Monday, December 28, 2009

True to Form

From Singles 2009

More wisdom from Katie Nash - via Elizabeth Berg.

I think of how once I was standing in a church on Christmas Eve. There was a spicy scent of pine in the air, candles glowed, and there was baby Jesus in a creche on the alter. There was a sermon about love and joy, about redemption. And then everyone began to sing "O Holy Night". Next to me was a woman who could not carry a tune. At first I was so annoyed, listening to her. I wondered, Why does she sing so loud when she doesn't even know how? Then I looked at her and she was so pure, staring straight ahead, her face lit from within. Something moved into my heart at that moment that I did not really understand, but I understand it now: It is never about how good your voice is; it is only about feeling the urge to sing, and then having the courage to do it with the voice you are given. It is about what people try to share with each other, even if so many of us are so off-key when we do it. It is about saying we are somewhere, when what we mean is we are as close as we are able to get.

The thing about seasons is that when you're in one, you can't believe the others will ever come back. It feels to me like summer has its feet planted far apart and its hands on its hips: I am here.

Movers will come soon, Mrs Randolph told me, to take their things away. Then the house will be empty, and then new people will be there. A little time will pass and then it will seem like the new people have always been there. The way time and situations shift is a mystery of life. The way you can't count on anything staying, that's a sadness. Only yesterday, I saw white hairs in Bones' muzzle. I lay beside him, petting him, feeling so bad that he is getting old. For his part, he just wagged his tail and enjoyed the petting, which is what I mean about animals. They don't pace around, worrying. All they do is say, fine.

One thing I know. Anything we have, we are only borrowing. Anything. Anytime.

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