Sunday, March 7, 2010


Your stitches are all out but the scars are healing wrong. -Regina Spektor

She sits at the top of a cliff, pen in hand, an empty stretch of paper and seascape as far as she can see. She didn't want to start writing the letter because what is there to do with a finished letter but send it? And all those words would be just be more things to own. Tired of owning things, she was ready to rent--to try things on and discard them when need be, without the mortgaged permanence or weighty decisions.

But she owns a little piece of safety and she's not quite ready to sell low when she bought high. There is value in comfortable sweetness and there is terror in throwing it all off the cliff when she'd still be left with her two empty hands, and then what? Throw herself after the thing she threw away? Or worse, walk back to her car and go back to the way it will always be. She'd rather be broken and bloody at the bottom of the cliff.

Instead, maybe she should take stock of what's left in her tattered portfolio. Holding it tightly, her sweaty palms leave stains and soften the manila cardstock. Maybe she should open it and have a real good look around. How many years does it really span? They say the young can weather the peaks and valleys of the long haul. Invest aggressively because in the long run, it will even out. She's not convinced that these aren't platitudes meant to keep us all shopping at the same market, deluded and kept. She's not convinced you shouldn't run away from a looming storm.

And she's not convinced her face is pretty enough or her eyes bright enough. She's not convinced she has enough talent or soul to do it on her own.

She's not convinced that there's an alternative to doing it on your own. We're born and die that way. Now there's a platitude she can get behind.

Clutching it all to her chest, she makes her way down from the cliff. She takes stock in the wind and the sand. She wipes off her feet before returning to her car and admires the sight of the sun setting over the valley. She trusts very little, but she will always trust the broker of light.