera. When I started studying photography at U of L in 1996, this was the first camera I used. Since it’s a rangefinder and not a SLR (single lens reflex), I switched from it to an old SLR my uncle gave me. I gave that kit to a friend’s son a few years ago, as I haven’t shot film for 10 years or more.

My husband, who is a museum curator, said these cameras can be my “founding” collection, since I don’t remember what years I got most of them. Don’t know that I’ll add any cameras from the digital era into the collection, as I tend to trade them for newer models. Something so timeless about film cameras, yes?

#mycameramuseum

Saturday things 

1. A few months ago, I updated my circa 2010 iMac’s OS to Mavericks & all of my Adobe software to the Creative Cloud. My little Mac ran all that stuff, but it wasn’t necessary happy about it. I took it this morning to have more RAM put in it at the Mac Authority on Breckenridge Lane. What a great, no hassle experience. They did it while I waited, it was not a teeming madhouse in there like it is at the Apple store & the price was reasonable. 

2. I’m working my way toward half marathon training again. I’m doing the Urban Bourbon in November. I signed up because 1) it sounded fun and 2) training always keeps me from slacking about exercise. I’m doing a totally different training plan that involves yoga and cross training. I’m also working on stretching my comfort zone and planning to incorporate morning workouts into the plan. That’s not going to be easy, oh not at all, but if I do that, I know I’ll get it done, whereas if I plan too many workouts during lunch or after work, the chances of them not happening are high.

3. Exercise provides balance and helps with stress. It also helps me organize my thoughts. I took on a “stretch assignment” at work, and I’ve been really trying not to be hardcore stressed about it. It’s a creative direction project, which is the direction I want my career to go. It’s also a creative project in a very high profile place. It’s a project that requires rounding up talented people with different skills, and then convincing them to help. I’ve worked under the radar at my job for five years, and in that time gotten to know who does what and who the doers are and who the talkers are. Now is the time for me to apply that knowledge. I’m making good headway, but it’s a big learning process. I’m excited about that- I like to learn new things and the planets are aligning at work to give me a big chance to do something good. It’s a lot to process, and when I take a walk, go walkjogging, ride my bike, or do yoga- it helps me burn off stress in a healthy way. I must remember this.

Saturday things

1. A few months ago, I updated my circa 2010 iMac’s OS to Mavericks & all of my Adobe software to the Creative Cloud. My little Mac ran all that stuff, but it wasn’t necessary happy about it. I took it this morning to have more RAM put in it at the Mac Authority on Breckenridge Lane. What a great, no hassle experience. They did it while I waited, it was not a teeming madhouse in there like it is at the Apple store & the price was reasonable.

2. I’m working my way toward half marathon training again. I’m doing the Urban Bourbon in November. I signed up because 1) it sounded fun and 2) training always keeps me from slacking about exercise. I’m doing a totally different training plan that involves yoga and cross training. I’m also working on stretching my comfort zone and planning to incorporate morning workouts into the plan. That’s not going to be easy, oh not at all, but if I do that, I know I’ll get it done, whereas if I plan too many workouts during lunch or after work, the chances of them not happening are high.

3. Exercise provides balance and helps with stress. It also helps me organize my thoughts. I took on a “stretch assignment” at work, and I’ve been really trying not to be hardcore stressed about it. It’s a creative direction project, which is the direction I want my career to go. It’s also a creative project in a very high profile place. It’s a project that requires rounding up talented people with different skills, and then convincing them to help. I’ve worked under the radar at my job for five years, and in that time gotten to know who does what and who the doers are and who the talkers are. Now is the time for me to apply that knowledge. I’m making good headway, but it’s a big learning process. I’m excited about that- I like to learn new things and the planets are aligning at work to give me a big chance to do something good. It’s a lot to process, and when I take a walk, go walkjogging, ride my bike, or do yoga- it helps me burn off stress in a healthy way. I must remember this.

