Dita Parker

Tuesday, October 6, 2009


Do you live in the moment? Get things done ASAP because you may never have another chance? Or is it the perfect reason to take the scenic route? Make a phone call, smell your flower of choice, or stop to think and forget to start again, to quote the infinite wisdom of Pooh, since you may never have another chance?

But isn't the insistence to live in the here and now sometimes only a desperate attempt to hold on to the status quo, even when you sense resistance is futile? I don't know what else explains this sudden melancholy. Jorge Amado said the only sin and the greatest insult against life is sadness. Well, forgive me Jorge for I have sinned. After some northern exposure one-on-one you would have too. But you would not have been much of a writer had you stuck your head in the sand, the seemingly endless sandy coast of Bahia, somewhere out there, way out there. Way too far out there.

I'm not exactly sad summer is over. Saudade is the Brazilian Portuguese word for how I'm feeling; a bittersweet longing. It grips me every fall. A fragile state, a vulnerable existence where I have no right to claim I enjoy every passing second to the fullest, not if I'm startled by the sight of raindrops and rusty leaves or threatened by the darkest of nights and dusky, foggy mornings. Why do I fear them so much? They're beautiful. This is Scandinavia with its changing seasons and temperatures. It is what it is. What it's supposed to be.

I like to think I live in the moment. I cannot honestly say I do if I'm this hung up on summer and bracing myself for another winter of discontent. I'm bound to shut out much and that's no way to experience the world or write. That's no way to live at all. I'll force myself to pay attention instead and remind myself to doubt everything I'm sure of, especially concerning myself.

We're not everything we believe ourselves to be. And we're more than we think. We may sometimes see two very different faces in the mirror but as long as we can live with both and not shun either I guess we'll be all right.

So what's your kryptonite?

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