Sunday, March 9, 2008
Difficult Easy Joy
I want to be the 2 year-old at the birthday party (like my niece, pictured left). That time when not enough chocolate icing warrants a tantrum and joy comes easy. Life is a simplified, play date version of itself.
Now? Work. Work. Work. The personal, the professional, the mundane require near superhuman efforts just to receive a passing grade. I remember how I longed for a difficult, city, adult life for so long. Well, I got it. In spades. Now, I want to go back and I can’t—none of us can. Mom sold my Archie Comics and Dad sold my childhood home by the bay. Press forward…
This morning, just as I start to feel unjustifiably melancholy about my too adult life, I read the best little New York Times “Modern Love” piece that’s ever rolled off the presses. ( “A Signal in the Sky Said: Marry Her” )
Ben Karlin, the author, love seeker and serial monogamist, talks about work in the context of love but his musings apply to everything in my life and yours.
“Moments of pure beauty, I realized, are not handed out like a free newspaper as you dash into the subway. You have to make them. Work for them. Sometimes, it’s a huge pain and you don’t know how or when they are going to happen. But it is flat-out wrong to expect them.”
Maybe I’m not crazy—or a complete Type A New Yorker—for working so hard for everything in my life, I think. Karlin continues.
“…life…had to be cultivated, curated, fussed over. Then came the bliss, in arrhythmic spasms.”
Ben Karlin, if you weren’t married to your gorgeous Italian, Paola, I might make you mine. Until then, keep writing and giving me hope.