Tuesday, January 29, 2008

Partly cloudy with a chance of rain....

I continue to dig through boxes, and I'm almost done. It's not easy going from a big house to living alone in a small apartment to an apartment living with Sue. All the stuff I've accumulated. Yes, I am a packrat. I keep everything. But we have to change sometimes. That's life. What's the point, where would the excitement be, if over the course of our lives we didn't change, and sometimes change dramatically? I'm learning to do it more and more, and I'm getting better and better at it. Yes, maybe it comes with age. I'm not so rigid anymore, and have always realized that if something doesn't matter twenty years from now, it's not that important today.

So, it becomes easy to just glance at a card and with a slight twist of the wrist, send it sailing into the garbage, just like we'd sail our baseball cards against the wall on the grade school playground. Still, every so often something stops me cold. Not a lot. When you look at a life like I'm looking at mine, you start to realize just how much of it is pretty constant, and unchanging. That includes what people write you in cards.

This one stopped me, though. It was a birthday card. Asian motif. First one of its kind. Before that it was all sailing motifs, lighthouses, sunsets, that kind of shit. And if anyone can get a bead on me, you know my affinity for the Asian world and Asian culture.

Funny, ironically, it's actually a Hallmark card, which, again anyone who knows me will tell you, I loathe...

The message inside reads:

courage uncovers strength,
grace reveals beauty,
time strips away the frivolous,
life layers on experience,
and you have become magnificent.

Pretty lame. It's what the sender wrote that is so beautiful, because for once it wasn't just more pages of childish fantasies or musings or wide-eyed, little school girl wishes written like a Harlequin novel. The beauty is in the truth.

It reads:

John, There's just something about this card that I like. I know things haven't been ideal lately, but hopefully it will straighten out very soon. I hope you have a wonderful birthday. I love you.

I'll leave the sender's name off. That's no one's business. Obviously this person missed my birthday. I actually remember her leaving this card and some presents at my door, sneaking away like a thief. It looks like life was getting serious, and people have such a hard time with that. Not sure why. And unfortunately, things--birthdays and things--didn't work out the way she hoped. They rarely do.

I love every aspect of life, the good, the bad, the messy, the grey area. But there are people for whom every day has to be sunny, real life scares the bejesus out of them....I guess I've seen enough stormy weather in my life that I'll take a good old partly cloudy day with a forty percent chance of afternoon thundershowers. You're assured a little sunshine, and the chance of no rain is in your favor.

But that's really about it. I was stopped for a second this afternoon, on this day when I'm sick and decided to tackle one more box.

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