“Do one thing every day that scares you.”

Eleanor Roosevelt

A work friend has this quote in her profile and it struck me. Much as I don’t like to be in a state of worry and fear, you do not get ahead in this world without pushing yourself, and if you want to soar, you have to give yourself a big push.

In the past weeks, I’ve pushed myself in several ways- with work especially, but also with yoga, with everyday things. It’s not easy. I have many days where I feel like a jangling bundle of nerves, where I question what I’m doing, my talent, my validity, and where I belong. It’d be a lot easier to stick to the tried and true, the chartered territory. But in many ways, I’ve become used to kicking myself out the door. So used to it, that I actually didn’t even realize what I was doing to myself recently until I thought about it this way.

As an introvert and someone who is very interested in how people tick- my natural tendency might be to stay in instead of going out, stick to the places I know, stick to the job I know, the tasks I’m used to, the path I’m on. Carefully parcel out my energy so it’s just enough. Not too much, not too little- whatever it takes to stay in the comfort zone. That’s so much a part of my character, my personality.

But. Somewhere along the line I developed this fire within. I don’t want to just do the same old boring thing. I don’t want to be the same old boring person. I don’t want to always be careful. I don’t want to always play it safe. I don’t have it in me to be a true daredevil, but I do have it in me to test the waters, to test myself, to push myself and kick myself out the door and see just what is possible. For that I am grateful. At the end of the line, I do not want regrets, and in order to prevent that, sometimes you must take a chance.

Five obsessions


Tagged by internationalorange

These things are always fun. The object is to write about five random obsessions. In my case, it’s probably only the first two that I could call true obsessions, but the others are things I can’t really live without, so close enough.

1. Cats. I dare say I might be even more obsessed with cats than I am the second thing I will name, photography. I’ve loved cats as far back as I can remember. I had a stuffed tiger that I dragged around everywhere as a tiny child, and the first cat I remember was our neighbors’ tabby cat, Tabitha, a fantastic name for a tabby cat. My sister and I pestered our parents for years and years to get a cat & they finally relented when I was 9. We got Pina, a long haired, long suffering tortie cat. My sister and I loved that cat to pieces & bothered the hell out of her all the time. Despite this, Pina lived to the incredible age of 21. We all still miss her. As cool as it was to have a cat as a child, it’s been an absolute joy having two cats of my own, Hallie and Henry. They are both so lovable- Hallie because she’s a scaredy cat & has a typical cat personality, and she loves me & that’s pretty much it. She follows me around, she sleeps next to me. I love her so much. Henry, our tabby, is so lovable that he loves everyone & everyone loves him.

2. Photography. I’ve always been into art, but in college, I sucked at painting & was only okay at drawing. I was going to be a graphic design major, but I transferred schools before I took any graphic design classes & there weren’t any graphic design classes at the school I transferred to. (There are now. I often wonder what my career path would have been, had I stayed with graphic design. Wouldn’t have had to have taught it to myself, that’s for sure) I had to pick a concentration a few semesters in, and the only openings were ceramics and photography. My artist uncle had an old camera he was willing to give me, so I thought, what the hell? Photography is perfect for me. As an artist, I’m an arranger- one who takes things that already exist & rearranges them into something new. I’m not a Maker- an artist that can create things from the ether. I wish I was sometimes, but being an arranger suits my practical nature. Photography has been good to me. I’m not a fashion photographer, I’m not a wedding photographer and I’m not a “lifestyle family photographer.” My favorite things to photograph are natural places. I have a day job as a corporate photographer and graphic designer so I can afford to buy plane tickets to beautiful, natural places.

3. Teaching. There’s an adage out there- if you want to do something well, teach it. You will never learn more than when you teach your passion. I also believe if you have a gift, you need to give back. I’ve taught photography for 15 years and counting.

4. Coffee, black. My parents drink their coffee black, and that’s how I learned how it’s done. I have coffee every morning, no matter how hot it is outside. At work, I bring it in a slim thermos and drink it for several hours in the morning.

