“today, my grandpa keeps an old, candid photo on his nightstand of my grandma and him laughing together at some party in the 1960’s. my grandma passed away from cancer in 1999 when I was 7. this evening when i was at his house, my grandpa caught me staring at the photo. he walked up, hugged me from behind and said, remember, just because something doesn’t last forever, doesn’t mean it wasn’t worth your while.”
“it won’t always be easy but we’ll always be laughing. or crying sometimes, i don’t know, but either way we’ll always be feeling, and that’s huge because plenty of married couples eventually get to the point where they forget to feel. and i know we’re not perfect and things get weird but we take care of each other and we’re each other’s home and really, what else is there?”
- mila jaroniec, will you marry me?
lover? i don’t know. i don’t know if she loves me. i don’t know if i love her.
all i can say is, she’s the one i think about. all the time. she’s the voice i want to hear. she’s the face i hope to see.
- Sophie Kinsella, I’ve Got Your Number, 427
join me on my preschool adventures-
my custom has always been to ponder grief; that is, to follow it through ventricle and aorta to find out its lurking places. that old weight in the chest, telling me there is something i must dwell on, because i know more than i know and must learn it from myself.
- Marilynne Robinson, Gilead, 179
a flicker of recognition lit his eyes as he glanced back at me and said hi with a lilt of surprise before stepping off the train, plainly caught off guard by the sudden familiarity tucked between the endless strangers idling in standby, energy-saving mode as they waited to reach the people that would bring them to life with their own warming light of simply being known.
i have long since reached the conclusion that life is inherently and heartbreakingly lonely. our individual experiences may not be singular, but we—the tapestry of all we have ever experienced and known and loved—are entirely singular. we are stranded within ourselves and our desperate desire to be known blazes fiercely like a smoke signal that will be seen and felt but never truly answered.
we see these lights in each other. we share looks and experiences and fragments of lifetimes and momentarily, the light appears to fill the emptiness that surrounds us- some lights flicker only briefly, others flare up and die within days, but then there are the lights that blaze steadily, reaching every hidden and hard-to-reach place of the very contours of our lives and our hearts are so eager to believe that the impossible distance we have lived with all of our lives might finally be breached, that the loneliness that has always cloaked our hearts might finally be shed.
but inevitably, lights flicker and fade and with it fades the illusion that the depths of our loneliness have finally been filled in for good. at the end of the day, we are still stranded within our own existence and though we may be so lucky as to be loved, we will always live within our own loneliness.
two guys & a cajon
“for the first couple years that you’re making stuff, what you’re making isn’t so good, okay? it’s not that great. it’s trying to be good. it has ambition to be good, but it’s not quite that good. but your taste, the thing that got you into the game, your taste is still killer. and your taste is good enough that you can tell that what you’re making is kind of a disappointment to you, y’know what i mean?”
yes, i know what you mean- an emphatic yes. i have taken up permanent residence in that gap between my critical eye for good compositions, whether of brushstrokes or words, and my ability to create my own when faced with a blank page and i am intimately acquainted with the disappointment that alone seems to bridge the gap.
[he] said, “i would never have thought this place could be beautiful. i’m glad to know that.”
- Marilynne Robinson, Gilead, 15
he didn’t say much, but she could tell he was really sad. you’re probably the only person i’ll ever know who has a red clarinet, he said.
that could be true, she said, but think of all the other colors.
- Joyce Maynard, The Usual Rules, 370