I am experiencing something of a tectonic shift in my foundations lately, brought on by Lingering Vacation Brain and that annual affliction known as ANTICIPATING AUTUMN. (As I told suttonhoo earlier this week, my four favorite words are "Fall in the air.") A fresh breath! I don't know yet where all of this will take us—part of the challenge and most of the reward is in allowing the roadmap to reveal itself, letting the footprints press in deep where they will—but here's what I've narrowed it down to so far:
I will be a more substantial person.
I will make something that matters to me.
I will use my time wisely and well.
I will be healthier and stronger and smarter.
I will be, and keep, good company.
Growing pains, you see? And forward goals. It's a shift that started months ago, that I've been ruminating over for weeks, recently made more urgent by posts like this and this and this by bloggers I admire who simply set out the truth and don't turn away from the feeling. (I have always turned away from the feeling, or at least apologized for the intrusion of it. My natural reflex is always the flippant remark, always to keep you at arm's length, friends and strangers alike. I am working hard at changing this habit, to find some authenticity in both the initial effort and the response, even as I work equally hard to not take myself too seriously. In truth, I do not balance easily, so this will be a messy affair.)
While I reconfigure my priorities, you can expect more talk of books, more poetry, more questioning, more honesty, less autopilot, and far less snark. Oh how I've come to loathe the snark! There are plenty of ways to be nasty but there are plenty of ways to be gentle, too, without turning into a nincompoop. Along with this some things are naturally falling to the side (TV, Twitter) while others step into the foreground (reading, education, travel). It's nothing revolutionary, simply evolution vs. stasis. Moving on vs. standing still. I'm trying to refocus my attitude and my attention and my intent, and how far I take it in this space remains to be seen. So I thank you in advance for your tolerance, because I'm not sure what it was you thought you were signing on for. Labradoodles? Go here.
In the spring I sat in a church and watched one of my brothers deliver a eulogy written by another brother for his 17-year-old daughter, and something inside me changed—imperceptibly and not all at once, but something fundamental, the way any person is changed by death, by understanding that the worst has actually happened. That for once there is no more "worst." But at the same time there is always better, and when I was with my family last week I realized that what falls can also rise. And god almighty, I cannot stand still.