September 30, 2011

the good

• just as I finished my run on the river the other day, a cyclist who had passed me earlier, and who had then stopped nearby to look at the view, turned and asked me if I knew what the river construction was. it's the new transit bridge, and it's being built right beside our office, so I told him all about it. we chatted for a few minutes and he said, "thanks for all this info. and you are an awesome runner, by the way."

• I begin to understand what the buddhists mean when they say there is no "self," we are all one. on eighty degree days, I run on the river with my shirt off, and having lost ten pounds in the breakup I feel not a single scrap of self-consciousness. but as I do, I realize how often I have run on the river, slow, coping with injury, being frustrated with my body, and have hated a little the quick, lithe girls who have passed me with ease. but now I understand: they are me. I am them. I am the slow ones and the fast ones. with each person I pass, I practice. in my head, I say, "you are beautiful." it doesn't matter if they are faster or slower, outwardly pretty or ugly. they are me. 'you are beautiful,' I think. and then, 'we are beautiful.'

• a coworker comes in and gives me a hug; I am in my office chair and she's behind me so her arm is around my neck, and I laughingly make a choking noise. as she keeps hugging me she goodnaturedly says, "I am not choking you, you fucking pussy," which is so hilarious that it improves my whole morning.

• my sister and I tentatively plan to run half-marathons in both of our towns and in las vegas. in costume.

• our associate music director, one of the hardest working people I know, sticks his head in my office on monday and says, with real sincerity in his voice, 'congratulations on the gala, darling -- you should be very proud.'

• buried under figaro parts, which are due on monday and which I'm about a week and a half behind on, I find myself immersed for days on end in audiobooks, which is remarkably cozy, despite the fact that I'm writing so much I'm beginning to lose feeling in my fingers. (seriously.) (it will pass, it's happened before.)

• my freezer is filled with food I did not pay for: chickens I helped butcher; peas and green beans from the garden; frozen tomatoes, both roasted and raw; a loaf of bread which was a giveaway at last weekend's 5K. the freezer is literally full, and the only food in there that I purchased are a bag of potstickers and the fruit I eat in my daily morning smoothie. total cost, about $8.

• people are, for the most part, inherently good.

• writing -- for a friend's running blog, for the opera blog, for the opera marketing department, for myself -- takes up a significant portion of my life. enough so that it feels like I'm a writer almost as much as a music librarian. I didn't even get here on purpose but it's like magic. it hardly matters at all that I do most of it for free.

• I might feel as though I could collapse from my grief some days. I can't deny it. some days there is no way out. even on days when I seem to be coping, I often cry. life is outside of my control; it's outside our control. this is a hard thing to swallow. the grief is, at times, tremendous -- as you have seen. and yes, I would like to be rid of it. but I don't begrudge it, and I don't regret it. I am sad because something mattered to me, and that something is gone, probably forever, left only to memory. grief is apt. grief is okay. you don't just stop loving someone. I've made a conscious choice: I could go through the memory banks and pick out all the things in our relationship that were hard on me, and bundle them up and chew on them for awhile, discarding all the beauty between us. that would be a way to leapfrog this sorrow: to focus on all the negatives. but that's terrible, and I want no part in it. that's why I can't stay angry. I don't really have much to be angry about; it's all manufactured. whether or not it seems like an exercise in futility, or insanity, I would still prefer to choose love. you are what you love, after all-- not what loves you.

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