5. Walking. I’ve walked for fitness, for transportation ever since my high school days of not having a car. I love a long, long walk. It’s meditative, it helps me think. In recent years, I’ve gotten my regular exercise by running (in my case it’s more like walk jogging) and cycling, but I still walk when I can. I love to escape the office at lunch and go for a walk, or to walk up and down the main drag in my neighborhood.

The Silent Yogi

I’ve been getting reacquainted with yoga lately. I’ve been interested in yoga for a long time and have practiced it off and on for about four or five years.

It’s hard to learn yoga on your own, and in part, unadvisable. If you don’t do the poses right; if you don’t have proper alignment, you can crank your back or some other joint or appendage. For this reason, it’s best to learn yoga in person & not via internet tutorials. 

Showing up to a yoga class sets many of my insecurities afire. In bigger classes, it’s not so bad. I show up, slink in, set up my mat, practice, and then slink out. It’s harder where I’ve been going the past few weeks. I love the workout, the studio is nice, the teachers are great, but it’s a small studio and I think they all know each other. It’s mostly all women, and I’ve tried to be diligent and arrive early and I shyly say hi to the people working the desk and smile at the fellow students, but I don’t know them, they don’t know me, and I feel that old childhood awkwardness. I’m on the outside looking in, and I’m never going to break into a clique- not if my life depended on it. But this is yoga, and yoga, among other things, is a community. If these ladies knew I felt like such the old, awkward bird around them, they’d most assuredly think I was being silly.

But that’s part of life- you need to do things to push yourself out of your comfort zone. I was so very tempted to give way to morning laziness and the safety and comfort of my home and not go to class. I even started walking toward my computer to cancel. But I didn’t. I put on my yoga clothes and I showed up. I chatted a bit in the lobby, but mostly sat silently on my mat and then practiced silently. The upside is the fitting in occupies my mind so I never think about being able to do the workout. The workout in these classes is difficult. I have a good five, maybe ten years on most of the yogis- I have come to this stage of life. I can keep up mostly, and the nice thing about yoga- the poses are varied and diverse, so if you suck at some of them (eagle pose, ughhh), you might be really good at others (pigeon- my favorite). 

To truly practice yoga, it is a marriage of mind, body and spirit. A difficult yoga session can silence the mind and bring you back into balance. This is something I discount too often. I’m always working, working to be more comfortable in my own skin. I get to a certain point, think I’m doing well- think I’ve “cured” myself of insecurity, but for some things there is no cure- it’s a matter of adapting and learning to live with things in a way that keeps you as comfortable as you can be, in the great hairshirt that life brings sometimes.

The Silent Yogi

I’ve been getting reacquainted with yoga lately. I’ve been interested in yoga for a long time and have practiced it off and on for about four or five years.

It’s hard to learn yoga on your own, and in part, unadvisable. If you don’t do the poses right; if you don’t have proper alignment, you can crank your back or some other joint or appendage. For this reason, it’s best to learn yoga in person & not via internet tutorials.

Showing up to a yoga class sets many of my insecurities afire. In bigger classes, it’s not so bad. I show up, slink in, set up my mat, practice, and then slink out. It’s harder where I’ve been going the past few weeks. I love the workout, the studio is nice, the teachers are great, but it’s a small studio and I think they all know each other. It’s mostly all women, and I’ve tried to be diligent and arrive early and I shyly say hi to the people working the desk and smile at the fellow students, but I don’t know them, they don’t know me, and I feel that old childhood awkwardness. I’m on the outside looking in, and I’m never going to break into a clique- not if my life depended on it. But this is yoga, and yoga, among other things, is a community. If these ladies knew I felt like such the old, awkward bird around them, they’d most assuredly think I was being silly.

