Tuesday, January 29, 2008

Serious Daring

I had a conversation today about the weight of memory and how in certain cities, that weight bears down more heavily than in others.

It wasn't in relation to old cities and the weight of history - walking down a cobblestone street that has been worn smooth by the passage of hundreds of years of feet taking the same path. It was in relation to personal memories.

I've eagerly gone to some cities and run away from others. Sometimes I've run to and run away from the same city.

While running away seems generally like a cowardly thing to do, sometimes it's the SMART thing to do. Because why bear the weight of heavy memories when you don't have to?

But that weight CAN be lifted. Maybe it takes both physical and temporal distance from a particular city to achieve that. Certainly that distance can make things easier... and there is nothing wrong with trying to ease what's difficult.

Not all questions have answers and sometimes you need to be ok with that. As someone who has both stayed and left... I'll put in my two cents and say that new starts don't require anything but a shift in perspective. Of course, that's infinitely hard to do. Only in hindsight does it seem effortless - like going to the eye doctor and s/he fits a new lens in that contraption you rest your face against and asks, "is this better?"

Eudora Welty closed her autobiography, One Writer's Beginnings, with these three sentences:
I am writer who has led a very sheltered life. But a sheltered life can be a daring life as well. For the most serious daring starts from within.

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