Jul 28 2010


Yesterday I had lunch with one of my best friends. We talked for two hours straight, about life and change and patterns and life. I gave advice and got advice and on the way home, I thought about that, about how wonderful it is to have friends to share what we’ve experienced along our path. And then I thought, but what have I learned?  Do I have any insight to offer?

Because the more I learn, the less I know.

I feel like that in itself is just the right amount of wisdom. To understand that there is so much I don’t know, can’t know, will never know.

I am totally okay with the not knowing. Actually I am more than okay with it, I love that I have figured this out, relatively early in my life. It feels a little zen, that phrase, and is one of my mantras, along with this one: the only person whose behavior I can control is my own.

It all sounds so simple, until you think about it, apply it, live it.
I guess that is the whole concept behind a zen phrase, right?

And perhaps I am just really stupid and should have figured both things out a long time ago. But I didn’t, I only just figured them out in the last five years. But these two phrases have, in so many ways, changed my life. For the better, and better late than never.

Why doesn’t life come with a manual? They don’t teach you this stuff in school, they teach you math and science and grammar (well, they used to teach you grammar) and maybe even how to make a pizza, or build a bird house. But they don’t teach you how much you don’t know about life. They don’t even hint at it, they just send you out in the world to be blindsided. No one tells you how many times, in how many ways, your heart will be broken. How many moments of joy you will witness. How many people will mark your days. No one teaches you to appreciate the beauty that is life.

Perhaps I wouldn’t have listened, back then. When you are young, you think you already know everything. I wonder what happens when you are old, really, really old? Do you understand at the end, that you know nothing? And is that a relief? I feel like it would be.
I feel like that is where I want to end up.

I chose this path, and I like the direction I am headed in.

I know that much.

And just now, that is enough.

Jun 26 2010

training wheels

Forty-seven is a strange age, not exactly old, but not really young, either. And of course, that is why it’s called middle age.

But with this age, this middleness, come revelations, realizations, determination.

Life speeds up as you get older, but your body slows down.

I want to run more and more and more, but am able to do so less and less and less. I want to stay up very late to finish a book, but my eyes start to droop around midnight. I want to spring clean my house all in one day and have energy left over for dinner. I want to stay outside playing until it grows dark and someone calls me in.
I want more. More time.

I don’t want to reinvent the wheel, I just want a newer bicycle. One without any rust or scars or missing spokes. One that lets you pedal backwards when you want to, in case you missed something. I want to understand life before it’s too late, while I still have time to enjoy it. I want to appreciate, while I still have the strength to pedal.

I have wobbled and wiggled for 47 years, trying to maintain my balance. Now I think I am ready to pare things down, remove that extra set of wheels, pick up speed. I want to fly down a hill with the wind in my hair, or coast past my house with my hands waving high in the sky.

I want to let go. Of things, emotions, barriers, clutter. All that clumsy baggage that keeps me from gliding along, bumps and potholes that make for a very rough ride. I want the life that I have and the life that I want to become the very same thing. I want to ride into the sunset, keep going all night, and circle the sun at dawn. I want to race time with one eye on the prize.

I have no illusions, I know I will fall. Plenty of times.

But that’s okay, I plan to get right back up.

Unless, of course, I break a hip.

And then I’m going to cry like a baby.