the process

I took a walk yesterday evening. I like to walk despite the fact I like to run. I came home after work, after teaching a piano lesson. And decided to walk. Even though. I had a dishwasher to unload. Clothes to fold. Emails to read and respond to. I decided to take a walk. Even though I recently returned from Boston where I walked. A lot. And following Boston I spent a little while in NYC. Where I also walked. Quickly trying to keep up with my college student daughter.

I’ve found walking is one of the best ways to process. All my thoughts. Or, to think about what’s right there in front of me. A white rose. Boys playing basketball. Dogs. A little league team practicing fall ball. Houses for sale. Passing homes of people I know. The park. Art. Grass. Trees. It’s my world. My little route.

I remembered something my mother said to me when I was, I don’t know, maybe twenty years old. I can’t recall her exact words. But something to the effect.

You love the people you love wholeheartedly. You love with a passion. You are loyal and don’t give up. You hold on.

Interesting thoughts. I actually considered this a few days ago. Not sure when. I’m not completely sure if she meant it as a compliment. I would guess she did but it was more like a casual observation. And when I think about it now, all these years later, I realize it is true. I don’t love all that many people. In the sense of true, complete, give your whole heart to, kind of love. But those I do. Well, it’s an all in sort of thing. I say “I love you” sometimes. When I drop off the girls I’m close to. Even though it’s due to work it’s not because of work I love them. And I say it. My children, of course, I love. More than the world, I tell them. Others.

I find myself unsure. What do you say to a girl who is fourteen and is crying because a boy who was sixteen is now dead. Gunshot. Grief. She is strong and sassy and a lot to deal with but she is crying and I have no clue so I try my best and hope. And realize all I can ever do is love her. Even though.

So much can happen in a day. So many thoughts. Emotions. So much has to get done. Accomplished. People ask question after question and I have to answer due to obligation. Yet. I am reminded. There’s a girl who faced a difficult situation. A boy who is struggling. My own ghosts. And I celebrate a day when I don’t cry in private because of the overwhelming nature of all the thoughts convening upon my mind simultaneously. While all the while realizing how beautiful. How absolutely beautiful the world is when just one thing is right. All it takes is that one thing to be right and all else. Matters not.

Everything is going to change. And that realization stings. It actually more than stings. It burns. A hole in my heart and yet makes room to replace what the fire is going to destroy. Always making room for the next. Yet there is a part which will never, ever be consumed.

A day brings so many thoughts. So many situations. And I am forced to admit I am tired. Exhausted. Not just because of physical weariness. Due instead to the crises. Multiple situations which weigh on anyone who has a semblance of justice. The bigger scale. And the smaller. People’s stories. Their very personal lives which intersect and contribute to the whole.

Saying goodbye is hard. Don’t we all know that, though? I said goodbye to my son on Saturday. Then to my daughter. On Sunday after breakfast in Manhattan. Which is a gift. To say goodbye is a gift when you know it is really “until next time.” Goodbye is a gift when you realize the separation is what has to be, in order that…

If I do, in fact, hold on. If I hold onto those I love I do not regret that fact. Because the greatest order, beyond law and rule, is to love. I heard it today. Love is all you need. If that, too, is a fact. Well then, why not be all in?

The process of articulating my thoughts, exposing them first to my own cognition, then assembling what’s appropriate to share with others, is imperative. Yet, overwhelmingly difficult. I find myself separating. Segmenting. Holding onto much. Closing in. Listening to music my dad prefers because it’s well, a connection. Back to people I love and the reminders. Of home and all the changes which occurred between the 1970s record player and today. The home of twenty-one years as compared to all the fragments. The stability. The dreams. The uncertainty. The process of bringing it all together in a tangible form, whether if only in my mind.

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