i often have this sensation where my heart feels so full that nothing more could possibly fit in. like a balloon stretched to capacity. i am grateful for these moments. i’m grateful that i recognize these moments. i marvel at how it is possible to be fueled by this much happiness. i keep thinking, surely there’s a limit – right? everyone gets a particular allotment and i must be reaching my capacity soon. but it doesn’t unfold that way. my heart keeps expanding to allow more in. the sense of peace grows. the pure unbridled joy at being alive seems infinite and there for the taking, and i, like a greedy child, barely pause to take a breath.
i guess one thing i’ve never really excelled at is pessimism. i have tried shutting myself out from the world a few times in my life. but that sun outside was always too bright and sneaky. it would leak its way in and dance around me until i sighed and went outside. and the world outside did a fine job of slapping me in the face with its normalcy. people with smiling eyes. the supermarket – a hive of activity. the pulse of life all around moving forward, unhindered by my personal crisis. and then there is the ultimate anger obliterator – nature. oooh look at me, i’m a pretty iridescent beetle. admire me! wonder at my emerald green wings. the trees turning red and gold peer-pressured me into admitting their beauty. cynicism was a losing battle. even my stint with cigarettes didn’t usher me into the dark pit of despair i was aiming for.
my friends have always been the kind that would never allow me to waste away for long. i vividly remember marabeth and leanna showing up at my first apartment in nashville, where i would walk aimlessly from one cold nearly-empty room into another. all the curtains were drawn. me in my pajamas for three days straight, eyes dark from a torrent of tears. they were all business. ordered me to get changed. we were going outside. i was going to be fed. they didn’t like the ‘whittled away’ look i guess.
today, i thought about my friend, kathy grammer who passed away almost one year ago. i thought about how she entered my life with impeccable timing. she and a few other key women in my life began the process of handing me the needle and thread as i fumbled to stitch together my broken world. the love, patience, and understanding that kathy exuded filled my heart. she is missed by many. she is missed by me.