It is possible that things will not get better
than they are now, or have been known to be.
It is possible that we are past the middle now.
It is possible that we have crossed the great water
without knowing it, and stand now on the other side.
Yes: I think that we have crossed it. Now
we are being given tickets, and they are not
tickets to the show we had been thinking of,
but to a different show, clearly inferior.
Check again: it is our own name on the envelope.
The tickets are to that other show.
It is possible that we will walk out of the darkened hall
without waiting for the last act: people do.
Some people do. But it is probable
that we will stay seated in our narrow seats
all through the tedious denouement
to the unsurprising end—riveted, as it were;
spellbound by our own imperfect lives
because they are lives,
and because they are ours.
~ By Robyn Sarah from A Day’s Grace.
Copyright: The Porcupine’s Quill. Reprinted with Permission.
I read this poem back in September and fell in love with it, of course, for its understated truth, for its faint note of nostalgia, for the reason that – sigh, oh maybe because I’m just cheesy like that. But it struck a chord, and here’s why:
The other day I was talking to a friend about an oblique topic: the future vs. the present (*cue jazz hands and ominous background music*). We are both at that stage in our lives when we feel like we’re, one, wondering what the heck we’re doing with our lives, and two, waiting for life to “happen.” College was one chapter, a difficult and wonderful and altogether-too-fast read, but with that behind me now, what comes next?
Certainly, my mind flip-flops between treating this current stage in my life (in my opinion, not one of my more successful chapters) as transient, temporary at best, and the feeling that I’m stuck in this plot-line indefinitely. Waiting in rush-hour on the way back from teaching lessons, I let my thoughts wander: a new job, a new place, starting over, a change of pace. Once I have these things, I tell myself, once I can stand on my own two feet, armed with a better job and higher prospects, (I know it’s bad when I start to delve into Jane Austen territory – higher prospects, what on earth), I will be able to live – to really live.
But this IS life. And it’s happening NOW. And just because it’s not the life I think I should be living, this chapter will be a part of my story no matter what. My time right now is not the ticket to the show that I’ve been thinking of, but it doesn’t mean that I can’t enjoy the performance. In fact, if I look more closely, the plot-line holds so many more surprising twists and turns than I could’ve possibly anticipated.
Our stories are imperfect – even the ones that seem perfectly glossed and put together on the outside (social media can do this to us). But they are OUR stories, and this week, I’m working on embracing mine, even being “riveted, as it were; spellbound” by life as a whole.
Song of the week: Young & Wild – The Strumbellas
A Recipe for Cold Mornings and Late Evenings
(Courtesy of A Beautiful Mess)
4-5 cups apple juice
½ teaspoon cinnamon
¼ teaspoon nutmeg
Heat the apple juice and spices over low/medium heat and stir often. Pour into mugs and enjoy!
(Makes two servings).