What's in Front of You

[Rose on Monument Avenue in Richmond, taken November 2011]

If you were with me almost a year ago, you might remember a goal I set to write something creative every weekend. Like I often do, I didn't really stick with it as long as I said I would. Things happen--migraines take hold, you have to go to work on a Saturday, there are no groceries in the house, there are episodes of television to watch and pages of books to be read. Life, as wonderful as it may be, can also get in the way sometimes.

A week ago, I wrote something that made me proud. It was one of those days where you feel something and the words come easily and those paragraphs that you write just plop into the world like they should have been there all along. No prompt, no nudge from anything but your brain and the words that fill it up and spill out onto the pages of your notebook and the screens of other people's computers.

But today was one of those days where you don't know what you're feeling. You wake up warm and happy, but as the morning nudges itself into afternoon, you confuse yourself with bills and holiday plans and what to make for dinner. You find yourself in bed at 3:30 PM and you don't know why you're crying.

When I first started blogging, I wrote all kinds of melancholy shit. No one was reading but my parents and my roommates. Now, if I have a bad day, I'm sometimes nervous to talk about it. I want you guys to think I have it all together. But that's a silly way to live. I don't have it all together. And sometimes I cry for no apparent reason. That's just me.

"Much of my crying is for joy and wonder rather than for pain. A trumpet's wailing, a wind's warm breath, the chink of a bell on an errant lamb, the smoke from a candle just spent, first light, twilight, firelight. Every day beauty. I cry for how life intoxicates. And maybe just a little for how swiftly it runs." --Marlena De Blasi, A Thousand Days in Venice

I opened my copy of Old Friend from Far Away this morning and it asked me, "What's in front of you?" and I wrote but didn't want to post because I was standing in my kitchen and that thing is too damn small. I hate our kitchen. It reminds me every day that I left a stainless steel refrigerator and huge windows and high ceilings and so much counter space and enough light so that I could live here for a year, in what's essentially student housing, surrounded by inconsiderate, loud neighbors who make me feel old.

But then Rob comes out of our bedroom with sleep in his eyes and a smile on his face and being in his arms feels right and I remember that this is worth it because we get to be together, and besides, you can't just stay in one place forever. One must be able to adapt. Like every other season of life we go through, this one will pass, and we'll look back on it one day and hopefully laugh about that tiny kitchen with no counter space.

There's a lot of stuff in front of me.