October 29, 2009

Surprise Me

Life is full of surprises.

At least, that is what the quote says. Not to say that it isn't so.We have all been caught slightly off guard when something didn't go the way that we had anticipated. Possibly we received an extra fortune in our cookie, or we left home without an umbrella and the sky opened up and flooded us head to toe exploiting our unpreparedness...Occasionally,life bowls us over with a twelve ton ball of tragedy or heartbreak that knocks us out of our shoes and flat onto our backs...leaving us momentarily still while we wait for the wind to return to our storm bedraggled sails...THAT cannot help but be a surprise, as there is just no preparing for that...Clearly pain is not the shiny kind of surprise-not the kind we would wish for when we lean wistfully over our butter cream iced, fondant embellished birthday cake and blow out our candles aglow with promise.

To a certain point, we have the sweet,familiar comforts to look forward to... the violet colored bloom bursting through the crack in the muted pavement, the smilingly familiar face of an old friend, paying an unexpected visit...But we stop holding our breath in the anticipation of discovering anything that is truly unique. "There IS nothing new under the sun"...I am sure that I have quoted this before...it is one of those things that gnaws at my thoughts when I lie awake at night. Although it is true-it is definitely thunder stealing, in a why bother?-sort of way. Tainted with sadness-right? Because more or less,surprise-drags delicious mystery right out the door with it when it goes. Living causes a sort of amnesia that erases the breathtaking wonder of our childhood...where every new idea, each daily discovery...made life magical.We greeted each and every sun soaked morning-just KNOWING that the day was fat with surprises, bursting with undiscovered secrets. If we only kept our eyes wide open, our minds vigilant, our hands out- each of our fingers spread, our hearts stout...We...like super heroes or fairies, or explorers...or whatever we could dream up to be that day... would bust the day open like a pinata and the sweet delicious reward of victory would pour down on us from a candy filled sky.

Somewhere however, after the big lessons have been learned-after we take a few spills, after we have surrendered our youthful idealism to the oppressive, unavoidable presence of reality...Without giving it any conscious thought whatsoever-we give up on the hope that there are still any genuinely sugary sweet surprises in store. The blind faiths that we once clung to begin to lose their brilliance. We have learned the hard way that we have to ask questions, a lot of them, many of them difficult, deep and dark. If we accept and believe and pour ourselves into people, ideas, beliefs, hopes... without questions? We not only prove ourselves foolish, but our hearts get scratched and dented in the process. And the body work on a scratch and dent heart? Is costly in both tears and time...after which the weak point remains...just waiting to split at the weakened seam. And so...we disbelieve. We protect ourselves from disappointment by assuming that life has no more surprises in store for us. It is just safer that way.

That is...until one day when we, our tired feet on the trodden trail...our eyes on the destination, our minds locked in on our goals...trip over an obstacle in our path...and fall...SPLAT...hard...face planting...pleasantly into something that at first we do not recognize. Our initial reaction is to be cautious-our wall immediately starts to rise...but we reluctantly wiggle around in it a bit, spreading our toes. Then we try it on for size, move around in it...see how it feels against our skin. We allow it to convince us to lie still and let it's warmth spill thick and gooey all over our insides. And when we cease our brief struggle against the hope whose face we had forgotten, we remember how amazing it feels when our eyes twinkle and our laughter rolls out of us unchecked. We exhale the sweet breath of anticipation of what tomorrow may bring and embrace the familiar thrill of once again viewing the world through those rosy tinted shades.Pink is SO our color. And as we get reacquainted with our companion-Surprise in any of it's brilliant disguises or forms...we are suddenly sublimely aware that tomorrow, should it drop our hand that it now holds comfortingly...leaving us devastatingly desolate in the dark...with the splitting sound of our heart seam...tearing open once again...it would be worth the bliss that we experience in this moment.

And we hope...that we will remember this giddy, all consuming, powerfully inspiring feeling. That it will get us through the aching storm that will likely follow and that in spite of the rain, we will keep being surprised...because it is worth the cost.

So please...even if I kick and scream...occasionally reveal my fangs...

Surprise Me

October 25, 2009

Come Back Tomorrow

Making our way through daily life is best accomplished with a strut, a bounce, a glide, a stomp...perhaps even a swagger-if you JUST can't help yourself...Pick your poison. But today? I was lucky to pull off a languid, slovenly,slide...That twinkly spark that keeps us all moving uniquely throughout the day leaving our stamp on our minor victories and minute interactions-was lost under the sluggish oppressive shuffle of the meager three and a half hours sleep I was able to squeeze in. Although it was a relaxing and generally lovely Sunday...from the time I opened my four hundred and forty nine pound eyelids on the inky bleak weather dripping in melty drizzle and blotted with the fallen leaves of summer...my lone motivation was to make it back to the comforting cradle of my beloved worn just right pillow and to be wrapped in the velvety embrace of my downy feather blanket that smells of lavender and yesterdays perfume-which was...Philosophy-Falling in Love-if you were wondering....or even if you weren't. Fair enough...but when I was staring at the wall as though it were a shiny slow swinging pendulum agleam with embedded emerald hued crystals and humming Summertime in the soul-soaked throaty voice of Billie Holiday...my sleepy mind drifted...heehee as it is prone to do...and landed on a caramel drizzled cloud of loftiness.

Actually I couldn't resist the word "loftiness"...but in reality- I was dwelling on sleep and the whisper from my weary body that she could very easily curl herself up and give the busied mind the strict instructions to pipe down and give my stubborn eyes the permission to blink just a little slower...lingering just a second or twenty two before throwing themselves back open in halfhearted protestation. Then like a feather on the gale of an aggressive autumn wind- my thoughts were carried to the endless opportunity of each day and the gift of the unknown and how it is our obligation to open the door when opportunity knocks at it. Be it the chance for a chocolaty, steamy latte on a chilly afternoon, or a new job opportunity, or a moment where a dream presents itself on a shiny silver dish and dresses up in crimson cherries, drizzling itself in hot fudge...handing you a sterling spoon...

Then? Whoosh-whisked away again-my mind surrendered to my current exhausted state and arrived at the necessary conclusion that just for today....should opportunity come knocking?

Rat-tat-tat..."Opportunity! Want me to fluff your pillows?"

I would hang the Do Not Disturb sign on the handle...with a handwritten note and a tip-politely requesting that Opportunity please come back tomorrow....

With that, I continued my struggle against the day and have now...completed the mission-which I had no choice but to accept...And with that Dear Reader...I can ignore the all consuming call of the bed no longer. Sweetest of dreams.

I need to rest up...I have a play date with Opportunity at two seventeen.