scrawled in a notebook in purple pen, through Connecticut and Rhode Island, Friday at 9:50 AM

I am on the train to a wedding and I am worried about coming home to schoolwork. I am castigating myself by reciting all the ways I could have planned this trip better. I am brooding again over needing a job.

But I am on the train to a wedding! The trees tug me out of myself – I recall that I am barrelling through a brilliant New England October toward a coffee-and-catch-up reunion with a dear friend; and that only a few hours separate my fingers from my beloved’s. Luminescent yellow and the scarlet of a queen’s robes, farms and cities unfurl under a bright fall morning, all stretching thankfully, wistfully to take in the last few days of a near, warming sun.

How does one forget such things? What of all this gives license to dwell in anxiety? It is a crime, my enormous train station coffee replies. The silliest, and yet the saddest crime, to deny the short gorgeous days their due.

Perhaps it is too much. Perhaps I sense the joy of God at all this and it seems we could share too much, that I could burst with it, or that I could remain too long behind child-eyes and forget to return to schedules and bills. Perhaps I have learned disappointment makes me cry, and I am afraid such beauty will make me hope too much.

But I choose to stay here. Distraction does not have to be the way of things; I will not seek constant escape from pain or cower from joy. I will not leave before I have arrived. I do not belong to the unchangeable past, and it is not given to me to manage the future; it is an illusion of modernity that either can be optimized by categorizing and explaining their vicissitudes away. I do not belong to borrowed sorrows. This Friday I belong to sensibly stacked houses, a heron, a book for a favorite class, longed-for faces, and fellow travellers on these rails-between-places.

Here I discover today. Here life is banging down my door. Here is the moment eternity chooses to share with me and the Connecticut trees.

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1 Comment

  1. Jacqueline in Atlanta

     /  October 8, 2013



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