January 26, 2019

“Tell me,” Mary Oliver writes, “what is it you plan to do / with your one wild and precious life?” I tell her, “I don’t know.” I tell her about dreams. I tell her about post-its and piles of books. I tell her about quiet apartments, quiet moments, quiet gaps in faith. I tell her you can only find so much symbolism in driving around with the menacing yellow light hovering next to the “E.” Sooner or later, you have to stop for gas, wait in the line, even if it’s a long one. Sooner or later, you develop something like patience. What is it you plan to do. What is it I plan to do? I plan to go on until my body won’t let me. I plan to wake up every morning and find a reason to be glad that I’m still here. Last week, I skipped town and carelessly, deliberately left my plants at home to freeze. When I returned, there they were, green and unblaming, as if to say, We understand. Sometimes, the need for water is just one need too much.

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