What happens to cliff divers

Ok – listen – there are times to jump and times to be pushed.

You’ve gotta figure out which one is calling to you.

You’ve gotta know that regardless of how you’re falling from that cliff – because you were pushed or because you jumped – falling is what you’re doing, and it is scary and awesome. Both.

When you hit the bottom – if you hit the bottom – you might have some broken bones. You might be bleeding. You might have a piece here that oughta be there. You might not make it at all. You might get caught on a hereto unnoticed ledge between this place and that one. Or you might land in a sea of chocolate pudding. The best chocolate pudding on the planet. It could also be that you lose yourself and float off into the ether – drift forever – never hit the ground.

Doesn’t matter, not ultimately. What matters is that you were in that moment, enduring the fear of having no idea where you’d land, and feeling the rush – God, it’s a rush, isn’t it?? – of not knowing.

A total rush.

You’re not the only one falling / jumping off that cliff. People have been falling and jumping off cliffs since the dawn of cliffs. There were always cliffs. Cliffs were carved by the elements and by God. They are here for us to fall from.

Look around and you’ll see the others. Some of them look freaked out and panicked, don’t they? Grab ahold of them if you’re feeling up to it, if you are one of those who looks exhilerated and confident. You don’t know what’s going to happen next. A bubble might burst, a patch of turbulence will make you sick. You’ll look around and find someone else to grip, someone who has a grip already.

Somewhere, sometime – eventually – you will get to where you’re going.

You will tell the story of your fall like it was the best thing that ever happened to you. The first story worth telling. Maybe it’ll become the only one you ever tell.

People will listen to you.

Some will be impulsive and jump too soon. Some will tell you you’re a fool and will need a push. You won’t care.

You, like all the rest of us, will have been both those people, and you know they’ll both be you.

How To Love

Give what you would like to be given – be it devotion, space, or the understanding that sometimes one equals the other.

Don’t be timid. Show joy, fear, frustration, pleasure.

Know a real conversation that may hurt someone is better than a fake one pretending to be upbeat.

When the person you love is scared, be the braver one. When you are scared, don’t also be afraid to say you are.

Talk about love. Talk about it with all kinds of people – your parents, your children, your friends… Talk about love with all the people you love.

Explain yourself. Understand assumptions are made when you don’t.

Ask questions when you find yourself making assumptions.

Understand: Your baggage is not as heavy as you think it is. Neither is anyone else’s.

If you don’t understand the person you love, consider whether you might be talking too much. If you feel you aren’t being heard, ask yourself if you are speaking up.

Don’t worry if the timing is right. Worry – no, wonder – if the person is right.

The right person at the wrong time is a situation that will fix itself. There will never be a right time for the wrong person.

You might not know what is coming next. That is okay. You know what? That is really exciting.

Being in love is not the same thing as being loved. Both are wonderful.

Personal Day

There was a leak, and I patched it. It reopened and I paid someone to replace the whole bit.

There were papers in random drawers, so I filed them. Pretty folders with color codes: Blue Fun, Green Money, Brown Legal.

There were photographs stashed in a cardboard box, and I framed the best ones.

There was winterberry taking over the porch, so I cut it back for daffodils.

There were rips in the drywall from when they installed a new hvac unit three years ago. I finally repaired them.

There were bills, so I paid them.

Tax forms, and I filed them.

I stitched holes in a sweater. I swept cobwebs from the door.

I turned bananas into bread. Cut bouquets of hellebores.

Tonight: A run, a scotch, dinner for one.

There was time, and I made it mine.