Fall Comes Every Year

The weather is changing, again. It feels like fall, again.

This time of year, like no other, confronts me with the feelings of past pain. Like many, I felt unloved as a child, and never was it more poignant than in the fall.

Every August, millions of American children return to the classroom, and for a decade I was one of them. It wasn’t the classroom that was so terrible, but the bus and playground. For some children, the classroom is terrifying; but I was able to do well, academically.

I was lost amongst my peers, always fearing their displeasure and trying unsuccessfully to humor them and avoid their rebuffs. I could never feel secure among them, never feel I was immune from rejection and disdain.

Some people live whole lives like that, always wondering where the next round of rebuke will surface. I guess I’ve tried to leave the human world for the same reason – not pursuing death as much as invisibility and the life of the mind. Makes sense, right? So many people have done this.

But we must not leave the world to the bullies of our hearts – we must remain.

We find ways to make the world better in such small ways, and sometimes bigger ones if we have found some platform. May we find ways to know and strengthen each other, to help one another avoid the pitfalls of hate which stem from broken hearts. May we find ways to love, and not be alone. And may we not ostracize those who have, in their weaknesses, hurt us.

A Fine Mist

Ocean spray is just about my favorite thing. It gives me a sense of freedom, of liveliness and loveliness, and it usually makes me feel like laughing. So I smile when I’m on a boat, I smile when I see a boat.

But I don’t own a boat, and I have very little expectation that I ever will.

The motif of oceanic boating is more subtly woven into my life. The coastal colors with which I surround myself, the fact that I loathe to be more than two hours from the Pacific, and the inexplicable knack I have of always being able to locate my copy of Moby Dick with its most delightful of page ones:

“Whenever I find myself growing grim about the mouth; whenever it is a damp, drizzly November in my soul…I account it high time to get to sea as soon as I can.”