Friday, May 25, 2012

An Open Letter to Lauren, on Her Birthday

Dear Lauren,

This was the sun waking up this morning, rising, coming  'round. Just before I snapped this picture, there was a bird, let's say black for the sake of my sleep filled eyes, and just below what you can see here is a small, older woman, clad in her brightest white walking shoes, shuffling her way down the street.  I tell you all of this because I like to think they're all up, all taking part in life the best they can in celebration of you.  It's maybe the best celebration I can think of for this day of yours - that the world, in all its fractured beauty, puts itself out there just a little bit more, gives itself to you just a little bit more.

In a few hours you'll be sitting, coffee in hand, making a list for your year ahead - adding, editing, and possibly re-imagining the days barreling forth. I am reminded of your love for lists - a way of making sense of what resists, of capturing the lofty and unfettered, of organizing the rebellious and unwitting tasks, of addressing the neglected, and it reminds me why you make so much sense to me, which seems funny to say, I know.

Making sense to someone when you are little and both you and the friend from school love Mr. Rogers, well, that's not so hard, and making sense to someone when you're slightly older and carrying around a marbled black and white composition book because you are going to be Harriet (the Spy), well that's a bit tougher though not uncommon, but making sense to someone as an adult when you are all of those things and more and really, still want to be Harriet, well, that's a different thing altogether.  It isn't about just liking or loving someone for who they are, or really, in spite of it.  If we're being honest, it's about no questions asked, hands down, in the center of your heart responses to the other person that always say "Yes, of course".

Friend, today and in the year ahead, I am wishing for you everything your list will hold and more.  I am wishing for you what you do not yet know you wish for yourself.  I am wishing for you the superbly unexpected - the kind of happenstance that will change all of those wishes in the best and most unexpected way.  I am wishing for you days that remind you, even when it feels impossible, that you are part of something bigger and smaller simultaneously and that your contribution, even when you're sure you haven't made one, keeps it all in motion.

I am wishing you a year when the world says to you "Yes, of course".