I was going to write a post to tell you all about learning about how to get back up after you fall down. I was going to tell you that I went through a literal falling phase last semester, ripping holes in jeans like it was my job (it was not.) I was going to tell you I went through a failing phase last week, where I locked my keys in my car in a way that was so seemingly unaccidental that you might think that it was actually on purpose (it was not.) I was going to also tell you that keys-in-the-car bit was the least of April’s failures. But I was afraid that would make April sound like the cruelest month, and actually, April is one of my most favorite 30-day chunks all the year long. So I decided against that. Here’s what I’ll say on that topic instead:
“Because of the extravagance of those revelations, and so I wouldn’t get a big head, I was given the gift of a handicap to keep me in constant touch with my limitations. Satan’s angel did his best to get me down; what he in fact did was push me to my knees. No danger then of walking around high and mighty! At first I didn’t think of it as a gift, and begged God to remove it. Three times I did that, and then he told me,
‘My grace is enough; it’s all you need.
My strength comes into its own in your weakness.’
Once I heard that, I was glad to let it happen. I quit focusing on the handicap and began appreciating the gift. It was a case of Christ’s strength moving in on my weakness. Now I take limitations in stride, and with good cheer, these limitations that cut me down to size—abuse, accidents, opposition, bad breaks. I just let Christ take over! And so the weaker I get, the stronger I become.” —2 Corinthians 12:7-10, MSG
“Gatsby believed in the green light, the orgiastic future that year by year recedes before us. It eluded us then, but that’s no matter–tomorrow we will run faster, stretch out our arms farther…. And one fine morning— So we beat on, boats against the current, borne back ceaselessly into the past.”
Beautiful, isn’t it?
I think so, too. And that’s just enough, right? If you’re feeling defeated for some reason or another, stop that right now. That’s what I say.
In other bright and cheery news, bright and cheery things have been going on that make me very happy that life is so full of perfect nuances that color everything fun/funny, or, at the very least, storyrific. For example, have I told you about The Crazy Poetry Class? Chances are, if you’ve spoken to me in the last three months, this is old news, but suffice it to say that I’m gearing up for an adventure at 9:30 on any given Tuesday or Thursday. The first day, our teacher told the class of 35 that he was rebelling against the administration in his last semester in a variety of ways, one of which happened to be the fact that the class, titled “Modern American Fiction,” was actually a poetry class (of sorts). I don’t know how much that would affect the average Jane, but I glanced down at my bag, emblematized with a print of The Great Gatsby, and wiped away a tear for the modern fiction that would not be. The twists and turns just keep coming: last Tuesday, I showed up to man in a Vera Bradley bow tie and saddle shoes, who was quite evidently not my teacher. It turns out it was Michael Martone, the kind of professor who has his own Wikipedia page. We sat outside, criss-cross applesauce on the concrete in front of Gorgas, reading poems and considering the possibility of wasting our lives on literature. A group of prospective students walked by and I wanted to say, “Somehow, you’ve got to find a way to have an experience like this—one that calls your soul out of hiding and convinces you to consider the moon falling at your feet.” I couldn’t, of course. I was reading a poem to the class.
That’s not all I’ve been doing; I’ve been doing a lot. We’ve reached that stretch in the semester where things become Very Important, and yet we (maybe just me) become even more lackadaisical, which is quite the contrary through which to plow toward summer, no? And all the same, things just hum along as they have ever since I’ve been doing this: a birthday for Gracie, a weekend home to celebrate Jesus, an entirely too grown-up nephew hitting home runs. And always, always a conscious effort to hold on to these things as they flit away.
I’m calling upon Jesus, coffee and Starburst jelly beans to cope with the downright maniacal pace of it, and this seems to be the golden ticket combination. Next up, we have Deadline, which always requires a capital D, and my very own 21st birthday, which I know how to do because I watched Gracie pass with flying colors on April 9, and Finals, which are, you know, necessary funsuckers. And then, just like that (so it will seem, anyway), summer will sweep us up again and we’ll lapse back into that golden pace of ice cream and tan lines and evening walks. At least that’s what I’m hoping.
But for right now, here’s to April, the most beautiful month. Cheers!