Thursday, November 05, 2009

Spoiler Alert: Sappy Post. Seriously. You've Been Warned.

I think I've mentioned before that one of my favorite authors is Elizabeth Berg, mainly because I usually finish one of her novels feeling good about the world in general and even my own life in particular. It may not merit the Pulitzer Prize, this style of fiction, but on the other hand maybe it does. It is not such a small thing, to be able to give people that feeling.

Anyways, in one of the many quotes that have stuck with me from her books- this particular one is Never Change, I believe- the main character is talking about the frustrating inadequacy of words to fully express some of our deeper, fleeting emotions. The example she gave was of looking at the autumn leaves, still vivid on the trees, and of being so unable to convey the depth of what she felt at that moment to a companion. "I mean, what would I say? 'Aren't the trees pretty'? And so I keep quiet."

That's kind of how I feel about this blog, sometimes. I can put a funny spin on annoying situations, OF WHICH THERE ARE PLENTY; I can even try to express, and thereby ease, the pain my life sometimes brings me. But the joy? Sometimes it's difficult to put into words. It's hard and raw and excruciatingly tender to say the truth, which is that I would bleed myself dry for my children. (And never tell them about it, either, so they wouldn't feel guilty!) That when I watch them playing happily together, here is what often comes, unbidden, to my mind: "This is enough. I could die now and it would have been enough."

Another way to say it is the lyrics of this song, "Existentialism on Prom Night" by Straylight Run. (And yes, I know, now I'm quoting SONG LYRICS. Next up: a mix tape! Maybe several! Accompanied by a friendship bracelet!) But here it is anyways:

There are moments when
When I know it ends
And the world revolves around us
And we're keeping it
Keeping it all going
This delicate balance
All knowing

(Sing like you think no ones listening)

You would kill for this
Just a little bit
Just a little bit
You would
(You would)

Sing me something soft
Sad and delicate
Or loud and out of key
Sing me anything

We're glad for what we've got
Done with what we've lost
Our whole lives laid out right in front of us

Aren't the trees pretty?


Jess said...

Oh, your family is beautifully and you expressed this so eloquently.

Hillary said...

YES! The trees are beautiful.

Anonymous said...

"This is enough. I could die now and it would have been enough."

Many times over the past 15 years or so, this EXACTLY WORDED thought has gone through my mind! Kind of took my breath away to see it from you in "quotes". But I'm really glad I got to stick around long enough to meet these grandbabies!!!

:) Your Mama

bananafana said...

YES - yes they are.
I have that exact thought all the time with my kids. I know exactly what you mean.
Life is good

Sarah said...

Thank goodness I read you and Hillary. I might have heaved myself off a tall bridge today if not for both your posts.

d e v a n said...

Yes! I think that sometimes too, that I could die right now and it would have been enough. Or, that I feel like when a good book ends, satisified.

Mommy Daisy said...

Wow, perfect. Yes, it's hard to put all the good things into words. But the good things are what get us through.

Kelsey said...

1. I love Elizabeth Berg too, for very similar reasons.

2. Yes, they're lovely.

Marie Green said...

I too often have that "if I were to die today, I would die complete for having known these beautiful children", but then it's immediately followed by "how could I ever leave this earth without knowing how their story ends? I feel like even as a shriveled old woman, I'll be wanting more and more out of this life.

susan said...

I love you, and your blog.

Not in a creepy way (don't worry - I'm safely far away in Australia); but in an admire-y, you're AWESOME way.

CAQuincy said...

Yes, the trees are so pretty....

(And the cow? Sucking his thumb? PRICELESS!)

Shelly said...

Oh, I so agree. And yes, the trees ARE pretty.

Jen @ Rolling Through Looneyville said...

perfectly put. and a nice reminder on those days when the kids are being anything but cute. even on those days there are small moments that take my breath away with the feeling of that sentiment.

(by the way, the Ramones T shirt is from Goodwill, but originally from H&M :)

Katy said...

yes. perfect. it is hard to say it the way you want to.

Erin said...

The trees are breathtaking.

I love a sappy post, and this one is the perfect blend of sap.

I love how you embrace how awesome it all is, yet don't deny how flipping hard things can be at the same time. It's hard to convey that, and you do. It's refreshingly honest.