Nostalgia

Talisman

Photo via Pinterest

Things are beautiful if you love them. ~Jean Anouilh

I’m intrigued by embodied memory. How in the moments-the sometimes messiness-we don’t always know everything that we still are. Or that it’s all part of what we are continuing to become. But when we look back, with an all encompassing heart and more objective mind, we can appreciate and hold all of our grace even in the midst of life’s complex gravity. Appreciate, look with wonder toward, and hold all that was good in our hearts, minds, bodies, spirits both then, and right now.

Nostalgia is both sad and sweet: it’s made up of the tenderness of ourselves that in so many waking minutes we aren’t aware of, and the present moment consciousness that catches in our throat, catches back up with us in soft, small, unexpected moments all of a sudden — making us aware enough to look back and realize that in every self-questioning step along the way, we’ve been good enough all along. And that realization feels both a little sad (for ever forgetting) and a little sweet (in re-remembering).

I sat in the sushi place, next to the foggy window and green glass water bottles, blue expanse of sky as my palm cleared the cold glass on an early February Wednesday, while outside people passed by on lunch-breaks, and inside a few sat with dining partners. After, I ran into the woman I usually see at the river, we were getting our nails done, compared notes on yoga, talked about moving and how her hands were chafed from too much tape and brown cardboard boxes. About lovers and being woken up by unexpected phone calls that unknowingly interrupt the grace of solitude that lies in quiet early morning moments. How to carve and keep sacred the space for ourselves, and still be in meaningful relationships with people we care about at the same time, how it is that people do both. The constant negotiation.

She thanked me for listening.

I poured strawberry water into my thermos and looked out the window at the 3 white wedding dresses in the windows across the street while apartment buildings and store fronts rested comfortably behind what would become month-long snow drifts. Walked through the park as the sun moved west over thin leafless treetops and tall buildings. Trapsed through trodden tracks as I went to the tea shop, the little girl parts of me choosing to slide our boots along in the snow drift alley. My eyes felt relief as they found the basket full of cookies I’d been too late for the past 2 days, and my lips laughed with the girl behind the counter while I ordered peppermint tea and we shared words around what public transportation was like in 8 foot high snow drifts when buses don’t come and train cars are over packed, and how in those conditions, the small things like a ride home from work by a friend feels precious & sacred.

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