Friday, January 05, 2007
May All Your Dreams Come True
My mother once sent a friend of hers a book for his birthday that caused him to leave his wife. The book had been about by Paul Theroux, a brilliant travel writer, about his adventures in the South Pacific. The friend, in his early fifties, had read the book upon receiving it in the mail (he lived in New Zealand), and decided that the life he was leading, in his words, was shallow and vapid and full of mundane trivial bullshit and that he had a dream to pursue. (Um, now that I am older, the first part of that seems a little too close to home, but I shall continue!) So when my mother phoned his wife (also a close friend) a few months later, she got the whole story about his picking up and leaving and a new phone number for her friend. Your book made him leave me, the wife said. Now I'm old and fat and have nothing to show for it. Men have it made. They can do whatever the fuck they want, but women are always stuck with the worst of it. The wife reassured my mother that it was not her fault, that it was some mid-life thing that was probably inevitable, but the whole event gave me pause and made me think twice about giving people certain types of gifts, particularly anything by Mr. Theroux.
Now that the holidays have ended and we are back to ordinary time, the inevitable sadness of everyday life has time to bleed into our days. As much as I complain about the holidays, January has a bleak quality to it. Who among us has the stomach for yet more of the same? One of the scariest things I see on cards and fortune cookies is, May All Your Dreams Come True. I often dream about being on dangerous streets alone, running to the next place in hopes of being safe. I dream of the dead returning, rising out of their caskets and asking what's next. Mornings are all dim light, getting dressed for work, the inevitable disappointments and pleasures. In other words, life in this world, where the South Pacific exists, but you never see it.
Michelle's Spell of the Day
"Difficult times have helped me to understand better than before, how infinitely rich and beautiful life is in every way, and that so many things that one goes worrying about are of no importance whatsoever... " Isak Dineson
Drinking book suggestion: My Other Life Paul Theroux
Benedictions and Maledictions