If birds were the only evidence that there is another side, or a deeper, bigger reality, their song would be enough proof for me. We are so bound, and birds are so free — and yet so vulnerable. The little ones you might crush, and the big ones might peck your eyes out or dive-bomb you. They’re such alien creatures, so exquisite and yet springing from dinosaurs. And you can never look a bird in the eye — their eyes are on either side of their heads, and they’re so quizzical. They have to be — they are prey, and yet so hungry. Just like us.–Anne Lamott
Two champions of empathy died yesterday: Albert Maysles and Lisa Bonchek Adams. They had nothing in common with each other, nor I with either of them. But because of their great example, this does not matter. I feel their loss as keenly as if I’d shared sacred coffee with them every week. Lisa, who was as tart as she was sweet, implored everyone daily to embrace beauty and truth. Maysles found both where others merely found junk. I keep thinking about how we must honor their very bright lights. Change is inevitable when big stars go dark, and we must court that change. I keep reading this Louise Erdrich quote, and listening close.
Life will break you. Nobody can protect you from that, and living alone won’t either, for solitude will also break you with its yearning. You have to love. You have to feel. It is the reason you are here on earth. You are here to risk your heart. You are here to be swallowed up. And when it happens that you are broken, or betrayed, or left, or hurt, or death brushes near, let yourself sit by an apple tree and listen to the apples falling all around you in heaps, wasting their sweetness. Tell yourself you tasted as many as you could.