The sky is gray and gloomy above Public Square today, but I am smiling. You know, the strangest thing about blogging is that I don’t do it every day. In fact, I haven’t been blogging much at all this past spring/summer/fall. So if you were to ignore the dates on my posts and just read them all in a bunch, it looks like I’ve been living a steady stream of heartbreak and sadness and nothing else.
I’m not, though. This autumn has been so good to me. The season itself has been especially beautiful here, I think. The usual fall rain has mostly held off- until today- and instead we’ve had endless days bright with amber sunshine and sere fields and vermilion trees. And me? I have been growing, letting go, learning how to hold on to what matters most. Oh, and I’ve been living. Brittany and I took more photos the other day. We went up to the top of the old factory building in Forty Fort, where Canteen and the apartments are now, and she shot me against the sky and the sunset with the mountains that I love at my back.
Brittany’s a pretty fantastic photographer, isn’t she? Visit her page: https://www.facebook.com/bootephoto.
There’s this new bar that opened up in Luzerne: Vaughn Street. We’ve been going there for seafood night on Thursdays, me and the girls from the Cafe. They have a shuffleboard table, which makes me think of being a teenager and playing shuffleboard in the garage at the Holy Family Center with the other community kids after Mass on Friday nights. Nostalgia at a bar is such an oddly contradictory feeling. You’ve got a drink, there’s music and chatter, you know you’re grown-up, but you’ve got these happy memories playing in your head- faintly bittersweet because you know they’re only memories now- and you feel like a kid at the same time.
I went on a great date the other night. The kind of date where you laugh and laugh and everything else is sort of a colorful blur spinning around you but you’ve got a sharp focus on what’s happening between you and him, and it’s light, it’s good and sweet. I kept thinking of that scene in Casablanca, where Rick is remembering his time in Paris with Ilsa, and he says, “Who are you really and what were you before? What did you do and what did you think?” Questions and answers and a current in the air. Tell me about you because I want to know. There’s a certain kind of joy, I think, that maybe doesn’t have a specific name, but it’s there when you meet someone who sees the world you see, who stops and looks at you, whether the meeting is friendly, romantic, or whatever else. Relationships, man. They make the world go round.
My friend Veronica came into town from Michigan the other weekend. She was asked to give the keynote speech at the nurses’ pin ceremony at Wilkes University, where she’s an alumnus. She asked me to help her write the speech, and being the hopeless nerd that I am, I thought it sounded like a blast. So we got together on Google Drive one day last week, despite still being in different states, and worked on the speech. I’ve never done that, been editing a document at the same exact time as another person, and it was really cool. I was trying to think of a better closing sentence for one of her paragraphs, and I was just typing as I thought, stuff like “The compassion and strength of nurses… no wait we used that… I believe that these virtues will help… help what… what am i trying to sayyyy” and Vee typed in the chat bar: “It’s so fascinating being able to actually watch your mind work.” SCIENCE FICTION BABY. (The best part of Veronica saying that was that she admitted I have a mind. I always grin gleefully when I can trick her into complimenting me.)
It’s the little parts, summed up into a whole. It’s life. One day at a time here. As the blog title says, I’m just trying to find the better part and hold on tight.