Arrival

My past is so alive I feel like I can touch it. Sometimes I think it’s not that way for others. Or maybe it’s only that way for poets, who pull from every scene to make a new scene on the page.

Time traveling is an actual pleasure of mine, too, because I think some of my memories are so good. So good that when I was living them, I couldn’t always believe they were mine. Like that song I love with the line, “I’m waiting for my real life to begin.” My real life was often larger than life. Dean Purtle showing me how to starch and press a pair of pants. Talking to my history professor as I was perched up in my favorite tree while he stood below. Flirting in the back of the restaurant with the other bus person at the job I loved to hate.

I have an angst-ridden soul but looking back I can see how truly great my life has been: all those opportunities I did take. The time I went spelunking in that cave in Appalachia, terrified and practicing bravery. Not being brave when my husband and I were stuck in a cave during an August rainstorm in the hills of Umbria. Running along the hot asphalt at 3 pm through the suburbs of Minneapolis, willing myself toward that runner’s high with every footstep.

All that came before us always leads us to this sweet moment. Even when the moments aren’t sweet. Like when I had to learn patience for my daughter who struggled mightily when it came to learning how to read. All that time I spent as a counselor at the camp for people with special needs as a teen: that lived in the back of my mind. Not knowing Annie’s outcome terrified me, but I knew I had it in me to be with her and meet her needs. The memory of that camp and the sweet 6-year-old I spent a week with actually buoyed me in some strange way in that tutoring room.

I don’t know what I’m trying to say, yet I keep trying to write this blog every day. To show up here and play with my memory and the now while wondering at the future. A friend recently told me that she suddenly has a new job after not being completely with her old job. She pulled a lever to try to reach for more fulfillment and boom: new job. Life is weird like that. And all that piles up behind us makes a path, not linear, that leads to the now. The now of me typing this blog when I should be fact checking for a travel magazine. With that, I’m outta here. See you tomorrow.

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