But that’s part of life- you need to do things to push yourself out of your comfort zone. I was so very tempted to give way to morning laziness and the safety and comfort of my home and not go to class. I even started walking toward my computer to cancel. But I didn’t. I put on my yoga clothes and I showed up. I chatted a bit in the lobby, but mostly sat silently on my mat and then practiced silently. The upside is the fitting in occupies my mind so I never think about being able to do the workout. The workout in these classes is difficult. I have a good five, maybe ten years on most of the yogis- I have come to this stage of life. I can keep up mostly, and the nice thing about yoga- the poses are varied and diverse, so if you suck at some of them (eagle pose, ughhh), you might be really good at others (pigeon- my favorite).

To truly practice yoga, it is a marriage of mind, body and spirit. A difficult yoga session can silence the mind and bring you back into balance. This is something I discount too often. I’m always working, working to be more comfortable in my own skin. I get to a certain point, think I’m doing well- think I’ve “cured” myself of insecurity, but for some things there is no cure- it’s a matter of adapting and learning to live with things in a way that keeps you as comfortable as you can be, in the great hairshirt that life brings sometimes.

Unbearable lightness of being

I read that book, years ago. I remember liking it, but I also remember because my professor recommended it to me, personally, and back in those undergraduate days, it was rare when a professor talked to you at all. I don’t remember what it was about, or anything else. But the title- how it resonates. The lightness of being- a nice thought and in our good moments, may it be so. But in others, the heaviness of being. The responsibility we are charged with, the people in our lives, and everything that we need. That they need.

I hope, in my heart of hearts, that we all try to be good. I can honestly say that I do. Many times I try so hard to fulfill expectations- real or imagined- that I don’t think of myself at all. I try to please everyone; in the end might please no one. That’s a trap. We must take care of ourselves first, else we won’t have the fortitude or energy to take care of anyone else.

My big enemy is time. I don’t have enough of it, I don’t always use it wisely, and though I spend as much of it as I can with people I love- it’s not enough, it never is.

But what do you do? You do the best you can. That’s all any of us can do, and it has to be enough. 

And then there is the inherent shyness, my reserved nature, such a part of my being. I can never really express what people mean to me. It’s just too much. Some of it just IS. I can’t put into words what things, what people mean to me, because it’s just too big for words.

Unbearable lightness of being

I read that book, years ago. I remember liking it, but I also remember because my professor recommended it to me, personally, and back in those undergraduate days, it was rare when a professor talked to you at all. I don’t remember what it was about, or anything else. But the title- how it resonates. The lightness of being- a nice thought and in our good moments, may it be so. But in others, the heaviness of being. The responsibility we are charged with, the people in our lives, and everything that we need. That they need.

I hope, in my heart of hearts, that we all try to be good. I can honestly say that I do. Many times I try so hard to fulfill expectations- real or imagined- that I don’t think of myself at all. I try to please everyone; in the end might please no one. That’s a trap. We must take care of ourselves first, else we won’t have the fortitude or energy to take care of anyone else.

My big enemy is time. I don’t have enough of it, I don’t always use it wisely, and though I spend as much of it as I can with people I love- it’s not enough, it never is.

But what do you do? You do the best you can. That’s all any of us can do, and it has to be enough.

And then there is the inherent shyness, my reserved nature, such a part of my being. I can never really express what people mean to me. It’s just too much. Some of it just IS. I can’t put into words what things, what people mean to me, because it’s just too big for words.

Purpose

The last entry I wrote here was so good, I don’t know if I’ll be able to top it. But there’s the rub- once you do something good, you don’t stop. You have to keep going. Easier said than done.

Our society dictates that there should be purpose to what we do. What sort of purpose? Well, ideally to be good to others. But is that the goal to which everyone aspires? I went out to lunch today. I went to place my order, and was nearly knocked over by the woman ahead of me, because she wanted to have a look at the specials. Never mind that there was someone right in her path. “Oh, sorry,” she says. She’s not sorry that she nearly plowed into me, and I am not sorry I gave her the stink eye. I try very hard to be nice, but even I have my limits. At the same restaurant, there is an easy & clear place to self-bus your table, yet most people didn’t. My lunch cost seven dollars and change. The least I can do is take my dishes away & not leave a mess. I’m not saying I’m better than everyone else; it’s just meaningful to think of others sometimes.

