“The most obvious, ubiquitous, important realities are often the ones that are the hardest to see and talk about.” -David Foster Wallace

Thursday, January 21, 2016

There are few things I enjoy more than a good quote. Probably because it makes me feel more connected, less bad about myself and inspired to live more consciously. Words on paper often carry more emotions and impact than words that come from someone's mouth, maybe it is because I have time to sit and digest their intention vs. the next phrase rocketing towards me out of a mouth. 

Last Night I watched The End of the Tour, a movie about one of the greatest writers of our time, David Foster Wallace. I had heard his name before, but no significance was attached to it. The movie was moving with so many insightful thoughts to reflect upon but instead I found them chaotically floating around in my head. So naturally after the movie I researched him and started reading through the 67 pages of quotes on his Goodreads page, because I am a sucker for a good quote and he has a lot. I am not even going to try to explain the movie except that it struck many chords from inside me, and probably inside others, hence why people love his books. I admire his raw but thought-out insight of everyday matters, probably because I am the opposite, a nervous thinker and talker; scattered everywhere. When I read his words I feel connectedness, understanding, and awareness, the perfect recipe for any good quote. 

“It’s a very American illness, the idea of giving yourself away entirely to the idea of working in order to achieve some sort of brass ring that usually involves people feeling some way about you – I mean, people wonder why we walk around feeling alienated and lonely and stressed out.” 

“If you can think of times in your life that you’ve treated people with extraordinary decency and love, and pure uninterested concern, just because they were valuable as human beings. The ability to do that with ourselves. To treat ourselves the way we would treat a really good, precious friend. Or a tiny child of ours that we absolutely loved more than life itself. And I think it’s probably possible to achieve that. I think part of the job we’re here for is to learn how to do it” 

"The really important kind of freedom involves attention, and awareness, and discipline, and effort, and being able to truly to care about other people and to sacrifice for them, over and over, in myriad petty little unsexy ways, every day."

“There’s been time this whole time. You can’t kill time with your heart. Everything takes time.” 

“There is no such thing as not voting: you either vote by voting, or you vote by staying home and tacitly doubling the value of some Diehard's vote.” 

“I'm not afraid of new things. I'm just afraid of feeling alone even when there's somebody else there. I'm afraid of feeling bad. Maybe that's selfish, but it's the way I feel.” 

“But if you really learn how to pay attention, then you will know there are other options. It will actually be within your power to experience a crowded, hot, slow, consumer-hell type situation as not only meaningful, but sacred, on fire with the same force that made the stars: love, fellowship, the mystical oneness of all things deep down.” 

"I've come to know that memories were the best things you ever had." -Ben Howard

Wednesday, January 6, 2016

Nana and You at Prom 
It's almost been 10 years since you have been gone and it is hard to believe. I don't particularly like cold snowy winters except for the fact that it reminds me of you, papa.
As a little girl I was a light sleeper waking up to little noises, very little has changed in my older age. I remember in the early mornings I would listen for your loud boots to hit the kitchen floor creaking along as you made your way throughout the house that had not yet awaken. I would rush to get bundled, hoping I wouldn't wake my sister and cousins, hoping I would be the only lucky one to join you plowing the snowy roads. You would often give me a smirk of a smile confirming it was ok to ride along. We would head out to the cream- colored pickup truck knowing that the task of hoisting myself into the biggest truck in Stevens County, or so I thought, would not be easy. It was a requirement to be tough to ride along, so I never asked for help. The black vinyl bench seat would freeze our backs, butts and thighs but it was just another test of toughness. Looking over at you behind that big wheel I would sit in awe of all the knowledge you would spout out about life and driving that you had learned over the countless years of working for the county. I remember thinking to myself I will never forget your advice when I start driving and sure enough I haven't forgotten. Maybe I haven't forgotten because those are the last little pieces of you that I actually remember, so I cling a little tighter.
My job now requires me to drive ample amounts daily and your words stick to me just as the snow is sticking to the ground. Just the other day I was stuck in a patients steep driveway in a borrowed van that was front wheel drive, I didn't think I was going get out. Then I remembered a story you use to tell of your truck that wouldn't make it up the hill to pick up nana for a date, so you would back the truck all the way up the hill, I tried it and it worked. My patients husband the next day could not believe that I had thought to back the van out of the driveway and I told him I had you to thank as I shared your story.
I wish I could call you up and glean some more wisdom from you with all your driving experiences on the snowy county roads, but really I just wish I could get to know you better. Be able to ask you questions my 8-year-old self was not concerned with or cared to know or listen, that now I wonder how you would respond. With every plow truck that passes I picture you and ultimately strong feelings of missing you arise. I could wish all day for things that can't be changed so instead I am going to try to pass on your stories, your wisdom, the man you grew to be and the man that has impacted my life so greatly for the short time I was lucky to love and know you.

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