I am sitting in a coffee shop with an iced mocha and a pile of books, because this is how I know to not be lonely, filling myself with chocolate coffee and words, forgetting the people I love are a thousand and more miles away. Not forgetting maybe so much as accepting, as hoping that we are all where we are meant to be.
Words are the stuff that dreams are made of for me, the beauty of a world that exists only in mind. Language is odd if you think too hard about it. What are words to the natural world? What are hope and beauty to rays and particles of light, gusts of wind, green things growing? We are trying to name the things we see and the things we don’t see but know are there somewhere. Sunlight means more to us than brightness from a burning sphere of hydrogen; sunlight means warmth and unfurling petals, looking ever up.
I think of the things that move me in two categories: nature and humanity, but we also are creation. The synapses that light up the human mind into both poetry and calculus are as breathtaking as the most brazen colors of sunset.
Annie Dillard reminds me of the exuberance of creation: “If we were to judge nature by its common sense or likelihood, we wouldn’t believe the world existed… No claims of any and all revelations could be so far-fetched as a single giraffe.”
And so too we humans build Eiffel Towers, paint Sistine Chapels, and speak to each other in ever-expanding vocabulary. Shakespeare added 1700 words to the English language, and we are not merely clinging to survival in frenzied reproduction–no, we tell each other stories and hold hands with interlaced fingers, asking what it means to be alive and what is worth living for.
I think these questions we carry inside us are not chance but the breath of God, and he is still breathing, in the constant business of creation.
So I am here far from home, not I think by chance but as a moment in a story spanning the universe over. I hope to spend the summer learning to tell true stories better and to live in love less focused on myself. I forgot that new cities can be daunting; community takes time.
I don’t know what my summer here will be. Jamie Tworkowski’s words keep me hoping:
“i hope for you what i hope for myself–that we might keep walking west and looking up, that we might see something wonderful.”