Little Heartbreaks & Big Ones: Everyday Magic, Day 400

Yesterday, I had a little heartbreak, work-related and not much in the big scheme of dreams and things, but enough, when compounded with sleep deprivation, to turn me into a wobbly mess for the day and into the evening. Just like nature abhors a vacuum, life can’t stand for a lack of perspective, so today begins with first an early morning drive to talk about the Westside Yoga on KLWN (thanks, Kim Murphree!), when just about every stoplight on Iowa St. stops me.

Waiting at one, I look north, and remember that a few days ago, a motorcyclist died within the next block, and sure enough, to the right, I see a small wooden cross decorated with some flowers and an American flag to commemorate the young man. Stoplight bad luck and yesterday’s heartbreak may be in my rear-view mirror, but the view ahead is true heartbreak, the kind that will fill front windshields and rear-view mirrors for years to come.

A few hours later, pushing my cart through Checkers, I find one of my friends riding a motorized shopping cart. She suffers from a devastating combination of health issues, as does her husband, and lately they’ve both been in constant pain. “Sometimes I feel like I can’t do it anymore,” she says, then tells me how grateful she is to have a new doctor who will get her orthopedic shoes and physical therapy. She smiles and goes on. She’s the bravest woman I know.

Back home, I look at the big horizon to the southwest where the cold front — due to arrive tonight — will come, changing everything about this air we breathe. I look down the hall from the kitchen to the bedroom, the places I live and land. And I give thanks for what I can see up close and in the expanse all around.

Maybe We'll Know What We Meant When We're Dead: Everyday Magic, Day 231

Yesterday was extraordinarily charged in a quirky, painful and tender way. Within several hours, I stumbled into an unexpected heartbreak, punctuated by a media interview for Poet Laureati, a bevy of criss-crossed and tangled emails about an event months away, payment processing for the event, and deep talks with two friends while bumbling around downtown Lawrence. By the time I landed home with the kids, I was feeling particularly baffled about what I’m doing in life.

But the universe seems to not just fill all voids but overwhelm bafflement with wonder. A friend called to let me know that someone who took a writing workshop with me years ago remembered that class as vital to her eventually finding her way out of severe poverty and cycles of self-destruction. She’s now in med school.

I often tell Ken that I don’t believe we can tell the value of what we’re doing and how we’re living until after we’re dead, and believe me, from the other side of this life, I hope to have a long look at what it all meant. One of the sweetnesses of life is that we can’t see the whole view while standing in the center of it. In the meantime, I’m grateful for the angels who bring us glimpses that sometimes the pebbles we drop in the water make a difference to the shore.