Secret Pop

Sep 21, 2001

"Life acquires meaning when we face the conflict between our desires and reality."

I scribbled on an envelope I was using to take down phone messages:

If you can be happy with where you are, then you will no longer need to feel scornful of how you got here.

I think so much of what I have struggled with in this past year is tangled up in the issue of acceptance and my seeming inability to ever have any of it. I don't mean being accepted by others, although there would certainly be a component of that, too. I mean acceptance by me of what befalls me. I live by turns in a state of "what if" and "if only."

From Merriam-Webster:

Main Entry: if
Function: conjunction
Etymology: Middle English, from Old English gif; akin to Old High German ibu if
Date: before 12th century
1 a : in the event that b : allowing that c : on the assumption that d : on condition that
2 : WHETHER (asked if the mail had come) (I doubt if I'll pass the course)
3 -- used as a function word to introduce an exclamation expressing a wish (if it would only rain)
4 : even though (an interesting if untenable argument) - if anything : on the contrary even : perhaps even (if anything, you ought to apologize)

As much strife as it causes me in my day to day existence, I am quite fond of the word "if." It's pretty.

I can't flagellate myself for thinking of the world in terms of possibilities. It's just that it's wildly unproductive to think about possibilities that have already passed into events. I tell everyone this quote I got online once a few months back. It goes, "Forgiving is giving up on the possibility of a better past." And it speaks mountains of truth to me. But that doesn't stop me from looking back on my life and wishing it could be like a Choose Your Own Adventure novel that I could go back and live over and over, trying out each of the different permutations without fear of their permanence.

While I'm in the throes of a quote-dropping frenzy, here's something I wrote down. I think I heard Ellen Burstyn recite it in an interview on NPR. But I could be wrong. "Whatever has a beginning has an ending: make your peace with that and all will be well." —The Buddha

Maybe typing other people's words tonight is my way of saying I have very little to say.

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