You know those days when you feel a little disillusioned with life? When things aren't as seamless as you think they should be, and all those small defeats, together, feel too large to overcome? I've had my fair share as of late.
There are a lot of things going on in my life and my head right now, and sometimes I feel so exhausted by it all that I can't see past it. My mind feels cluttered, if that makes sense.
Then, every so often, I am reminded to take one moment at a time - ignore the forest and appreciate a single tree.
I've been slowly making my way through Homeland, a collection of short stories by Barbara Kingsolver. I don't get many opportunities to read these days, and when they do come along they are usually accompanied by numerous distractions. That being said, Kingsolver's shorts are like morning coffee - that small moment you rely on to break up a long day, even if it is only five minutes.
Yesterday I read this:
... I was overcome with color and the intensity of my life. In these moments we are driven to try and hoard happiness by taking photographs, but I know better. The important thing was what the colors stood for, the taste of hard apples and the existence of Lena and the exact quality of the sun on the last warm day in October. A photograph would have flattened the scene into a happy moment, whereas what I felt was gut rapture. The fleeting certainty that I deserved the space I'd been taking up on this earth, and all the air I had breathed.
Ever have those moments? When, for whatever beautiful reason, everything just feels so right? You are fully in that moment, feeling vibrant and alive and a part of something in a way that is unusual. It occurs to you, in an off-handed "Oh, so that's what that means" kind of way, that you are happy. That this incredible feeling defines you, somehow, even though it is often unexpected - caused by the culmination of small things - things we usually take for granted. Like a short story.
Or, possibly, things like this
(she says, at the risk of flattening the moment by a photograph):