I keep writing. But I’m not sure why. And this isn’t one of those, “Is there anybody out there?” posts, although that question directly coincides with another part of my life right now. So maybe that’s why I’m writing this today? You see, I’ve embraced a new hobby. Well, actually, it’s a new OLD hobby, one I used to have as a child. I’ve turned it into a new project, but I can’t quite share it with anyone just yet because I’m not quite sure where it’s headed.
Don’t you hate that shit? Don’t you hate it when people say, “I can’t wait to share this with you! But I can’t right now.” No one did that before social media, did they? I mean, maybe in grade school. I seem to remember that now. And those people were highly irritating. I seem to remember a few girlfriends saying, “I HAVE NEWS! But I can’t tell you what it is yet. Not yet. You’ll have to wait. IT’S HUGE!”
Hey, asshole. How about you hold it together next time and NOT tell me that you have HUGE news until you’re actually ready to share it with me?
Or maybe the news is actually like a sourdough starter? At first it’s just flour and water and maybe a little salt and therefore boring as shit because it just sits in a bag, lifeless, looking like paste. And so you have to make it sound a lot more exciting than it is at the moment because who gives a shit about paste? So then maybe after a while, after you feed it a bit more, scrutinize over it, tend to it, obsess over it for a couple of days or weeks, maybe even months, it’ll grow into something amazing, perfectly stinky and alive and therefore finally worth sharing with people.
But until that story has some actual bacteria and culture, shut the hell up about it, you know?
I’m not sure where I was going with that one.
Sorry about that.
I’m also sorry for sharing my starter with you before I actually know if it’s going to work. My starter is a bag of paste right now. It’s basically worthless until I feed it some more and even then I’m not sure it’ll be worth anything, or help with growth.
Yesterday I spent 9 dollars on big bag of birdseed. It turned out to be the best 9 dollars I’ve spent in ages. When I got home, I dumped a ton of it outside and waited. But only one little fatty showed up. I was ok with that. He ate like a king. And then he moved along. So, early this morning, as I made my way downstairs preparing myself to get three very needy children ready for their day, I stood in our kitchen, sipping the most amazing cup of coffee watching a whole, new beautiful world unfold outside my window. A world I hadn’t even imagined prior yesterday. Birds! So many birds! Birds I know NOTHING about. Birds of all different colors and shapes and sizes. Birds I could not name if my life depended on it, but boy were they ever beautiful. And boy did they ever have a feast.
I am so grateful to finally be able to mentally absorb and enjoy all these tiny details I’ve been overlooking all these years. Nature has been tossing this stuff my way for 42 years. And for the first time since I was a kid, I am able to appreciate these minute details again. I’m no longer obsessing over the bigger picture. Because, the bigger picture? Let’s be honest. Most of the time? The bigger picture is complicated, scary and just plain sucks.
Depression is a bitch, guys.
There seem to be many people in my life right now—both online and off—who are suffering. I know this because they reach out in tiny ways; little blips of Morse code all over social media and elsewhere. And I’m often not sure which blips are the REALLY serious ones and which ones are just your average venting blips, but they all matter.
I loathe the idea of people hurting.
Yesterday I was running along one of my routes that happens to pass a veterinary clinic and while I was waiting to cross the busy street I saw an older man standing outside the clinic, talking to someone on his cellphone. He was crying. I mashed the walk button hoping to change the light because something came over me and I simply had to give that man a hug. I had to. It was a compulsion. But by the time the light turned, he had reentered the clinic and I didn’t feel right chasing him inside and potentially embarrassing him—I was a stranger wearing tights and pair of Yaktrax, after all.
I’m certain that man needed to cry. But I sure wish I could have given him a hug.
So, if you’re reading this, and you’re hurting, please write. Reach out in some way. Send out a blip or a bleep or a code of some kind; send me a message. I will call you. I will email you. I will meet you out back, overtop frozen ground, surrounded by birdseed and we can take in all the tiny details together; the ones we’ve been overlooking; the ones that make life so much more tolerable and enjoyable.
And if you need to cry, I will hug you and not let go until you do.