Old Town Alexandria, April 23
While I try to hold off eating my mid-morning snack of potato chips and reduced fat sour cream, I fall out of myself in sorrow. A sorrow that cannot be overcome by food or time, for it is based in the gritty actuality that life is tenuous, foiled by the caprices of the space we inhabit. There is no great game plan in the sky. There is simply here and not here. This and not this.
While I contemplate evading my mother’s morning phone call, her friend sits by her daughter’s bed in a hospice. And while I was celebrating the end of the school year by having sweaty sex, a colleague, a former colleague, was also celebrating, but her celebration did not end with her worrying that she had been toyed with, hers ended with her family deciding to take her off life support.
Life has come to be a pile of transparencies, filtering every moment through remembrances. The only now is then and now. The only me is them and me. I grapple with the weight of luck that has my mouth anticipating the crunchy saltiness and tang of my snack, while my appetite is dulled by the gravity of pain. Once a certain age has passed and enough stories of loss have been shared, there is no joy, there is only living while forgetting and remembering. There is, too, in this tangled weave of lives the bounty of unending memories that make the deepest loneliness un-bereft.
I have my reading to relieve me; I have my walking to steady me; I have my writing to instruct me; I have my tears to soothe me. I have, too, anticipations and the people who continue to create my life, our lives.
Oh, the sorrow of the cyclical nature of life, of our overlapping spaces. Of the meaning of no meaning which comes down to sharing inhalations and exhalations. It is being together in all time and space, in no time and space. Living life.