today i looked into the eyes of a nine year old boy filled with absolute and pure joy - consumed by the power of music & overwhelmed by the feeling of creating something uniquely beautiful. no diagnosis, no delay, no amount of reservation could stop this child from overflowing with the joy that it is to feel alive and to feel alive in a sea of music. in an instant, all the heaviness of life passed away and these brief moments of raw humanity and the fullness of God’s perfect image shone through this boy. with what seemed like no provocation whatsoever, this sudden outburst of laughter arose from nowhere, and grew & grew until i could feel his joy within myself, and i, too, was suddenly overwhelmed by these fits of laughter. the light in his eyes was a light i will not forget, because in that moment, it seemed all in the world was right - like something clicked, and was set just so. even though we are but mere humans, we have the incredible power to reach one another in the simplest of moments. i was there with the purpose of being someone for him to lean on, someone for him to look to for guidance and direction, but instead i feel as if i was the one that was shown something. i realized that humans are humans, no matter the labels and no matter the restrictions, and there is never any knowing what one single person is capable of. i truly hope that the light in his eyes will never go out, and i hope that the light that he shone stays lit within me as i walk through this life - through this broken yet beautiful world, carrying the beautiful message that we are connected as humans in such an incredible, spiritual way, even in the most unexpected circumstances.
“You do not have to be good.
You do not have to walk on your knees
for a hundred miles through the desert, repenting.
You only have to let the soft animal of your body love what it loves.
Tell me about despair, yours, and I will tell you mine.
Meanwhile the world goes on.
Meanwhile the sun and the clear pebbles of the rain
are moving across the landscapes,
over the prairies and the deep trees,
the mountains and the rivers.
Meanwhile the wild geese, high in the clean blue air,
are heading home again.
Whoever you are, no matter how lonely,
the world offers itself to your imagination,
call to you like the wild geese, harsh and exciting –
over and over announcing your place
in the family of things.”—Mary Oliver
we sat on the bleachers at our old high school and reminisced on the days when a hot summer night meant bike rides and shenanigans in the park and bare feet. we talked about how at eighteen years old it seemed that everything in life was perfect, that we were invincible, had everything figured out. obstacles lay ahead and we knew they involved goodbyes, but we let our hair down and soaked up every hour of the boise heat. we dropped watermelons off of parking garages and climbed up camelsback in the dark. we drove too fast, played our music too loud. the world couldn’t touch us. we were young. free. naive. we thought our conversations went deeper than our skin and that everything was beautiful.
& it was.
but we were unaware of the world’s ability to shake us. what a difference a new perspective could make. how knowledge could etch itself into our fabrics so tightly that our thought processes would become something we previously would’ve deemed foreign. we’ve spent three years in completely different places, studying polar opposite subjects, and living contrasting lifestyles. but somehow sitting there, cigar in hand and smoke encircling us, on those metal benches, time seemed to stand still. our paths had diverged and now converged at the place where we had shared so many memories. and for a moment, nothing seemed to matter. not the new values we’ve uptaken, not the new differences in faith, not the new styles on our frames. but then all at once i remembered how much has changed. how much i have changed. how much i have been stretched and joyed and pained. how much i have grown into myself.
& i breathed a heavy sigh of nostalgic contentment.
“Food, fire, walks, dreams, cold, sleep, love, slowness, time, quiet, books, seasons – all these things, which are not really things, but moments of life – take on a different quality at night-time, where the moon reflects the light of the sun, and we have time to reflect what life is to us, knowing that it passes, and that every bit of it, in its change and its difference, is the here and now of what we have. Life is too short to be all daylight. Night is not less; it’s more.”—Jeanette Winterson, Why I Adore the Night
“How much of this person I called myself was actually me? And how much was not? These hands clutching the steering wheel, what percentage of them could I call my own? The scenery outside, how much of it was real? The more I thought about it, the less I seemed to understand.”—
Haruki Murakami, South of the Border, West of the Sun
read this entire gem today. that’s how good Murakami is. that’s how good.
“Afterwards I learned, that the best way to manage some kinds of painful thoughts, is to dare them to do their worst; to let them lie and gnaw at your heart till they are tired; and you find you still have a residue of life they cannot kill.”—“Phantastes,” by George MacDonald
“There is no theory. You have only to listen. Pleasure is the law. I love music passionately. And because l love it, I try to free it from barren traditions that stifle it. It is a free art gushing forth — an open-air art, boundless as the elements, the wind, the sky, the sea. It must never be shut in and become an academic art.”—Claude Debussy