Here, now

I don’t know how it’s possible that I didn’t know this song before.  Ray Lamontagne’s Be Here Now has been on repeat, in my car and on my computer, in my head, for the last many days.

It’s not a secret that these have been raw, vulnerable weeks for me.  January brought with it a new and intense awareness of how fragile everything is, one that I did not anticipate as the year turned.  I’ve been walking and listening and crying and reading and hugging my children.  I have been watching the light.  Some days the lengthening of the days feels so visceral, it’s as though I can literally feel the earth turning under my feet.

I can tell I’m particularly porous these days because, even more than usual, I’m crying at everything.  I feel more aware than ever of the extraordinary magnificence of this life.  I walk into Grace’s room and find this on the floor, a drawing from her brother, and dissolve into tears.  Tears of gratitude and tears that acknowledge the unavoidable, blinding pain of this moment’s impermanence.

I cried reading the book that Whit brought home from the library, a frankly poetic picture book called Moonshot, about the flight of Apollo 11.  The description of walking on the moon, in a place where nobody had ever been before, was so full of palpable wonder my expansive emotions overran my body, leaking out in tears.  I wonder how much of Whit’s current fixation with space, the planets, and flight is wound up with the way I keep seeing the moon rising.  A few weeks ago everybody in his class had to pick a biography from the library to bring home and read with their parents.  His choice of Amelia Earhart, predictably, made me cry.

I’ve walked by this window in the Nike store several times, and I’ve even stopped to photograph it before.  But last week I read the words, now familiar, and gasped at their truth.  As much as it feels I’ve plumbed those limits, the truth is I have no idea.  None of us ever can.

One afternoon last week Grace, Whit and I went to Mount Auburn, one of our favorite places.  It was deserted and quiet and the late-afternoon painted everything gold.  We wandered around, noticing things everywhere.  Grace and Whit are drawn to the wild and peaceful place as surely as am I.  They jogged and gazed and enjoyed each other’s company in a place whose every inch speaks of the power of both life and death.  More than once I had to blink back tears as I watched them.

Sometimes there is so much sweetness I can’t stand it.

Be here now.

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  1. Posted February 13, 2012 at 6:18 am | Permalink

    Oh thank you for this. That song, these words, they are exactly what I needed to hear today…

  2. Posted February 13, 2012 at 11:01 am | Permalink

    You are so HERE in this post! I love the way you take the time to put words to the chaos of feelings that most of us try to stuff away or ignore. Your porousness is your gift, and your writing infuses my day with depth and shimmer.

  3. Posted February 13, 2012 at 11:32 am | Permalink

    Love me some Ray. Gorgeous photo of Grace and Whit!

  4. Posted February 13, 2012 at 12:55 pm | Permalink

    I agree with Katrina. Most of us can’t handle the stuff you form into words. You remind me of a glassblower who takes that molten liquid that no one in their right mind would go near and turns it into art. Thank you.

  5. Posted February 13, 2012 at 1:32 pm | Permalink

    Ditto Katrina and Ditto Pamela. Just gorgeous and so, so true. Part of the reason i’ve got emotion caught in my throat: Just today, I decided to buy myself a necklace with the word Now inscribed on it.

    And on Sunday, do you know what the kids and I did? Hiked our favorite hike. And do you know what I took photos of? Them, breaking the ice of the pond.

  6. Posted February 13, 2012 at 7:01 pm | Permalink