I need to go to bed. But my desire to write is greater than my need for sleep. (Or so my head tells me right now. In the morning, it will tell me I was an idiot to stay up and blog. Quite the predicament I'm in.)
Lately, I've been feeling something that is difficult to put into words. I suppose I could use art to try to explain it . . . For example, the 1994 version of "Little Women" captures the feeling extremely well.* It's a feeling of longing, I think -- the wish that things could stay the same and yet a hunger for the greatness ahead.**
In the beginning of "Little Women," Jo wants everything to remain as it is. She cares only for the company of her own family and Laurie, the boy next door. If the future were up to her, none of the sisters would move or marry, and Laurie would always be her best friend. Days would be passed by play-acting in the attic and by running around on dusty roads. "Why can't things just stay as they are?" Jo laments.
When Meg gets married, however, and Amy goes to Europe, Jo begins to feel restless. She wants to change, but she doesn't know how. She wants to write and learn and travel. Though she doesn't yet know it, she is on the verge of doing something incredible -- of finding love and of writing the work of a lifetime.
I think, if I compare myself to Jo, I'm just slightly right of the middle. On one end is a fear of change and a desperate wish that life could maintain the sense of laughter and wonder and joy that is childhood and youth. On the other is an anxiousness for life to be exciting and to play an exciting role in it.
Perhaps people get to this point much earlier in life, or perhaps people are constantly experiencing a struggle between sameness and change. Regardless, I am here. I am in a moment between wanting to always be where I am and wanting to step into uncharted territory. I want to forever live among the people I have come to love, and I want to fly away to a place that is scary precisely because it is unfamiliar.
How can I do both?
*Thomas Newman wrote perfect music for "Little Women," by the way. I think it's a masterpiece. Here's just one composition: Orchard House.
**Two other movies come to mind as well: "Sense and Sensibility" and "The Fellowship of the Ring."
Thing I'm thankful for: being able to say goodbye