Blinking

  • By Maida Korte

          “We grow accustomed to the Dark –
            When Light is put away –
            As when the Neighbor holds the Lamp
            To witness her Good bye –

            A Moment – We Uncertain step
            For newness of the night –
            Then – fit our Vision to the Dark –
            And meet the Road – erect …”  (Emily Dickinson)

            When I was a very little girl I loved a book titled, “Rowdy and Apron Strings.” The simple story line had twin bear cubs emerging in the early spring from their dark cave and into the splendor of sun-light. There was something about the hopefulness, the playfulness, the newness, the adventure that captured my little girl heart.  I read this book over and over again, getting it out of our old library, even after I had moved on to more compelling and longer stories.  Perhaps I could relate to the mischief, or maybe I felt a kinship with the dichotomy of the independence Rowdy portrayed and the neediness of Apron Strings, but I think I related subliminally to measuring joy in the manageable constraints of a single day. 

            Days are what we have.  They begin and they end and the in-between is where life happens.   We have surely all experienced the promise of the clean slate, the bright and shining beginning, the past left behind, the forward trajectory that a sunrise displays all to eventually end with a slow dwindle, a snuffed out spark of inspiration where only a sputtered memory remains.  In contrast to the long and winding road of broken resolutions, a single day can bring a small but glorious piece of success into the otherwise disappointment of unfulfilled promises and elusive goals.

            Bordering on compulsion, I need a day to do something for me.  I am goal oriented much to the probably severe irritation of everyone around me, including an ever patient husband and grown daughters who indulge their mother with her plans that must be accomplished now now jump in no time quick hurry zip zip get it done mindset.  Why be patient when a headlong rush ahead will do?  I am often embarrassed by my enthusiasm and can at times (more often lately) march into the tunnel of self-reflection and sit on a rock. 

            I often marvel that so much can be done in one day. We measure our accomplishments in days; organize closets (2.5), between hair hi-lights (56), gain weight around middle (.005), births (280), long life (32850), potty training (497) and loving a child (infinite days). But what is unique to life on a daily basis is the moment to moment experience of time between sunrise and sunset, or rising and laying back down again.  The day dawns before us and we fill it with the mundane and the extraordinary.  As a child days loomed long filled with food and fun and friends and siblings and stories and chores and homework and help your mother and play nice and work hard.  Waiting in between for the days at a cabin in the woods on a beach seemed an eternal waiting.  Now a day is five minutes, a week is 8 hours, a month is 3 days and year is over if I yawn too big and miss it.    

            So what to do with this day?  The options are limitless though not limited to tasks.  My today is what my mind says it is.  Tasks are reactions in a way.  I am happy and so I listen to Mario Lanza sing “Be My Love” and I sing loudly with abandon and in perfect (ahem) harmony to his perfect tenor (Jenny understands) while I start laundry, make a grocery list, prepare for a client meeting, sketch out a new floor-plan for a project, mull over my hair, walk five miles, participate in my girl’s texts (we do life together this way), make plans with a daughter to drive to a little café where we can sit outside, wash my face masks, cry with a friend, call Andy to hear his voice and be inspired by Luke.  It is now 10 a.m. and I can make the rest of today anything I want it to be – no matter what comes, no matter the barrage of information pouring at me out of a fire hose, I get to decide my soul’s response as I walk blinking into the sunlight that is today. 

4 Responses to “Blinking

  • Luv this – luv you

  • Allan James
    4 months ago

    Beautiful, Maida!

  • Well said maida! Indeed, why settle fir patience when a headlong rush is an option?!

  • gayleebird
    3 months ago

    very wonderful to read this this morning! I love your enthusiasm Aunt Maida, don’t ever be embarrassed! I love your closing line, “I get to decide my soul’s response as I walk blinking into the sunlight that is today.”

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