never too late

in loving memory of life | Queenstown, New Zealand 2010

Yesterday as I was wandering around Elmwood Cemetery taking pictures, I wondered why graveyards fascinate me so much — warm green grass & towering trees paired with cold etched stone & the silence of no more breaths. In a cemetery you stand at the end of so many stories. We understand backwards, and so to be where there is only backwards, where, if you only knew where to look, you could find all the moments that led up to that last moment for each of these people; to know that you have story after story laid out at your feet. No other place can quite compare.

But ends need not be held in higher esteem than beginnings. And ends often push into new beginnings, as TS Eliot says:

What we call the beginning is often the end.
And to make an end is to make a beginning.
The end is where we start from.”

And so, I can mark where I find myself and look back to see what moments led me here.

Continuing on with day three of that week back in February, I mention a song by my friend, Lori. I first heard it in the fall of 2011 before I had any idea of what lay ahead for me. Lori & Don were on tour, still mostly playing old songs and only a few from their upcoming album, No Doubt of Sunshine. They had played their token two new ones when Lori said she wanted to try another, but wasn’t sure if they were ready yet. Thankfully they braved it because she sang a truth I didn’t know I doubted until that moment. And that song became the theme song I didn’t know I needed.

So here’s to friends! To Donna for liking cemeteries, too & going on photoventures with me. To Lori for writing & singing an amazing song (among so many others). To Ali for helping me with my blog & braving her own crazy adventure.

And here’s day three of that week…

[15 February 2012]

Another sleep. Another sip of coffee. Another day. Walking towards the edge of a cliff, you’re actually at the edge of the cliff more while you’re walking there than when you arrive there. In order to be where you are as you move towards the edge, you’d have to not know where you are headed. And yet, we always want to know where we are headed. But that knowing takes us away from here. From now. Where life actually happens.

What if she were to start a blog. Who would read it? What would she say? Why? One of her friends actually makes money that way. The kind of money that you can call a part-time job. What? But that’s based on food & particularly bacon. People love bacon. Love thinking and reading about it just as much as eating it. What could she write about that could stand up with bacon?

She loved the framing of things. Whether with words or the edges of photographs. She loved to point to this exact moment and plunge you into it or set you delicately inside of it. She loved to quell your distractions so you could sit with it, let it settle into you.

Like the yellow flowers she saw through the black iron circle of a gate. You might’ve noticed the flower yourself, though probably not, as it was fairly simple in comparison to the tropical beauties around it. But you wouldn’t have seen what she glimpsed for just a moment through the gate. You wouldn’t have seen what made her smile, if she hadn’t snapped it up for safekeeping. And sharing.

yellow::encircled | Nairobi, Kenya 2008

Her thoughts feel sluggish this morning. Like all the deep things have already been said and sung, dealt and dusted. Strange how a painter or singer could actually ‘make it’ by repeating, by exactly redoing — exactly replicating — another artist. Writers don’t have that chance. That would simply be called plagiarism and money could be taken from you for that. To be a writer, it has to be new. And yet you’re supposed to tap into something old, something known for it to move people. How can it be that the same stories can be retold over and over and over again? But somehow, they can. And she can find her way in there. Ah, yes. A writer can rewrite another writing in a new format. From book to film — that’s acceptable.

She hesitates. Will this all come to naught? Is it ever too late? “We can change…hold your head up high…don’t be afraid, it’s never too late to try.” Lori sang those words and meant those words because she lived them. If she can, so can she (the she that is me, shhh). Maybe she’ll tweet that last bit. Make people wonder. Tweeting holds a funny power. The whole less is more inevitably creates intrigue to the simplest comments.

It’s never too late to try. Never. So try. Try to breathe when you’ve lost your breath. Try to love when your heart hurts. Try to move when you’re stuck. Try to feel when you’re numb. And don’t forget to ask for help.

Note: My friend’s blog is a food blog that sometimes mentions bacon; it is not a bacon-food-blog.
Apparently I was feeling overdramatic this particular day…

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