I dread the beginning of her new life more than words can tell, but I see some hope for her if she travels – none if she remains at home.
Scientifically, I know beginnings don't exist. The world is made of energy, which is neither created or destroyed. Everything she is was here before me. Everything she was will remain. Her existence touches both my past and my future at one point- infinity. Lifelines aren't lines at all. They are more like circles.Its safe to start anywhere and the story will curve its way back to the starting point. Eventually.In other words, it doesn't matter where I begin. It doesn't change the end.
The books transported her into new worlds and introduced her to amazing people who lived exciting lives. She went on olden-day sailing ships with Joseph Conrad. She went to Africa with Ernest Hemingway and to India with Rudyard Kipling. She travelled all over the world while sitting in her little room in an English village.
When I consider life, 't is all a cheat.Yet fool'd with hope, men favour the deceit;Trust on, and think to-morrow will repay.To-morrow 's falser than the former day;Lies worse, and while it says we shall be blestWith some new joys, cuts off what we possest.Strange cozenage! none would live past years again,Yet all hope pleasure in what yet remain;And from the dregs of life think to receiveWhat the first sprightly running could not give.
I don't hate it here," she said automatically. Surprising herself, she realized that as much as she'd been trying to convince herself otherwise, she was telling the truth. "It's just that I don't belong here."He gave her a meloncholy smile. "If it's any consolation, when I was growing up, I didn't feel like I belonged here, either. I dreamed about going to New York. But it's strange, because when I finally escaped this place, I ended up missing it more than I thought I would. There's something about the ocean that just calls to me.
Dread was always with her, an alarm system in her head, alertto her next disaster.Despite being resigned to a life of misfortune, she becameresourceful.She grudgingly noticed that things always worked out, evenwhen she claimed defeat.An inconvenient truth, yet it was right there, in her face,betraying her self-punishments and assumptions.She kept overcoming things, dammit, aggravating herself.She still felt so much joy, despite her efforts to be miserable.Her life was full of miracles and spectacles that she was afraidto rely on so she didn’t know how to enjoy, how to be thankful,without guilt.She didn’t want to win and she didn’t want to lose.Ambiguity intrigued her and she found passion in the gapsbetween hope and despair.
Where my soul went during that swoon I cannot tell. Whatever she saw, or wherever she travelled in her trance on that strange night she kept her own secret; never whispering a word to Memory, and baffling imagination by an indissoluble silence. She may have gone upward, and come in sight of her eternal home, hoping for leave to rest now, and deeming that her painful union with matter was at last dissolved. While she so deemed, an angel may have warned her away from heaven's threshold, and, guiding her weeping down, have bound her, once more, all shuddering and unwilling, to that poor frame, cold and wasted, of whose companionship she was grown more than weary.I know she re-entered her prison with pain, with reluctance, with a moan and a long shiver. The divorced mates, Spirit and Substance, were hard to re-unite: they greeted each other, not in an embrace, but a racking sort of struggle.
For JennAt 12 years old I started bleeding with the moonand beating up boys who dreamed of becoming astronauts.I fought with my knuckles white as stars,and left bruises the shape of Salem.There are things we know by heart,and things we don't. At 13 my friend Jen tried to teach me how to blow rings of smoke.I'd watch the nicotine rising from her lips like halos,but I could never make dying beautiful.The sky didn't fill with colors the night I convinced myselfveins are kite strings you can only cut free.I suppose I love this life,in spite of my clenched fist.I open my palm and my lifelines look like branches from an Aspen tree,and there are songbirds perched on the tips of my fingers,and I wonder if Beethoven held his breaththe first time his fingers touched the keysthe same way a soldier holds his breaththe first time his finger clicks the trigger.We all have different reasons for forgetting to breathe.But my lungs rememberthe day my mother took my hand and placed it on her bellyand told me the symphony beneath was my baby sister's heartbeat.And I knew life would tremblelike the first tear on a prison guard's hardened cheek,like a prayer on a dying man's lips,like a vet holding a full bottle of whisky like an empty gun in a war zone…just take me just take meSometimes the scales themselves weigh far too much,the heaviness of forever balancing blue sky with red blood.We were all born on days when too many people died in terrible ways,but you still have to call it a birthday.You still have to fall for the prettiest girl on the playground at recessand hope she knows you can hit a baseballfurther than any boy in the whole third gradeand I've been running for homethrough the windpipe of a man who singswhile his hands playing washboard with a spoonon a street corner in New Orleanswhere every boarded up window is still painted with the wordsWe're Coming Backlike a promise to the oceanthat we will always keep moving towards the music,the way Basquait slept in a cardboard box to be closer to the rain.Beauty, catch me on your tongue. Thunder, clap us open.The pupils in our eyes were not born to hide beneath their desks.Tonight lay us down to rest in the Arizona desert,then wake us washing the feet of pregnant womenwho climbed across the border with their bellies aimed towards the sun.I know a thousand things louder than a soldier's gun.I know the heartbeat of his mother.Don't cover your ears, Love.Don't cover your ears, Life.There is a boy writing poems in Central Parkand as he writes he movesand his bones become the bars of Mandela's jail cell stretching apart,and there are men playing chess in the December coldwho can't tell if the breath rising from the boardis their opponents or their own,and there's a woman on the stairwell of the subwayswearing she can hear Niagara Falls from her rooftop in Brooklyn,and I'm remembering how Niagara Falls is a city overrunwith strip malls and traffic and vendorsand one incredibly brave river that makes it all worth it. Ya'll, I know this world is far from perfect.I am not the type to mistake a streetlight for the moon.I know our wounds are deep as the Atlantic.But every ocean has a shorelineand every shoreline has a tidethat is constantly returningto wake the songbirds in our hands, to wake the music in our bones,to place one fearless kiss on the mouth of that brave riverthat has to run through the center of our heartsto find its way home.