I sit here on a Saturday night thinking back on this weekend, and so many things are screaming at me to shout at once that I don't know how I will sort them all out in my head. Honestly, it's already too late for that because I had this idea earlier on Wednesday or Thursday I don't know which, and I can't remember it for the life of me. Epiphanies come at the most unfortunate times for me, times when I don't have a pen or a notebook, times when my mind is throwing sentences at me that I'll never remember later. But I've come to realize that the times aren't really what are unfortunate, it's the state of myself when my epiphanies encounter me. Usually I'm sitting in self-pity, doubting my abilities as a writer, telling myself I'm foolish for even wanting to be one.
But then. Then I pick up "Meditations of a Movable Chair" by Andre Dubus, and I KNOW that I am a writer and that I can't deny it forever. It's always other people who point me back to my calling, and they don't even know it...
The first one was my brother. His birthday was this week, and he's far away, in LA. But I got to celebrate him alone, talking with my mom, and really thinking about who he is, who he's become so far. And I can't help thinking, how brave, how very brave. Both of them really, just got up and left for LA one snowy day and they're making their way. I thought, when would I have the guts to do that, to stop following the status quo? I don't know.
The second was Ashley, my brother's old high school friend who came by to visit. She's going back to school, culinary school. Because she doesn't want to live her life doing something she doesn't want to do, to be stuck in this podunk town with the nearest Walmart twenty minutes away. I looked at her and said, "How cool." And I felt a sense of life, of urgency, of youth, flood my veins.
Then my best friend Jessica. Choosing between schools for radiology. She talked about how choosing the one in Cedar Rapids was safer. She already has living and a job after all. But then she started talking about Chicago, and her eyes lit up. Not just for the excitement of a change of pace but for a life not yet realized, of something bigger than what she had for herself. For new experience, hmm, for life.
I was reading Dubus's vignettes, and I wanted to jump around the room, to run like a giddy child, because this is my passion. And everyone should feel like this about something in their lives. About multiple things, as I realized I feel the same way about relationships and students. I will fight through fights with people I love because I believe in them, I will fight for the education of my students because I believe in them, I will fight to be a writer against all odds because I believe that stories matter. And the reason I believe this is true because mine does, matter I mean. And the reason it does is because God said so.
All of these brave souls believe in something transcendent, in something bigger than they can see. Some would say it's foolishness. I say it's faith. And faith is the most beautiful adjective ever realized.