Twice before, I’ve written posts about Dani Shapiro’s memoir, Devotion, and how it touched me. Now and then, I pick it up to re-read an entry at random. A few days ago, I read this:
Change is always happening. So simple. So obvious, really—and at the same time so terrifying. A friend had recently sent me directions to her house, and in describing the way the names of the roads changed for no apparent reason, she had written: Everything turns into something else. No wonder I didn’t want to think about this. What was the point of thinking about this? Love, joy, happiness—all fleeting. Trying to hold on to them was like grasping running water.
I’m older than a lot of you reading this. I think Dani’s realization is one that comes to most of us as we grow older. Everything is fleeting. Everything turns into something else. What was most important to you at the age of five is forgotten and replaced by real concerns at fifteen. And then again at twenty-five. And forty. And …
Everything changes. All things renew, reform, restart. I think back on the times I thought, I can’t survive this. But I did. I remember the times I thought, Nothing will ever be better than this. But I was wrong. Everything changes. Everything turns into something else.
Grasp what you can and don’t worry about the rest flowing through your fingers. This is a lesson I need to relearn daily. How about you?
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