Last night I attended a dinner party of sorts and bumped elbows with famous molecular biologists and charming ornithologists. I tried my best to be graceful and honest. I was honest. I ate good food and tried to follow along.
The host of said party was a completely beautiful phD student from South Africa. For me this woman was not only a gracious host but will remain in my mind an example of the kind of woman I hope to be one day and can strive to be in the present. She was confident without being arrogant, comfortable in her own skin, natural, honest, smart, witty, open, adventurous, and most of all she seemed absolutely grateful for the life that has been given to her. I don't know she held so many qualities that couldn't be described with words but could only be experienced. She's the type of person that makes you feel warm and welcome. To me that's priceless.
I feel so weird right now. Every experience seems to be viewed through this weird lens of change. Not just the changes I'm going through, but life change in general (love, death, loss). Despite my age, in the scheme of things I've really only begun to experience life. And I am barely begininng to understand the true nature of it, the fact that life can be both highly comic and deeply tragic all in the same breath. Fate is a holy terror and a supreme blessing. All I can do is hang on tightly and keep breathing. This afternoon I watched a movie on a book I read earlier in the year (The Namkesake). The movie was true to the book and only enhanced the richness of the story. It was all about how life is unpredictable and can often be harsh and sad, but ultimately beautiful. Well that and the contrast of being an Indian and an Indian American, but I could relate less to that aspect (heh). Although, I totally want a Bengali wedding AND funeral. Anyway...
Sometimes it is hard to see the beauty in certain situations. Hard to let time take something and shape it, instead of our own hands. I like how the the books I read (and sometimes the movies) have a way of aligning with the things that are going on in my life. I recently just picked up what I assumed to be a fluff book, Tuesdays with Morrie. I flew through the first 100 pgs over the span of a train ride. The book is about an older man with a terminal illness teaching a younger man how to live a full life. I figured it would be mass appeal goodness. While that may be true (it is a best seller) within the first 100 pgs I had bit my lip to avoid tears and whipped out my little black book to jot down something that I never wanted to forget. Again, magically aligning with what I'm going through at the moment. Let me share.
"Have I told you about the tension of opposites?"
The tension of opposites?
"Life is a series of pulls back and forth. You want to do one thing, but you are bound to do something else. Something hurts you, yet you know it shouldn't. You take certain things for granted, even when you know you should never take things for granted.
A tension of opposites, like a pull on a rubber band. And most of us live somewhere in the middle."
Sounds like a wrestling match I say.
"A wrestling match." He laughs. "Yes, you could describe life that way."
So which side wins, I ask?
"Which side wins?"
He smiles at me, the crinkled eyes, the crooked teeth.
"Love wins. Love always wins."
Tension of opposites baby. Tension of opposites. But in the end if it's true, love will win out. As I read that passage a wave of calm washed over me. Whatever shall be, shall be, DUDE. Hopefully now I'll be able to get some god damned sleep, heh.
So here I am thinking and packing and trying to see the beauty in my life. It's not hard to find. It's a sad kind of beauty, but with lot's of potential. It's hard to throw your life to the wind. It's hard to let go. Really hard, ha ha. As the illustrious Crystal Cabinet says, "Change is tough. Gotta make it work for you." So I'm gonna change my mindset and try to make all this bidness work for me. I'm going to live my life the best I can. I'm going to let fate take it's stupid course. Ha ha. I'm going to be the best friend I can be.
Tomorrow morning I'm leaving for the west coast. The beginning of the first of many adventures. I know if I'm having trouble finding the beauty in my life, I will surely find it among the redwoods and the crash of the ocean. Holy moly I'm excited.
I'm taking my foot off of the brake.