January 21, 2016
It is all here. Somewhere. In between my nine-year-old boy pounding drums in the basement and my daughter watching Scooby Doo on TV. It is out there in the cold night. Crunching under my wife’s feet as she walks home from work. It is in the sky affecting the earth’s gravitational pull. And it is in my right eye—the one that’s been twitching on and off for a week.
I am not even sure what it is, but I know that it is big and small and knowing and forgetful, and that it makes up everything and nothing all the same. Hemingway and Fitzgerald knew about it. Francis Ford Coppola knew about it. Elvis and Robin Williams and my grandparents and my dead aunts and uncles and all the ghosts that make up the past—they knew about it. And I like to think that we know about it too.
Me and you and us and them.
It is in the stories I have started but did not end. In every good intention that’s never received its due follow through.
It is in profanity and love and hatred and bullying and hugs.
It is everywhere.
In damning God and falling to our knees at night, drunk again, to pray.
It is in the soap bubbles, on the sidewalk, on your toothbrush, and wedged into the bark of a tree.
There is so much of it around it’s hard to gather all of it up and turn it into pictures that make sense. Or, at the very least, to make bits into pieces that will wake the few believers that have fallen asleep and become comfortably imprisoned by the suffocating, silencing routine of the day. And because the task is so daunting, the reality of it so haunting, it is much easier to ignore it and carry on instead of dig deep and make differences.
In the way boys beat drums without rhythm, the girls giggle at the flickering TV, and how wives take slow, measured strides as they move through the dark and the cold toward home under a sky trembling with gravity.