I think of others a lot. It does consume me, but it doesn’t absolve me. You just can’t please everyone. No matter who you are, what you do, you can’t please everyone. You just can’t. Some people expect too much, and sometimes I just fail. I don’t mean to, but I do. My commitments pile on top of me & I let them bury me. You put the fire that burns brightest out first. For me, I live a live where my career is very very important to me, so it takes precedence. Maybe that’s not wise, I don’t know. Society has certain expectations of women & I’ve basically given them the middle finger. You do that, you’re going to pay a price. People won’t understand. Everyone else is going right- why are you going left? As a woman, you owe the world certain things, the world says, and I say the hell with that. I love many people and many things, but I am not nurturing. I am a giver, but I’m not going to give all.

And so- what is our purpose? It’s really up to us to decide that. Some days, you may not feel it is up to you, but it is. It is. It IS.

Purpose

The last entry I wrote here was so good, I don’t know if I’ll be able to top it. But there’s the rub- once you do something good, you don’t stop. You have to keep going. Easier said than done.

Our society dictates that there should be purpose to what we do. What sort of purpose? Well, ideally to be good to others. But is that the goal to which everyone aspires? I went out to lunch today. I went to place my order, and was nearly knocked over by the woman ahead of me, because she wanted to have a look at the specials. Never mind that there was someone right in her path. “Oh, sorry,” she says. She’s not sorry that she nearly plowed into me, and I am not sorry I gave her the stink eye. I try very hard to be nice, but even I have my limits. At the same restaurant, there is an easy & clear place to self-bus your table, yet most people didn’t. My lunch cost seven dollars and change. The least I can do is take my dishes away & not leave a mess. I’m not saying I’m better than everyone else; it’s just meaningful to think of others sometimes.

I think of others a lot. It does consume me, but it doesn’t absolve me. You just can’t please everyone. No matter who you are, what you do, you can’t please everyone. You just can’t. Some people expect too much, and sometimes I just fail. I don’t mean to, but I do. My commitments pile on top of me & I let them bury me. You put the fire that burns brightest out first. For me, I live a live where my career is very very important to me, so it takes precedence. Maybe that’s not wise, I don’t know. Society has certain expectations of women & I’ve basically given them the middle finger. You do that, you’re going to pay a price. People won’t understand. Everyone else is going right- why are you going left? As a woman, you owe the world certain things, the world says, and I say the hell with that. I love many people and many things, but I am not nurturing. I am a giver, but I’m not going to give all.

And so- what is our purpose? It’s really up to us to decide that. Some days, you may not feel it is up to you, but it is. It is. It IS.

impermanence 

I was folding the laundry today and I got to thinking about this concept of impermanence. Looking it up, just now, to make sure I had the spelling right, I see it’s a Buddhist concept. I’m not religious, but some of the notions of Buddhism make sense to me, as much as my agnostic mind can grasp them.

I feel a little bit like a constant in my circle of existence. I live where I was born, I went away, but I came back. I watched my friends leave, one by one, though some are still here. Things change in my little town, but I am still here. For now. But none of us are here forever. 

My dad told me once that his father told him that the only constant in life is change. That’s very true. Change is hard, and me planting my stake here in the ground has made things stay still for me. I watch all the flux around me, and I feel deeply for my loved ones who get caught up in it, but I don’t say a lot. It’s hard to communicate how deeply you feel for others. I don’t come from effusive stock. We are quiet; we hold our cards close, we trust few, and above all, we don’t want to be a bother. 

