Monday Morning Wake-Up Call

That is the very essence of what it means to be mortal, yet it is difficult to fully imagine, let alone accept. Our lives are literally everything to us, and they feel so brimming and momentous while we are living them that it is hard to grasp how fleeting they are compared to the whole of human history, to say nothing of the vast sweep of space and time. This radical discrepancy between the scale of our own lives and the scale of the rest of existence can leave us feeling two different ways. One of them, akin to the feeling of losing something, is that the universe is dauntingly large and we are terrifyingly insignificant. The other, akin to the feeling of finding, is that the universe is dauntingly large and yet here we are, unimaginably unlikely and therefore precious beyond measure. As with so many other contrasting feelings, most of us will experience both of these eventually. It is easy to feel small and powerless; easy, too, to feel amazed and fortunate to be here.

Kathryn Schulz, Lost & Found: A Memoir (Random House; January 11, 2022)


Notes:

Walking. Tilting towards Spring.

5:50 a.m.

Dark Sky read out: 40° F. 82% cloud cover.  

40° F? Come again? I close app, and re-open.

40° F? This is after two days of high’s in the 50’s. This being Feb 12. Not even mid-Feb.

I sit on the stoop, and lace up my boots.

Something ineffable has tilted toward spring. There’s a promise of warmth beneath the cold, a releasing of winter’s grip on the land. You can feel it.” (Katrina Kenison)

Sun rises, temperature warms rapidly.

The park begins to fill. [Read more…]

a certain forward-tilting sense of self—the feeling that we are still becoming

Most of us alive today will survive into old age, and although that is a welcome development, the price of experiencing more life is sometimes experiencing less of it, too. So many losses routinely precede the final one now: loss of memory, mobility, autonomy, physical strength, intellectual aptitude, a longtime home, the kind of identity derived from vocation, whole habits of being, and perhaps above all a certain forward-tilting sense of self—the feeling that we are still becoming, that there are things left in this world we may yet do. It is possible to live a long life and experience very few of these changes, and it is possible to experience them all and find in them, or alongside them, meaning and gratitude. But for most of us, they will provoke, at one point or another, the usual gamut of emotions inspired by loss, from mild irritation to genuine grief.

Kathryn Schulz, Lost & Found: A Memoir (Random House; January 11, 2022)


Notes:

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