I turn 44 today. Beyond that statement, I’ll set aside the cold metrics of life evaluation. How does one quantify joy? Sadness? Accomplishments, rage, grief, disappointments? Contentment, heartache? So let’s leave off the numbers. My specialty was always qual, anyway.
This past year has been, without question, the worst I’ve lived so far. (I say “so far” because I’m not a prophet, I have an excellent imagination, and have no wish to tempt fate.) I started it with love and an overflowing heart, only to have it broken so many times and in so many different, awful ways, only to be broken, and the world continued on. Continues on.
Which is good. It should.
Lives, though… lives can splinter, and fracture, and break. Mothers, sisters, lovers, leave us. Lives end. They end all the time. Decisions are made, change happens—with grace if we’re lucky, in pain if we’re not—and we go from one life to another, small ends that signify new starts, new lives, new chances and opportunities, all before that final end, that last sigh, that expiration, and breath, spirit, leaves us.
The world… the world continues on.
On my birthday, I would call my mother and we would laugh and talk, and I would thank her and tell her I love her. This is the first time, of what is likely to be many, of many years (but I’m not a prophet), that I cannot do that. Yeah, that’s rough. Small ends.
Lives end, but life continues, relentless, outrageous, fierce, beautiful, mad, exhilarant. Lives, like hearts, mend.
I am not yet mended. My life is undergoing violent metamorphosis, and my chrysalis heart keeps its own counsel. New starts.
The world, life, and I, continue.