We are all the sum of all of these parts: where we came from, where we’ve been, what we’ve done, who we know. I try to be good. It doesn’t always work. I keep often to myself; I am quiet; I am distant. Words are easier for me to write than they are to say. The extroverts of the world might think that’s a cop out, but the introverts know. With my written words, I honor you, and I can tell you how very much you mean to me. How I carry you all with me and how I hold you in my heart. In person, all you’ll get is my presence (sometimes) and my eyes on you (sometimes) and a few words, parceled out carefully. 

Spoken words are impermanent. They are uttered into the air, sometimes heard, sometimes swallowed into the din. The written word, if properly preserved, can last a long time. I like to capture memories; another reason why I write them down, why I am a photographer. Life is so heavy, so heady- I want to get a handle on it. But you can’t. We are all just humans, stumbling on, doing the best we can, until we can’t. Until the light goes out. 

Heavy thoughts for a Sunday night, I know. Some might look upon the state of impermanence as liberating, or perhaps it infuses you with purpose. This is one of many reasons I stay so busy all the time. Because, one day, time will run out. And because of that time running out, and all of you, my memories of you running like sand through my fingers, piling up like little jewels in my mind, I should tell you more often that you mean the world to me. But I think you might know, and those of you out there, you know who you are- I will help you with your struggle as best I can, which sometimes might not be much, or enough, but that’s the permanence- the love, the friendship, the sisterhood, the time, the conspiracy, the memory and the impact. That’s the shooting star across the fabric of time.

impermanence

I was folding the laundry today and I got to thinking about this concept of impermanence. Looking it up, just now, to make sure I had the spelling right, I see it’s a Buddhist concept. I’m not religious, but some of the notions of Buddhism make sense to me, as much as my agnostic mind can grasp them.

I feel a little bit like a constant in my circle of existence. I live where I was born, I went away, but I came back. I watched my friends leave, one by one, though some are still here. Things change in my little town, but I am still here. For now. But none of us are here forever.

My dad told me once that his father told him that the only constant in life is change. That’s very true. Change is hard, and me planting my stake here in the ground has made things stay still for me. I watch all the flux around me, and I feel deeply for my loved ones who get caught up in it, but I don’t say a lot. It’s hard to communicate how deeply you feel for others. I don’t come from effusive stock. We are quiet; we hold our cards close, we trust few, and above all, we don’t want to be a bother.

We are all the sum of all of these parts: where we came from, where we’ve been, what we’ve done, who we know. I try to be good. It doesn’t always work. I keep often to myself; I am quiet; I am distant. Words are easier for me to write than they are to say. The extroverts of the world might think that’s a cop out, but the introverts know. With my written words, I honor you, and I can tell you how very much you mean to me. How I carry you all with me and how I hold you in my heart. In person, all you’ll get is my presence (sometimes) and my eyes on you (sometimes) and a few words, parceled out carefully.

Spoken words are impermanent. They are uttered into the air, sometimes heard, sometimes swallowed into the din. The written word, if properly preserved, can last a long time. I like to capture memories; another reason why I write them down, why I am a photographer. Life is so heavy, so heady- I want to get a handle on it. But you can’t. We are all just humans, stumbling on, doing the best we can, until we can’t. Until the light goes out.

Heavy thoughts for a Sunday night, I know. Some might look upon the state of impermanence as liberating, or perhaps it infuses you with purpose. This is one of many reasons I stay so busy all the time. Because, one day, time will run out. And because of that time running out, and all of you, my memories of you running like sand through my fingers, piling up like little jewels in my mind, I should tell you more often that you mean the world to me. But I think you might know, and those of you out there, you know who you are- I will help you with your struggle as best I can, which sometimes might not be much, or enough, but that’s the permanence- the love, the friendship, the sisterhood, the time, the conspiracy, the memory and the impact. That’s the shooting star across the fabric of time.

oatmeal:

Read more comics here. 

Haha! So true!

oatmeal:

Read more comics here

Haha! So true!