Thursday, October 12, 2006

Five Things I've Learned in Forty-six Years

Litbrit right before the smoke alarm went off

  1. God is in the details. You mustn't get so bogged down with quotidian concerns, pointless stress, and national crises you cannot possibly control that you fail to appreciate life's small and abundant beauties: the gorgeous smell of coffee as it brews; the perfect form of a curled, sleeping cat; the softness of children's hair; the cool, salt-tinged autumn winds now (finally!) arriving from the north, reminding you of home.

  2. There is no such thing as a magic bullet, and there is no such thing as a side-effect-free antidepressant.

  3. When your first baby emerges after hours of experiencing what it is to be drawn and quartered, you really do forgive your parents for everything, even the trauma-inducing short haircut at age six and the school with the power-crazed, strap-happy nuns.

  4. Anger, sorrow, and fear are as natural as breathing; usually it's best to acknowledge the rogue wave and let it wash over you. Even if it means getting tossed about; even if it means wailing and crying for a while as you sort yourself out and relocate the shoreline.

  5. All the new shoes, long-awaited books, and dark chocolate in the world won't make you as happy as the simple act of creating something will. In my case, I must remember this: Bad things happen when writers don't write.

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