I spent quite a few minutes weeping in my van tonight.
Not over what you might expect - being without my kids this week, or the stress of life.
I wept over beauty.
Beauty in the world, beauty in people. Beauty in this thing that is human existence, with all its frailty and imperfection. Beauty in the magic that resides in every single one of us.
We are each just a person. A person seeking connection. Love. Happiness. Success.
We are each also a miracle. A mass of molecules organized with dizzying order and spectacular function, with a spirit that resides inside, full and feeling and without borders in what it is capable of envisioning.
Some days when I try to work on writing something and it isn't coming together, or when my mind is constantly pestered by the intrusion of characters, stories, and snippets of dialogue, or I drive myself insane trying to put words and music to an idea that seems indescribable but essential to communicate which results in frustration, I feel cursed by this need to create. I wonder how much easier my life would be if I didn't have the constant, nagging, unseen world standing at the foot of my bed, begging to be clothed in words. How much easier could I sleep if sleep were all I searched for at night, instead of learning I cannot relax without my notebook on the nightstand, ready to wake me at an idea's notice? How many fewer quesadillas would I have burned staring off into space, how many more moments would I not have missed because I was watching the show in my mind?
Tonight I took myself on a date to see The Greatest Showman. It was wonderful. This really isn't about the show. It's fabulous. But it was about what was happening around me BECAUSE of the show.
I saw people put their hands up to their mouths at unexpected tragedy. I saw tears being wiped away, and some being left to roll freely down, joining the others in little pools on our collarbones. I saw childrens' faces lighting up at the spectacle, the cinematography sweeping them around in their imaginations as if they were the ones riding the trapeze or swinging down from the high wire. I saw toes tapping, hands drumming on knees, people singing under their breath, moving in their seats, annoyed by the social custom that says we must sit down and be "behaved".
At the end of the show, no one moved. And then everyone applauded. APPLAUDED. In the movie theatre.
Those actors can't hear us. The director was not in the room. They have no idea what we felt watching it right then, in that moment - but the human need to show appreciation for the power of story, for something that moved us, something that made us feel alive and full of wonder and magic and possibility was greater than everyday common sense. We wanted a communal way to share with other audience members that we enjoyed it so very much.
I walked to my car, turned on the heater, and wept.
This is why I do what I do. This. Connection. People. Love. Story. Making sense of nonsense. Making nonsense of sense for the sake of looking at things a different way.
I don't believe there is a single human who does not have within them the burning desire to create something that has meaning, whether that is a family, a community, a story, or all of it.
I cannot wait for my notebook to keep me up tonight.