Friday, December 23, 2011

Ten Reasons to Slow Down

  1. It's 7 a.m. and you are running late for work. You stop at a red light with one car ahead of you. There are no other cars around. The driver, a young man, leans across the console to kiss the passenger. They are deep into the kiss as the light turns green. Do you honk?
  2. On a crowded street, you're behind an old, deflated man. Others are coming toward you, in a rush like you. You calculate that to pass him and keep your pace you will have to squeeze by him sideways. Instead, you brake and slow to his pace.
  3. They call you in for a second mammogram. That night, you walk slower to feel the warm breeze on your face and watch moonlight shatter across the water. The image proves to be clear.
  4. A young, shell-shocked father carries a six-week-old baby on his chest. He shows you the sleeping baby's face and tells you she is a twin.
  5. Your best friend's husband dies of cancer. You spend a week with her after the funeral to help her sort out his things. You don't sort through a single box, but do take long walks on the beach and listen as she tells you that grief runs deep.
  6. "It's hard to articulate the silence," says your husband, a welder who again surprises you with his eloquence.
  7. Wet hair waits for a brush as the sun pours through the stained glass window. A poem insists on being written.
  8. Young and black in Vallejo. Skirts way too short, a cigarette dangling out of 14-year-old lips. Shaking their booties when they win the pink, stuffed tiger that they cuddle in their arms. Little girls running too fast towards adulthood.
  9.  Cancer again, this time in someone you love. Treatable, but still the wake-up call of cancer.
  10. Admiring a drop of dew on a nasturtium leaf, your friend offers it to you and the drop slides into your mouth.

1 comment:

  1. INHALE: Fresh brownies and choc-chip cookies in a rumpled tin. Thanks, Aleta, for ringing true. I'm breathing... Janet