‘Stuff your eyes with wonder,’ he said, ‘live as if you’d drop dead in ten seconds. See the world. It’s more fan- tastic than any dream made or paid for in factories. Ask no guarantees, ask for no security, there never was such an animal. And if there were, it would be related to the great sloth which hangs upside down in a tree all day every day, sleeping its life away. To hell with that,’ he said, ‘shake the tree and knock the great sloth down on his ass.’ - Ray Bradbury, Fahrenheit 451
The sun still hid behind the night sky when I slipped into the gym this morning. It'd been awhile since I experienced that hour of the day. Everything was silent. Waiting.
And as I pushed my feet forward and leaned into the grunt work of just one more mile, I kept thinking back on these words that have covered my days these past few weeks.
Every morning, the word I pull from the bowl stops me in my tracks.
Ask showed me questions hold their own magic.
Visit reminded me every encounter includes wonder.
Belief met me during a moment where my empty mama-heart ached.
And today, indulge.
I will be the first to say this :: my word for today intimidates me. As much growth as I have seen this year, I still hesitate in the sucking the marrow out of life bit. I'll scream from the side of a country road; I'll stand on the edge of an ocean's cliff. But ask me to indulge? Like...really indulge?
I can feel guilt lurking in the corner, waiting for the licking of my fingers.
You didn't really need that brownie, you know. Shouldn't you be doing something other than reading? Those books waiting for you are probably better than this episode of Revenge...
And I think to myself - you know what? The voice is right. So I question my motives, sneer at my justification and roll my eyes at all of these church-y words that've threatened my vocabulary.
I'm certifiable somedays - with all of the internal dialogue I have with myself.
But, if the the past few weeks are any indication, this word meets me right in my deepest need for the day. So I wake up early and hit the gym and actually find myself enjoying the way my legs circle to the rhythm of Jay-Z in my ears. I eat up the words on the page in front of me - marveling at the way Jesmyn Ward describes the landscape reminiscent of Beasts of the Southern Wild.
I soak in the rising sun as I leave and feel the cool air on my damp skin. I pause, just for a split second, and note the way the wind caresses my arm. I hear the messages in the leaves rustling outside our window and let myself close my eyes - if just for a moment - so I can remember summers spent in the mountains of Idaho and the way the valley-trees swayed with the afternoon rush of wind. But I'll ignore the guilt-sloth, staring at me with those half-open eyes, swaying with the leaves and wishing away his life on others' mistakes.
Instead, I'll celebrate a friend's birthday at the Indian bistro down the street.
And tonight, as my love and I walk the streets of downtown, I'll shake the tree and knock the sloth of guilt down on his ass as I raise a toast to Christmas and friends and the dawning of a new year. There is a holiness in waiting. A quiet deference in knowing the fulfillment of a promise is near.
But life continues in the wait, and inspiration leaves you in the dust if you're not careful.
And for this, I'll indulge.