we will live, we will love, until the world takes that from us

Friday, June 16, 2017

Our friend Katherine got married near Asheville a few years ago, and to celebrate—to celebrate her, to celebrate our long drive south—I found this doll, this bird-loving doll, and I bought her.

She hangs on my office wall now, a reminder of a book I wrote and believed in, a reminder of a moment when I walked into a gallery and said (no doubt, no fear), "I'll buy her." What was I thinking? Why wasn't I weighing the pros and the cons of the expense, the implications for my bank account, the long term ... what? The long-term what?

The past few years haven't been the easiest here, if you're counting all the pennies. And this past week wasn't the easiest, either, if you're counting the hard stuff, the disappointments.

But then again, sometimes we do the math all wrong. Sometimes we get lost in the debit/credit and forget what really makes the difference.

Here's what makes the difference:

I'm passionately in love with my husband after all these years. We have a son who perseveres like there is no tomorrow—he's funny, he's forthright, he's a hell of a writer, he's creative, he's kind, he's surrounded by friends, he doesn't give up on this world; he won't let me give up on the world. We have friends we love from years ago, and friends whom we're still making, and we have people who remind us that things aren't as bleak as they seem; in fact, they say, we're just wearing the wrong glasses.

This week my father called and I burst into tears; all seemed so gray. This week I thought much was over, and then important things shifted. This week I went out to dinner with my husband, and I looked at him with all my crazy love for him, and I knew, I just knew, that this love of ours, after all our years, was sweeter than our love had ever been. This week my son did something crazy cool with his crazy cool. This week a woman named Karen wrote words that saved me. This week I talked to friends, cried out to friends, spoke defiantly to friends, learned from friends, embarrassed myself and was forgiven. This week became  Friday evening, 9:38, which is right this minute, when I am writing this.

And I survived.

And we must survive.

And we will live and we will love until the world takes that from us.


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