They say you can only start from where you are, and this appeals to me, if only analytically. As I turn inwardly to inquire, then where is it, exactly, that I am? I see of course that this is the question at hand. If life were such that the coordinates came clearly, well then, what would become of the journey? A dear friend says gently to me, 'just start with a story, and see where it goes from there.' Perhaps she's right. Perhaps I'll only see the synopsis is hindsight. Perhaps as I begin to lay out the pieces they'll begin to connect, until eventually a picture can be seen. How could I know? I've never written a novel before. And so it began that I started just exactly where I am.
It's a Wednesday night, and the clock draws near midnight. I'd dearly love to be in bed already, but I've committed myself to the cyclical chore of laundry.Clothes in the wash, wait 45 minutes, move clothes to the dryer- start another load in the washer. Wait 45 minutes. The clothes in the dryer remain damp,. the neighbor left the dryer set to 'no heat'. Release a sigh of exasperation, restart the dryer, wait 45 minutes. etc. etc. These are the mundane moments that make up a life, all stacked up on top of each other until they blur together and you only see hours, or days, or years. How long each of these 45 minutes felt, as I waited and waited to fold the laundry, merely a speck in the scale of a lifetime.
Im often overcome by the feeling that my life slips away from me, inexplicably, like the way wet sand slips through your fingers at the beach. In an instant, transformed from a tangible substance with depth and weight, into incomprehensively small bits ammassed together to form something even more incomprehensibly vast. Do you ever stop to ponder the existence of one single grain of sand? Its certain to make your head hurt. Still, it is in this same vain do I see the moments of my life, slipping past me, through my grasp and into the vast collection of predominantly insignificant moments which make up a life. I reach out to those moments and I hold them close in my mind as they pass, certain that they deserve so much more than the passing notice afforded them, in the flow of time. I want to record these moments in a book somewher where I'll know they'll always be there, but what is that if not living for the past?
Its past midnight now and the dryer appears to have overheated. Wait 20 minutes, and try it again. All of my clothes are now clean and wet. My dogs look at me quizzically as I continue my seemingly endless trips across the yard. Back and forth between the house and the laundry shed, they're sure a walk in the park would put these efforts to better use. Life as a dog, as I imagine it to be, is so simple and so sweet. The athlete off the two brings me a ball and I dutifully toss it to the end of our little yard. She races all 18 feet to retrieve it, runs back towards me, and stops 2 feet shy of my seat. Pleased with herself she plops down and gnaws on the ball a bit. Go back and check the dryer again.