There’s a chair in the back right corner of Barnes and Noble. It’s mahogany and the wooden arms are smooth against my rough elbows pressing up against them. I’m not sure if anyone knows this chair sits here, and for that I am grateful. It’s mine.
I come here to think and steal glances at pages beneath book covers and re-evaluate my life and blog and write and a most of the time, I sit and smile and sometimes cry while remembering how crazy intimidating and bloody hard life is. How did I get so lucky to be a small human on this big Earth. How are my small hands and feet going to make a difference. How do I make it so my footprints aren’t detrimental.
Yesterday, I finished The Kite Runner. It’s a beautifully tragic novel, and I pray I’m able to teach it to my students one day. I sat dwelling in the cruelty of the world for a while. Tears drained from my eyes and I felt powerless under the weight of the torment in this world I’m oblivious to, or worse, all the torment I know about and am still unable to prevent or stop.
My small hands and feet feel minuscule under these conditions.
Eventually, after the weeping subsided, I began to wonder where my power was. What I could do. How I could change the conditions of this world. If you couldn’t have guessed, those questions didn’t go ever well with me either. The scope is too broad.
Why don’t we stop paying our attention to saving the world and start focusing on loving it.
Perusing the aisles of books before me, my eyes fell easily on these words, printed small and simply across the cover page of a novel. I shut my eyes and ran my finger across the sentence and took a breath. In and out. In and out. Here was my answer.
There are moments when I don’t feel like I have any power at all. And then there are times much like this very moment, sitting in a mahogany chair in the back right corner of Barnes and Noble, reciting words with a force mighty enough to make me feel invincible behind them, where I feel able. Strong. Strong enough to accept and swallow the torment engulfing this world.Strong enough to stand up despite all of it.
And maybe that’s enough.