Child, child, have patience and belief, for life is many days, and each present hour will pass away. Son, son, you have been mad and drunken, furious and wild, filled with hatred and despair, and all the dark confusions of the soul – but so have we. You found the earth too great for your one life, you found your brain and sinew smaller than the hunger and desire that fed on them – but it has been this way with all men. You have stumbled on in darkness, you have been pulled in opposite directions, you have faltered, you have missed the way, but, child, this is the chronicle of the earth. And now, because you have known madness and despair, and because you will grow desperate again before you come to evening, we who have stormed the ramparts of the furious earth and been hurled back, we who have been maddened by the unknowable and bitter mystery of love, we who have hungered after fame and savored all of life, the tumult, pain, and frenzy, and now sit quietly by our windows watching all that henceforth never more shall touch us – we call upon you to take heart, for we can swear to you that these things pass.
Alabama is my home. You know how I know this? As I was driving here on Saturday, along the interstate, I looked to the side of the rode and saw a kudzu dinosaur. If you don’t know what a kudzu dinosaur is, you are not from Alabama. This photo is from the Kud-Zoo.
That kudzu dinosaur made my heart sing.
This is my home.
And the people I love here have known me for what seems to be hundreds of years. They hold my history, having lived it with me. They have lived my ups and my downs. They have trusted me with their children. They have trusted me with their money. They’ve fed me when I needed a hot meal. And eaten at my table more times that I can tell.
And here’s the thing:
They know a different me than exists today. They know the me who traveled fearlessly (okay, with fear and trepidation, but still, fearlessly). They know the me who loved without reservation. They know the me who painted my living room bright orange. They know the me who faced the world with a strange mix of naïveté and worldliness.
And because I believe that she was the best me, it’s hard to be here. I want to be that me again.