“I was born to love. I'm gonna learn to love without fear. Pour me a glass of wine, Talk deep into the night, Who knows what we'll find?
” (over the rhine)
Friday night. The week sits on my shoulders like ten extra pounds. I think—you don’t need to carry this…and shrug a little.
Dusk is my favorite time of day. I sit out on the back porch smoking in honor of my favorite porch sitting smokers. And the metro passes, the crickets are singing, there are still leaves on the trees but things are just just beginning to turn toward winter. Autumn is walking up the sidewalk in front of my house, and she is about to knock on the door.
"Don't see me only as I am but see me how I long to be. Shining like a flowering tree under a gray Pennsylvania sky. Look for me as you go by
I hear sounds coming from other apartments—we all have our windows open to the oncoming night—people making dinner, someone talking on the phone. The black cat that often slinks around comes slinking around. She sits on the steps that lead to the basement and looks up at me with her bright eyes and white-inside ears. She blinks long slow blinks, but keeps watching me. We have prolonged eye contact. She has secrets to tell. Maybe she just wants to say, “Isn’t this october evening just beautiful?” She hangs out with me a few more minutes and promptly steals away as neighbors come downstairs for their evening out. I want to be old fashioned and say: “Good evening” but instead I say, “Hi,” and they are on their way.
Listen closely, you can almost hear it: “Don’t be hiding in sorrow, or clinging to the past. With your beauty so precious, and the season so fast. No matter how cold the horizon appears, or how far the first night when I held you near-- You gotta rise from these ashes like a bird of flame. Step out of the shadow: We’ve gotta go where we can shine
Lately I find that we apologize to one another for what we think we are: “ I am a loner, a loser, a complicated wreck.”* Well, maybe it’s true. But usually it’s not. And how great is it to find that occasionally we are, and someone still loves us in spite of it? Isn’t this, in the end, what allows us to change?
……“We gotta go
Where we can shine
The cat is now making her rounds through the parking lot, weaving among the cars and stopping to paw at something in the grass underneath golden glow of the street light. The fire escape lamp is buzzing, and star number one has entered the scene, looking for her number two. It really is a strangely ugly yet lovable place back here. Citynightparadise.
In a little bit I will reunite with old friends and drink some wine, play some cards, tell some stories, and laugh. We come to the table knowing each other’s complicated wreck stories, and we realize that they make us who we are but don’t have to define us.
We find ourselves waking up to love and absolutely terrified. And shouldn’t we be? And shouldn’t we at some point decide to take the leap? Inside all of us is this restless flurry of terror and hope and worry and exhultation. "Every burden shall be lifted. Every stone upon your back slide into the sea. It's me for you and you for me
We know we are alive. It is poignant, and it is what matters.
Cheers to moments just like these.
“For all that we struggle, and all we pretend…It don’t’ come down to nothin but Love in the end
.” * From: The Holiday
song lyrics from over the rhine, david gray, the innocence mission