on falling

Only those who attempt the absurd achieve the impossible.

Only those who attempt the absurd achieve the impossible.


This life, it isn’t always easy.

It’s legs that don’t work correctly, a clouded mind and hands that feel like they’re on fire.

It’s a husband with a rare and nameless blood disorder that’s waiting for the next opportunity to steal ability, thought and possibly his life.

It’s war, an endless war that takes my friends and doesn’t give them back or gives them back, changed.

It’s coming home from a war and never being quite right again.

It’s a family that isn’t quite mine and doesn’t want to be.

It’s a family that is mine, through marriage, and is hurting, and there isn’t a thing I can do about it, because bodies are bodies and cancer is a bitch, and all we can do is wait and hope and it is hell and I hate it.

Some times, this world is just one giant goddamned wall, and it’s all you can do just to lean your body against it and breathe.

And my loves, I’m here to say it’s okay.

It’s okay.

Some days, this life is also me, showing up in Hartford, a broken and frightened thing, and being welcomed with open arms.

It’s a painter in a handmade Red Sox dress, editing wedding photos in the best bedroom in the whole world, dropping everything because I’ve called and asked if she’s home tonight.

It’s my nephew, a miraculously towheaded boy with a shy smile that could light an entire state, tiny as it is.

It’s an unbelievably sweet note from an brilliant and accomplished woman who hardly knows me, but is very kind to me.

It’s walking eight miles in Boston, because infusions are medical magic, and my leg came back. Oh, bless.

It’s one- man bands in parks on perfect days.

It’s the weatherman being wrong.

It’s ridiculous conversations with strangers, borrowing lighters and breaking tension.

It’s moving from the word okay to the word good, and from frightened uncertainty to tentative happiness.

It’s wondering whatever happened to Schnarl.

It’s not getting mugged when I came home that night, and instead letting someone use my phone and having a really short, sweet conversation with a guy who needed to call a cab in the middle of the night, in the middle of the city.

It’s having faith.

It’s a woman with a famous voice and painted arms welcoming me into her home and being my backup: there are no words, no matter how hard I try. She is a miracle, and always has been. I’ll never get over the luck in my life.

It’s feeling like you’re falling, you are helpless and lost and falling and realizing that the world has reached out its arms and caught you. It’s realizing that this happens, that it can happen, that you can feel as though you are falling or falling apart or just plain coming loose at the seams and it isn’t like the old days any more: the world will catch you this time.

The world caught me this time.

Forget everyone who ever let me down: I don’t care about that, or them, or any of it. I don’t mean that in a “screw them” sort of way- what I mean is that I literally don’t care about any of that, and instead I deeply, passionately care about everyone and everything that held me up over the last week. I’m not even beginning to cover it all. I can’t even come close- last week was a Week of Weeks- but the love and luck in my life by far outweighs any negativity. I am, and have always been, a very fortunate girl.

When people who know my story ask me how it is that I am so happy, this is what I will tell them: I am happy because of all of the small, beautiful things, and because some times, when you are falling, the world reaches out its arms and catches you.

  One thought on “on falling

  1. May 17, 2013 at 10:15 pm

    You are truly amazing! Beautiful things happen to beautiful people. You are such a strong person, and inspiring to all of us who are in envy of your strength. In the face if every adversity, you hang in there….

  2. Patty Selenski
    May 17, 2013 at 10:26 pm

    You are a truly awesome person and I am so glad I got to meet you Sarah!

  3. Gail
    May 17, 2013 at 10:44 pm

    Oh! Thank you world!

  4. Isadora
    May 17, 2013 at 10:59 pm

    Beautiful. You really are light.

  5. Nancy Sieck
    May 18, 2013 at 12:28 am

    Oh, Sarah! That is so beautiful. We all need to remember to change our focus, as you did, to the small miracles that are around us every day. And let that be enough. nan

  6. Tan
    May 18, 2013 at 12:47 am

    You are so beautiful, Sarah.

  7. Nan Sieck
    May 18, 2013 at 1:10 am

    You are so right. Focus on the good and beautiful people and things in our lives.The troubles and sadness won’t go away, but dwelling on the negativity allows the bad side of the world to “win”, leaving us no time or energy to even see the joy and the “… world waiting to catch us”, that is out there. I’ve written a Mark Twain quote on the wall of my studio as a reminder that I get to choose… “Most people are just about as happy as they make up their minds to be”.
    People dealing with unspeakable horrors can find the courage to be positive, leaving us to wonder how they manage to do it. People who have been given a smooth road can choose to have a pity party, attitude isn’t situational. It all comes down to our choices: thanks for reminding us that we get to choose how we reflect life.

  8. May 18, 2013 at 7:34 am

    I love getting glimpses into your heart. It’s always raw and honest and beautiful. Thank you for being willing to share. Your writing is luminous.

  9. MikeW
    May 18, 2013 at 11:30 am

    Your spirit is real. You are forever.

  10. May 18, 2013 at 2:15 pm

    This is just fantastic.

  11. May 18, 2013 at 11:39 pm

    Sarah! You’re still here!!

    I don’t know if you remember me. I found you a long time ago through a question and answer website. And then I read your blogs for a while. I left for a church mission, and came back, and I was still reading your blog posts. But I read them on Google Reader. And then, I didn’t. There were no posts for a long time, and occasionally someone would post on “your” blog with just something about LinkedIn or, the past few times it’s been links to porn.

    I just clicked to see your previous posts, and now I know what happened: in June 2010 you moved your blog, and at the time I thought it would continue to update in my Google Reader, but it didn’t. Today I came directly to your URL from that last post and I found you! I have often thought of you and wondered how you’re doing.

    I’m very grateful to have found you again, and I am looking forward to reading about your past few years. I’ve flipped through a few different posts, just peeking ahead, or back, I guess, and I kind of forgot how your writing makes me feel so connected to humankind, if that makes any sense.

    I’m wishing good things for you. (And–wow–I can’t believe kiddo is going to college!! Already?)

  12. Donnell
    May 19, 2013 at 12:02 am

    Thank you.

  13. May 22, 2013 at 6:11 pm

    Sarah, you are a testament to the resiliency of the human spirit and how in the midst of pain and suffering of body, mind and spirit, one can still see the glass half full, bravo!!

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