December 21, 2017
I was twelve once and I seem to remember it fondly. I think I had a boyfriend for a hot second, but I know I had great friends. Maybe not the greatest fashion sense, but I spent lifetimes pouring over fashion magazines and believing there'd be a day I'd create such iconic ads. For real, who doesn't remember the Guess ads of the 80s?! I'd bet that boyfriend I had for a hot second probably does...
I was twenty-six once, and I definitely remember it fondly. Parts of it anyway...It was more great swells of overwhelming happiness tempered with harrowing troughs of survival. That was the year I was introduced to my Grace. I have no doubt God knew exactly what he was doing when He sent her to me. God's light, indeed.
Twelve and twenty-six.
Twenty-six symbols: A ballet of strokes on paper that dance into words and leap into sentences and spin into stories of joy, despair, life, death, laughter, and tears. Some use these to create characters we love as our own and dream of knowing in real life. Journeys we can only experience by turning to the next page. On our own, we write love through these symbols and say goodbye through these symbols. We construct hate-filled diatribes and then, hopefully, ask for forgiveness with the same twenty-six symbols we just used to inflict hurt. Twenty-six symbols shaping our existence.
Twelve notes weave themselves together through the artists who hear the music before it's brought to life. They tell stories, too, but ones without words. Twelve symbols stirring the cauldron of emotions dwelling inside us, making us feel. Whispering notes and crashing notes. Roller coaster rides where you never leave your seat. Memories entwined with the sounds from the car speakers. Dances in the kitchen with the one who was brave enough to say, "I do." Wails of "Amazing Grace" as loved ones are laid to rest. A soundtrack serenading our existence.
I am one of those people who breathes in books when I read them. Some have affected me so much I've never read them again; others I read a couple of times a year. I love the characters they have shared with us and the words they cast upon the universe. Sometimes those words were all that carried me.
Music is in the same league. I get goosebumps when I hear certain notes plucking away and I'm transported to somewhere where everything is right in life. I listen to the sounds and marvel how they are woven together as the most delicate tapestry into songs. Sometimes when it's late and my brain has been driven past its capacity, I lie in bed and the notes of a distant song carry me to sleep. It's rare and I know it means it's time to rest, but it carries me away and my anxieties are left behind.
As I walked through Biltmore house with my daughters a few nights ago, a lady behind us made repeated remarks how all the art was tacky. She eventually (and thankfully) decided she was tired of being "herded like cattle" and cut her tour short. I was sad for her (although still grateful for her absence!) that she could not appreciate the beauty of standing in the library filled with books and priceless works of art. As I walked through there, I could hear laughter and tinkling notes of crystal stemware making toasts while music played in the background of the grand gatherings. Maybe it's my crazy imagination, but I'd much rather have that experience than to hear nothing.
Twelve notes and twenty-six symbols carrying me through life.