Pick one moment during which you felt most alive this year. Describe it in vivid detail (texture, smells, voices, noises, colors).
I went to BlogHer '10 this past August. I was teetering on the verge of sobriety and lacked all footing. On the afternoon of August 7th, I was a drunk dry for the afternoon, waiting on the coming night's open bar and pawing my way through the muck of 2000 too many people in New York's soupy humidity.
I longed to be grounded.
Kate, Maggie, the Palinode, and I met at Il Corso for lunch, a small open-air affair with white tablecloths and spotless glasses. We ordered food we could not pronounce. We ate too much bread with olive oil and lentils.
There was so much grief to hold on to and let go of, there was anxiety and sadness a hundred miles wide and just as deep, but there seemed to be air in that restaurant at our table. All of New York was a vacuum tube, but our group of four just ten feet in from the street was fresh and light. I could feel my lungs expand not with sodden heat but with easy clarity.
I didn't know how heavy my life had become to me. I had forgotten lightness. I'd shot the albatross.
The devil of this moment is not in its physical details. The roughness of the white tablelinens, the chink of ice in waterglasses, the softness of faces when they fell to listening: all of these distract from the truth.
My liberation lay in a mood that can not be un-had. The power of being able to breathe freely and without burden in that space, kindred spirits found in chaos, discovery of a rare peace in companionship: these have stayed with me and grown to become a room within myself where I remember who I am, the possibility and the ability of this selfhood.
Thank you Kate, Maggie, and the Palinode.