living in snippets


Maybe there's another way to tell the story. Maybe I don't need complete sentences, or even chronology. Maybe there are no uniting themes, or a thesis statement, or a trajectory of standard lines of narrative. Maybe this is about collision, about intersection, about the weave that disparate moments nevertheless make together. I like the thought of that, that it doesn't have to make sense, that I can be in the middle and not call it a middle, not live it like a middle. I like that a thunderstorm can come out of nowhere and make a symphony on the porch roof, even though I don't like fog for more than 2 days in a row. I like the shape of clouds out an airplane window, even if I don't like the sound of the baby crying behind me. I like the funny jostling on the LA freeway, even if I don't liket freeway itself. Every moment is divisible even further, and maybe this is the best thing, this living in snippets, because there is so much to pay attention to when you let yourself get eye-level with what's in front of you, when you give yourself a grace period of not having to figure out what it all means, or what you might to do to "fix it." In the past few weeks, I've gotten very conscious of my surroundings. I can feel their texture, can hear the notes of their particular music. And I've become less reactive in terms of bringing up my defenses when things get disagreeable. I give myself more permission to soften by engaging, to absorb by integrating, and to express by...expressing. I've gotten so much less tough on myself as a result. Being able to witness what's happening and how I feel without immediately trying to make improvements. Relaxing my participation, un-muscling myself.



And so:


The sight of my nephew racing down the side of the stadium track on his bike, then screeching to a halt right at my feet and the wide grin that spilled from his cheeks. Antics in the grocery store, making faces in the dairy aisle, the dollar he handed the cashier for our two plums.


Baby deer in the suburbs. Their unblinking gaze. The strange beauty of what's been discarded and forgotten. The bike ride to Stinson and up to Mt. Tam and the surprise of not falling apart at the seams from exhaustion. Walking the labyrinth. In with a question and out with an answer.


Transformation. Sweetness. A monkey embroidered on a guest towel. Two cats, keeping good company as I typed. Forgotten diorama. Scenes from a party. Glorious wedges of lemon. Christine and her laughter and the hug when I walked in the front door. Memories embedded in concrete. A chicken car. Lychee martinis at sunset at the rooftop bar. Santa Monica at a perfect 72 degrees. The nut bar at Whole Foods. So many choices. The border-less geometry outside an airplane window. The stretch, the stretch, the stretch of land below, disappearing behind the glow of sunset.


Imperfectly perfect heirloom tomatoes. An iced latte after lunch, at the apex of heat. A bike path that almost never ends. Tea on an unexpectedly cool night. The simple joy of reading in the same room that my mother is in. Her sweet house with the curvy driveway and the mint growing just outside the breezeway door.


A river running through the whole state. Strips of carrot on a dinner salad. A tumble of watermelon. What 75 cents will buy you at a community yard sale. Four days of 4-and-a-half milers to the pond and back, the astonishing gift of health and resilience and for how the body wants to remember itself. Small highways that lead to green and more green. A new idea, burgeoning, thrilling itself into being.


There are so many ways to tell the story. It is alright to begin here. Or here. Or here.