“What I fear and desire most in this world is passion. I fear it because it promises to be spontaneous, out of my control, unnamed, beyond my reasonable self. I desire it because passion has color, like the landscape before me. It is not pale. It is not neutral. It reveals the backside of the heart.”
~Terry Tempest Williams
I suppose we are all a mass of contradictions. What we want we also the most afraid of. What we cherish is what we find most elusive.
A major contradiction in my life is the tension between my online and my ‘real life’ self. I’m actually a fairly pragmatic and reasonable person. Aside from my morning meditation and the time I occasionally spend on my porch with a cup of tea, I’m not particularly contemplative. I usually only wear pink with irony, and I’m rarely sentimental in my daily conversation (although, I will admit to wearing flowers behind my ear to the office quite often).
There’s an interior part of me that’s romantic and rose-loving and full of poetry. She leaks out here on this electronic page quite often. But she is just one part of who I am, and isn’t much present when I interact with other people. Perhaps she is who I once was–that little girl who gobbled up the novels of L.M. Montgomery and dreamed of someday marrying her own Professer Bhaer (and who was quite sure that she would someday be a famous research scientist like Meg Murry’s mother).
But one of the most important lessons that I’ve learned from growing up, is that fairytales can be dangerous things. Focusing only on the flowers in the midst of a desert can be a lovely exercise, but it’s not the best guiding principle for an adult life. That this blog often veers into sentimentality is a counterpoint to the sometimes-difficult realities of my lived experience. I know full well that life isn’t a path strewn with roses, and that what washes up on the beach is more often stinky seaweed than seaglass. But sometimes it’s nice to have a vision of that possibility as one is meandering through the thorny details of the day.