Time Capsule Thursdays, in which I pause and notice. And write down what might otherwise go forgotten. And am inspired by Mary Oliver’s poem “Gratitude” (in What Do We Know). And honor age-old wisdom (bloggingly exemplified over at The Fluent Self):
“Because traditions are important.”
If a heart can feel destitute in the company of a thought? That’s how it was for mine one day last winter. The thought?
“It’d be OK if that truck hit you. It really wouldn’t matter, just as long as it all happened quickly.”
Who wouldn’t feel lonely believing that thought!
(This gets better. Much! I promise. It’s not really about that, although noticing that thought is what pointed to something truer and much more exciting because that was also the day when the idea of a kind of Time Capsule began gestating.)
“Thoughts are like raindrops,” says Byron Katie. And yes, arguing with a raindrop? Useless. Silly, really, because thoughts appear. And appear. That’s what they do. Hello!
The truck passed, I crossed the street, I wiped some tears and noticed I’d just had a thought. I knew it wasn’t true. But I also knew that something in me was wanting attention. Serious attention. My attention. Like a child tugging on the hem of its mom’s skirt: Ma! I’m here! Pay me attention! The thought was the child. I was the mom. Would I scold it or hold it?
The truck-thought needed me to know how bad something inside me was feeling. It wasn’t a new thought. I’d had it before. Many times. But years ago I hadn’t known how to meet it with kindness and understanding. Rather, I had believed it. And where my actions had taken me wasn’t a pretty place. Necessary, because that is what happened, but not pretty.
But this was now, and because I hadn’t banished the truck-thought like some evil intruder but rather noticed it kindly, there was room for my mind—agile and winged bird that it is—to hold the truck-thought’s hand even while it started bringing me presents, showing me thing upon thing that I love. And the urge to write those things down has been threatening to explode my chest.
Which brings me to this Time Capsule tradition thingie
On that day last winter my mind’s eye showed me the picture of a girl that doesn’t really want to die. Oh no. Rather, she adores life. (It just feels like a lot sometimes). And in the space of awareness and kindness toward everything inside me, I saw a girl needing to express all that she keeps pent up: all that she loves: all manner of things like slices of memories, things observed, comments overheard, rolling laughter, innocent gestures, loves made, loves lost, fears… In short, all. Yes, all the stuff of being a human on this dear Earth of ours.
(Please know that I was not on that day last winter, nor am I now, suicidal. Indeed, if everyone were held to task for the thoughts that cross their minds in a dark moment, we’d all be in prison. Or hospitalized. Often!)
And now, without further ado, Welcome to Heidi’s first ever Time Capsule Thursday. Pop the corks. Throw confetti. Pass around the chocolate cigars. Heidi is starting a little tradition of her own: a weekly slice to honor life.Italicized* questions are from Mary Oliver’s poem
What did you notice?*
Raindrops in a row like upside-down birds on the telephone wire
What did you hear?*
The rushing wind making love in the branches of the maples.
What astonished you?*
The sheen of city lights on wet pavement at dusk
What would you like to see again?*
The children running through the fountain
wearing nothing but undies and grins.
The red-winged blackbirds flying
from stalk to tree top to stalk in the marsh.
What was most tender?*
The old man in his suit on his bike
What took you back?
REO Speedwagon from the radio in the kitchen at Renee’s Diner
Where did it take you?
Quito, Ecuador. Junior Year. Boarding school.
“I don’t want to sleep. I just want to keep on loving you”
What made you cry?
A big brown beautiful bear in my boarding school dream.
Wild and closed in. He won’t leave until I let him.
What did you think was happening?*
I was changing in spite of myself.
That’s this week’s slice, my friends! Feel free to join in with noticings—big or small, happy or sad, old or new—of your own. No pressure, but, I would LOVE that. Just one request: kindly withhold from offering advice. Thank you!