This Very Place

12 September 2013
11:21 am

Edinburgh

T. —

I don’t know if I told you: Andrew won an iPad at work a few weeks ago from a photo competition. We’ve been having fun playing around with different apps for it, like the Paper app by 53. I’m kind of in love with it. But we’re also watching movie trailers on the iTunes trailer app, and getting ready for winter by making a list of movies we’re going to go see in our hibernation. (This is one of them).

*

Yesterday was the day it was, and I surprised myself. I didn’t write a letter to my family and friends, like I have on this day every year for the past six years. I was trying to figure out why I didn’t feel compelled to keep the ritual going. Perhaps it was a ritual just for myself, a way to make sense of the distance that comes with sorrow. Maybe I feel more settled in my life, and it’s easier for me to reach out to people on a daily basis, instead of on the one day the evokes extensive loneliness. Maybe I’m getting better at understanding how rituals shift and evolve, that they don’t have to be set in stone with pre-determined structures.

There’s a beautiful story that runs through “The Faraway Nearby” by Rebecca Solnit. What is special about it is that it runs like a single ribbon along the bottom of every page, and is almost entirely separate from the other content in the book. It’s a separate thread. I’m copying it out, even though it will take me a few hours, because I want to listen to this single track of story, and because what I have read of it so far is beautiful.

Sadness the blue like dusk, the reminder that all things are ephemeral, and that because there is time there is change and that another word for change, if you look back toward what is vanishing in the distance, is loss. But sadness is also beautiful, maybe because it rings so true and goes so deep, because it is about the distances in our lives, the things we lose…

Sadness always contains distance, spaciousness, takes us away, while happiness at best brings us home to this very moment, this very place.

– Rebecca Solnit

Good morning,
M

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One thought on “This Very Place

  1. 1. I love Paper! I have a few drawings. I don’t have an iPad but my father does. I use it from time to time. The iTunes trailer is a great app. Some suggestions of what to download: Calm.com (meditation), Note’d, TED, Forismatic (quotes), Pinterest, Flipboard, iTunes U, Kindle, Poetry Daily, Poem Flow, Poetry Foundation, Moleskine, Methodology, PanicMind, 8Tracks, SoundHound.

    2. “Maybe I’m getting better at understanding how rituals shift and evolve, that they don’t have to be set in stone with pre-determined structures.” I agree. I think remembering can be done in a lot of ways. To sit and the quiet and just think–that’s important, too.

    You did write a letter yesterday, but only to me. That counts–that is, if you’re still counting.

    3. Thank you so much for sharing excerpts from Rebecca Solnit’s book these past few days. I really treasure them.

    T.

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