Monday, December 08, 2008

Letting the magic in

Two main emotions of this season are playing tennis with my brain. Thwap, thwap, thwap. On one side, the happy mania: my child had cancer and now she doesn't -- how can anything bother me? Merry Christmas! Ho-ho-ho!

And that emotion is real.

On the other side, what creeps in, when I am in the middle of a happy moment, like watching LW deep in conversation with Santa ... What if this is her last Christmas? I am not being melodramatic. I've been a witness to this too many times. A third bout can go very fast.

And that emotion is real.

A couple of days ago, my next door neighbor (whom I like, but I wouldn't describe us as being soul-sisters), brings over a book she got at the library. She accidentally picked it up, thinking it was something else. It's odd, she says. But she thinks I'd like it.

The Book of Everything by Guus Kuijer.

Last night, she emails me. She just realized she needs to turn it back in, so she'll need it back Monday. Sick with a cold, I take it to bed with me. It's short.

"...And do you know how happiness begins? It begins with no longer being afraid."

I need to let magic back in to my head. The kind of magic that says that my neighbor accidentally getting a book from the library and then inexplicably loaning it to me, and then me being forced by a deadline to read it ... is not an accident, is not random. That, not all of the time, not by command, but every once in a while, what I need ... I'll receive.

1 comment:

alkali said...

This post very much reminds me of a monologue by "This American Life" host Ira Glass called "When You're In Love, The Whole World Is Jewish." (Yes, I am the worst UU cliche: "Your life experience reminds me of this thing I heard on NPR.") That said, the end of that monologue is something I come back to again and again, and I think, That's how life really is. I would like to be more specific here but doing so would give away the "punch line" of the piece and spoil its impact.

The monologue is 17 minutes (of your life, which concededly you will never get back) but I do recommend it. If you decide to give it a listen, and determine that I have wasted your time egregiously, I'll make an appropriate donation to the charity of your choice.