Here is my promise: I'll take back today.
At some point, the mere way you pour your coffee is going to convict you.
How you fold your clothes. & what you pack in that bag. & where you are going. & when. & when?
The things of the Every Day will bellow & boil with Bigger Questions: Why am I here? What am I doing? Is it making me happy? Or, is this all there is?
What happened to those feelings, those feelings I used to have that always made me feel like wearing party dresses in July? Tell me, do those feelings stir here?
I am just a girl who can promise you sound syllables & all sorts of deep cutting language. I can give you imagery that floats—like the birthday balloons gone running & away from their tied spot to the back of the lawn chair but I cannot promise you a lifetime. I cannot promise you joy in the grooves. I cannot promise you grasses thick with passion and a reason for waking every day. That, my dear, is a promise you learn to whisper to yourself when you first decide that you are worth it.
Worth the seeking. Worth the tougher questions. Worth the days spent soul searching in Central Park and doodling deep the images of a life you’d love live to one day.
Worth the day you declare yourself a hostess at your very own tea party and learn to usher Actions to the table: Changing with her hatbox. And Morphing with his drum. Letting Go with his somber smile & Growing with her long, white veil.
Rowdy party guests. Sure to shake the table and knock over the finer china. But they'll make you better if you let them. They'll make you better if you let them.
I lost a good friend nearly a year ago.
It is hard to believe in a calendar so cruel that will let June come, & then July & August, & then just a September before we sigh and say, “We’ve spent a year without his laughter in our conversations.”
Ask anyone who had ever known him and they’d claimed they lost a soldier. A bright light. A passionate seeker. A fighter. A friend who took you in on your best days and pulled you closer on your worst ones. A boy who made them feel that oxygen was a prize & they’d have gobbled up the air if they could have, because to be beside him breathing was so very good. & precious. & real. & we always seemed to know that this couldn’t last long enough.
But October took him.
The Skies took him.
And me? Well, he made me promise that I'd take back Today.
Take back Today and lose all sense of Tomorrow. Lose all sense of Later & Maybe & Someday. All the pitiful words that used to let me put things off were placed in a cardboard box to dust & stale & sell like crazy in a Tag Sale of Never Living.
Tomorrow might seem like a pretty thing, but what about now? This moment. This collection of seconds that should sum to the fact that we are trying to live better lives. And we are trying to collapse one another with compassion & strength. And we are trying to be more patient. And we are roaming through the halls of one another just to find understanding. And we are deciding this: that if we are unhappy then we are changing it. And if we are feeling Fake then we will pull out the flashlight and scavenge for Real. And if we have done somebody wrong then we are asking for Forgiveness. & if we’ve learned to wrong ourselves then we are willing to try Love around the shoulders with Amazement in our hands.
And if This, this Jumble of Life—this morning coffee order, this strolling to the office, this 9-5 job, this dinner conversation, this stream of Somebodies we are texting at night—if This is somehow broken then we are fixing…
Our eyes on something brighter and our hands on a Happiness that is worth a sweet pursuance. A happiness that will one day pierce our skin with the wrinkles of Well Lived.
This post was inspired by a girl I'll never know though I've reason to believe that we would have found ourselves sipping coffee together one day. Marina Keegan, a 2012 graduate from Yale University, wrote this piece just days before her graduation & died tragically in a car accident on Saturday. And so now we carry her words & the weight of them. For her. We pitch tents out of her memory & burn lanterns with the light she gave to this world. Rest in peace, sweet girl.