How's life?

How's life?

This morning, I had what I like to dignify by calling a minor epiphany (you could also just call it "a thought", but where's the fun in that?).

The epiphany arrived in a cafe. I sipped my double espresso and stared at my notebook.

“I am tired,” I wrote.

I then wrote a little bit more about being tired.

I thought about my life. It feels like rather a lot. All chosen, but still, rather a lot: trying to make a go of a new career, no idea what the career is, bringing up a small child, another on the way, no family or friends nearby, just a bit of a relentless daily grind, really.

“Life is,” I wrote, and then I paused. I wanted to write “Life is hard” but something came to mind.

Last night, Rahi said, “I want to hear “Wellerman” and then go to bed.”

So we put Wellerman on and Rahi romped around the room doing what he calls dancing but what less generous critics might call emphatic walking. I danced / emphatically walked behind him. Tante Hanna joined in. Anni lay against the sofa on the floor, singing along. And we spent 5 minutes dancing and singing and laughing, and then Rahi went off to bed.

I had therapy today. About 9 months ago, my therapist told me: look, don’t pay me. I know you’re not earning much right now. I’ll do it with you for free. I was very touched but I found it a bit awkward as well - I want to pay, damnit! A few times since she has told me: This comes from the deepest place in my heart. I’m happy I can do this.

A succession of people flashed in front of my eyes during therapy today. Rahi, Anni, Johanna, Mike, Payal … many, many others. So much love. I had tears behind my eyes. Not sad tears, tears of being moved.

That’s my life too: filled with people who are kind and loving, filled with laughter, with song and dance, with conversations and encounters that delight, with good espresso and cold beer.

None of that is hard.

But this is not an argument for relentless positivity. It’s actually an argument for uncertainty.

“Life is … hard / easy / beautiful / ugly: no,” I wrote. “I aspire to eliminate adjectives. Life is life.”

I’m not saying that life is uniformly wonderful. I’m saying that life is not uniformly anything.

Sometimes, life is easy, sometimes, life is hard, sometimes it’s filled with love, sometimes people are racist at me on the street.

In the same moment, I contain love and anger, I feel joy and pain.

It seems to me simply false to reduce my experience of life to a single adjective.

How's life? I don’t know.