I wrote Sojourn a week ago, but school kept me from posting it any sooner. Reading it over, proofreading my mind to open it to others, reminded me exactly of all the things I was feeling when I wrote it. (My most meager hope is that something even slightly similar was stirred somewhere inside my readers’ souls.)
Today I’m distracted. Not namely by those feelings, but by ones greater. (In Toy Story, Woody made the comment that Buzz wasn’t flying, he was falling with style. Well let’s face this: I’m not falling. I’m flying.) It’s kept a perpetual fire burning inside me, an eternal light, a hearth to never die down, always tended if oft unseen.
Then came the wind.
I’ve always had an affinity with the air (with my ascendant, sun, and moon all in air signs, it seems only natural), and especially with the wind. My favorite weather is somewhere in the mid sixties, high fifties with winds upwards of ten, fifteen miles an hour. When I can feel the wind resistance, I’m happy. When I can feel my clothes torn against me and my hair blown asunder, I’m happy. When the whispers of the wind drown out the moans of my own mind, I’m happy.
That’s the sort of weather we’ve got today. I took a moment to sit beside Lake Katherine and enjoy the wind, the sun, the turbulent waters as I looked along.
I was speaking earlier with one of my classmates about graduating and transferring. He and I have known each other since last spring, but for some reason we never took the opportunity to get to know each other. Now that it’s starting to finally happen, it’s a shame we never started sooner, since he is among the friends graduating this semester.
In any case: The talk goes something like this, no matter who I’m talking with: Where do I want to go? I don’t know, but my mom really wants me to go to Harvard (expanded: my first math teacher made the comment I could probably get into Harvard if I tried, so amused by that, I told my mom, and since then it’s exploded into watching every episode of Fringe and at the sight of Walter’s lab, my mom saying, “There’s your school.” As far as I’m concerned, I’m still undecided, but for her sanity if not quite for mine, I’ll apply there anyways). He was like, really, wow? Just the thought of that is pretty amazing. He seemed to think I might have a chance, and when I told my other friends, they seemed to agree. I don’t know if I like the idea myself, but who knows? It might grow on me.
It was that conversation moaning in my mind that I wished the wind would whisper away. It was a good conversation, good bonding, perhaps not covalent, but maybe ionic. Breaking bonds is simpler, though, and watching the words unwind in the wind reminded me of all the things I want in life, of all the things that so easily could be made easier, but by following certain paths will never be the same….
I was sitting a short while later inside, thinking: What people remember most about life are the people they meet, the connections they make, the moments meant to last forever. I don’t want to look back in fifty years and regret good grades because it kept me from better buys. Life can be a series of costs and payments, but I want to invest wisely. I want to put my hands and my head and my heart into what will serve me best in life, both now and then. I don’t want to put years into an ideal that won’t help me reach my own ideal–my own hopes, my own dreams, my own aspirations.
Aspirations is a good word for it. From the Latin, spiro, meaning “I breathe.” Says my personal motto (and the back of my iPod, if in English withstanding): Vivo. Spiro. Exspiro. Live. Breathe. Exhale.
I think too much. It’s my Achilles’ heel. If you want to cripple me, give me something to think about–and give me something that has no answer, or even better, no singular answer. Give me a dozen. Give me a hundred. I’ll die trying to find them all, to make sense of the whole.
My motto’s a reminder not to do that. Breathing is aspiring is thinking. Living is a momentary action, an instant in time. I need to live first. I need to think later. And when it’s all done, let it all go. Let my thoughts come out, let my thoughts leave me, to be free again, so I can live again.
Live. Breath. Exhale.
The irony: A friend once told me I put too much thought into that. Go figure.
The forecast is stormy. It’s been a long time since I’ve sat through a thunderstorm and danced in the rain. I remember when I was younger, hiding under the couch to hide from the sky, or younger still, sitting in my mother’s arms and watching the lightning illuminate our darkened living room with the curtains drawn wide. Then I remember going outside and seeing the most wondrous thing: The entire sky, blanketed by rainbows, interwoven into a basket holding each of us, holding all of us.
Then I grew up. No more curtains. No more lightning.
No more dancing in the rain. No more hiding.
No more rainbows blanketing the sky.
I don’t want to look back at this moment, when the storms were gathering, and wonder why I never danced in the rain. I don’t want to look back at this moment in life and ask myself why I didn’t live. Why I sat on the sidelines, breathing, instead of running into the storm.
I’m not falling. I refuse to fall. I’m flying, and just for today, I’m flying into the storm. Let the winds strike me down. I’ll just soar away.