Things I cannot catch: Sunsets, even when I climb into jets and chase like I’m desperate for dream amidst the crimson-gold. The magic way white light sparkles up a clear plastic cup of iced Sprite Zero above the screen of my phone. My emotions. Time with all the favorite people, and time with all the people I want to become favorites and time with all the people who favorite me. Water splashing out of my Nalgene when I accelerate. The tears, as they thicken. Sunsets that deserve eyes and words as magic as themselves, or none at all.
The way he looks at me. The way Minnesota makes me feel. Chocolate cravings. When to take a picture and when to gaze through my own lenses. The vastness of the word home (and love, and hello, and a deep sigh.)
What is this obsession with catching, keeping, having, holding, possessing, owning? Is my heart so small that I must bring things in close, press them against the rhythmic beating just to enjoy them? Perhaps it’s the sleepiness speaking.
I’m learning slowly how to hold things more loosely. Last Friday I didn’t take a picture. I hiked five miles and kept my hands off my phone, eyes on the mountains, my heart open and happy, loping alongside my husband’s long stride. I caught our smiles later, us and brother Luke, grinning blurrily at the moving camera, being stupid and happy about travel and wearing contrasting patterns of plaid.
Today I let the sunset happen mostly. We lifted off airport tarmac and turned west and the colors spread out wide along the horizon. The sunset crept away but we were following and I clung to the striped sky with all my last energy.
I feel better.
Something somehow makes me think there’s depth there, lessons just hovering beneath typeface waiting to soak into a soul or two.
Maybe you need to hear what I need to hear: that you can’t catch the sunset. That you can run until your lungs and legs burn and you’ll never stop the western horizon from eating light. But you’ll never stop the east from birthing it either. And maybe sitting up here, suspended above clouds and homes and chasing the light hard because it led away towards the tumbled front range home of Colorado – maybe that was better. Maybe the moment didn’t need to be captured, but loved twice; first savored and second remembered. Perhaps squeezing the life out in photos is never as sweet as soaking it in moments, reliving it in quiet settled hours.
Maybe, somehow, we learn to lave our lives in attention, this savory story.