Being the Light


We moved into the hills overlooking the harbor. The two windows in our living room and the one beside our bed look out to the ocean. Yesterday we bought a table. When I woke this morning and saw the table facing out to the ocean I had to stop for a second. It took me a moment to catch up to where I am. There were a lot of pieces to put together to get to this point. When the table parts were all scattered across the floor yesterday I wondered when I truly came to believe in spite of all the things that never worked, everything always ends up fitting together. There are two chairs still wrapped in plastic. It took me years, and then less than five minutes just now to make coffee and sit down at this table.

This year I have re-visited everywhere I’ve ever lived. I didn’t realize what I was doing as I was doing it but now I see it like a smart film with the perfect soundtrack. (Kings of Leon - Mumford & Sons - Bon Ivor - Ben Howard.) I had to go back to each place to make peace with who I was there. I had to forgive myself for everything I said and did there. I had to say sorry and thank you and I love you over and over again until I believed my own words. I had to meet myself where I was, so now instead of continuing to run off into the future I can be here.

I didn’t know then the future would be a table looking out to the ocean or the ocean and the table would have nothing to do with the way I feel now. I didn’t know the morning sunlight would catch the Indian charms I hung up the day we moved in and make such incredible patterns on the floor. I didn’t know these specs of light would cause me to remember what a friend once said to me years ago at a hole-in-the-wall Thai restaurant, my most favorite compliment: Talking to you is like looking through a kaleidoscope.

I knew I couldn’t go back to New York without facing at least one person significant to my past. I chose wisely. I didn’t call or email or text. I let myself be guided from a source bigger than my phone. When I walked into the bar he laughed, we weren’t surprised. He said of course you only show up in New York when it’s summer.

There were a couple of places I didn’t go. I never imagined going all the way back and not seeing the Manhattan skyline from the other side of the Hudson. Though I remember it now the way it was then and maybe that’s how I’m supposed to keep it. Maybe I was always just one of those teeny tiny lights, a little brighter for the times I was needed most. Sorry. Thank you. I love you.

In my speech at the wedding I spoke about the universe, I spoke about looking out to the skyline and feeling small. I said the only thing that can make us feel big is love.

The day we signed our lease we started a One Line A Day memory book. I just put it on the table so we’ll remember to do it today. It’s a kind of journal, has a small space to write one thing everyday for five years. I don’t have the capacity to think in years but for some reason the blank book does not scare me as much as I would’ve thought. It only asks for a day at a time. I can easily write one line. Yesterday I wrote: We bought a table. Today I will write about the light.