Day 271: Do You Realize?

Mrs. Hill was our neighbor for a few years when Miles was very young. She lived in the big house next door, alone. Her husband built the house we lived in. He was a painter. When we first bought the house and prepared to move in, I swept the empty bedroom floor and talked to him. I was in the house alone and I told him I was grateful for the home that we were now living in. I was preparing to paint the room and I wanted him to know I like to paint and that I was going to do an excellent job. We picked a lovely green.

I used to cut the grass on the steep hill. Miles and his friends ran around in the yard and played on the big rock in the corner of the little flat part. We played ball there and played in the sandbox. We put up a fence because Owen would wander wherever and we did not want him to get too far.

The house is abandoned now. So is Mrs. Hill’s house. They have been empty for several years for some reason. They are overgrown with weeds.

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Day 86: All We Have Is Now

In my previous life, there were moments of happiness when I would think to myself, “It seems like the whole world is designed for me.” Something good would happen and then another good thing would happen and it felt like everything was going right. It was not a hubristic statement, but a reflection of a temporary state when all was well and looking up. I am enough of a pessimist to know it never lasts, so I never let it go to my head. I never held on too tightly to those moments. I let them pass through my life like a cool wind on a hot day, and I tried to catch it in my sails for as long as I could.

I do not think I will ever feel that way again. No matter how well things are going, there is always going to be something missing, something amiss. A low-level noise in the background will always be there, louder sometimes more than others but always always there. The discomfort of unease at the state of the world, our inadequate world, our lapsed state.