Thursday, May 16, 2013

An Intermission

Do you know that feeling when you have been sitting in a coffee shop all day, have ordered everything there is to order on the menu and still don’t want to leave? You slowly pack up your things one at a time, you tell yourself over and over that you have had enough caffeine to last you the entire month, but still, you wish you could just have one more cup.

You know that feeling that lingers at the end of a dinner party? Where everyone is moving all too slow to get their jackets because they wish that everything had lasted just a little bit longer, that the conversations could just keep rolling for hours–wishing that the candles on the table never ran down.

You know the feeling when you run out of pages in a notebook, and begin to squish words along the margins or add post it notes to the pages, and still, you know that one day you are going to need to start a new one, but you love the one you have so much? You think to yourself: a new one will never be the same.

Have you ever wished that you had cut more wood for the campfire, as you watch the logs slowly cinder, and the fire turn to a crackle? You wish the glow would keep glowing, but there is no turning back time as the fire burns down. Suddenly a chill replaces the warmth, signaling it is time to shake out the sandy blankets and find your flip-flops in the dark.

 You know when you finish a book and wish that it wasn’t over, wishing there was just one more chapter or that you hadn’t read it so fast? That is how I feel. This week is the end of what has been a big chapter–and I am not ready.

While everyone was rushing this week to finish pages, pack for adventures, cram and jam get-togethers, I found myself trying to slow things down. I thought if I just slept in a little while longer the mornings would linger. I thought if I just kept the coffee pot running, that breakfast conversations would never end. I thought if I just stayed in my slippers, leggings and fleece, the day would be forced to wait for me. But that never happened. Instead, the rest of the world was whizzing by all around me, friends coming and going, and a constant ebb and flow of hustle and bustle. It didn’t matter that I was moving slow. The rest of the world didn’t’ care. The rest of the world didn’t wait for me. Instead, it just kept moving faster and faster.

There are Hallmark cards that remind us to slow down. There are catchy quotes that remind us what is important, that you should not rush through life. There are advice givers that say that basking in the moment is the best thing you can do. But, after this week, I would have to ask, how? I tried to re-invent the system. I tried to slow down the ticking clock. For a split second, I was crazy enough to think that I could slow down Manhattan. It can’t be done (trust me). And then there is this saying that I absolutely hate that says all good things must come to an end. Who said this? I hate this saying. All good things ending–REALLY? Not true. I don’t believe it. I can’t. I won’t.

Last week our dining room table was filled with vases of fresh lilacs–the dining room smelled amazing. This week, the lilacs were all but wilted, tired, and eventually, tossed. But, I know that more are just around the corner. I know that next Monday, the farmers market will be full of purple, on sale, and ready to enjoy. I know that with all happy endings, there is a start to a new beginning that can be just as good, if not better.

For me, this week is not the end; this week is just the start to a very long intermission. My notebook isn’t filled yet (I just got a new one). My book isn’t finished, I am only on chapter 2 (and I read more than one book at a time in an effort to slow down the endings, to stagger them for peace of mind). My New York life will be put on hold (this is a good thing, a much needed break.) And the only ending in sight is the conclusion to my final paper (the last line) but everything else is just an intermission.

This cup is for: Alex, who met me late in the night for a long talk,
For Logan, who I can count on to pick up the phone at any hour,
And for Kelsey, who understands exactly what chapter I am talking about. 

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