I find myself counting the days until Sunday so I can tell you a new story. Whataweek it’s been. How about them Cubbies? That’s pretty exciting, and darn near impossible to believe. On Friday I pitched for this thing in front of a ton of people… Terrifying but do one thing at least once a week that scares the crap out of you, amiright?
Do you ever do that thing where you look a person. Perhaps they are a stranger on the street or at the grocery store. But you look at them and create an entire storyline in your head? I decided that instead of going around looking at people like they were strangers, or objects in my way, I was going to remind myself that they each had their own story. An exercise in human mindfulness, if you will. I’ve found I have more patience for people when I think about them in these terms. But if you thought I was weird before, you should see me walking around now with that faraway look in my eyes…
Anyways, so I love living in Phinney Ridge. Over the summer, Seattle did that neighborhood “Seattle Night Out” or whatever it was called. Since the one on our street was happening right in front of our driveway we went and actually met our neighbors and hung out in the street and drank Lillet out of Solo cups. It was quaint, and since then it’s been much easier to say hello to the lady across the street, or the neighbors next door or up the hill.
A few weeks ago at the second-to-last farmers market we ended up in this little group of all the people who live on our street and it was one of the most magical of moments I had experienced all year. The sun was doing that thing where it illuminated everything as if it were a painting. It just felt like a movie. The couple who live next door with their spirited daughter, Stella. The old lady across the street. The odd couple halfway up the hill. My roommate and myself (who I’m more than certain they all think we’re together). But we were there in this moment of solidarity, standing in a little circle and it was amazing.
Yesterday the roommate and myself attempted to do yard work. We were finishing for the day and the neighbor came over and gave us freshly caught crabs! Then he said “Why don’t I just cook those for you,” and he did and it was by far the best unplanned dinner I have had in a long time. It more than makes up for the water/sump pump/rain buckets that run all night long outside my bedroom window. But how wonderful and PNW-y was that? And having neighbors that you talk to! It’s like a thing out of TV. I walked to the market up the hill, and said hi to the lady who’s always working on the little fence in front of her yard. I waved to the hardware store guys who were closing up shop for the night.
The simplest of things are sometimes the best. There is this billboard at a church down the street that says “live everything like it’s a miracle” and for some reason I really need that right now. The fact that you had to get through every single moment to get to the one you are at right now is downright incredible. Even though everything feels so up in the air and even at times, rather fucking difficult, every single thing is most definitely a miracle in some form.
How do we remember to pay attention to the little things? Everything has it’s story to tell, if we let it. How do we put up just enough of a wall to protect ourselves, but allow the light to get through? That’s my struggle these days. I want to wear my heart on my sleeve and share 100% of everything I think and feel with the world, but I don’t want the world to turn around and use that against me. And the feelings! They just. Don’t. Stop. It feels challenging, and wonderful, and impossible yet that darn optimism is always there, so hard.
So here I am, another week wiser (or whatever), somewhere between my poker face and my over-shares. I still don’t know what to be for Halloween. The Cubs are in the World Series and that’s crazy to me. When we all lived in the Midwest, my family would meet at least once a summer and do a Red-line double hitter where we’d catch a Cub or Sox game in the morning and then the other in the evening. I remember watching the Cubs as a kid. With the exception of a few of the Sammy Sosa years, they were always kind of a meh team. It would be pretty cool to see them win.
Sorry Magellan, this letter is a little all over the place. I know you are about to head to China, so as a parting thought from one of my Polaroid film inserts: “What is beautiful, if not the Impossible” -Gustave Flaubert