It’s been a long time since I’ve felt the need to write. I think sometimes in my life writing has been a necessity, a grounding force, something that if disappeared, if it wasn’t present, anchoring me, I’d fly away like a balloon that a toddler forgot to hold onto. Momentous times in my life bring this necessity back to me with unnerving strength. It’s like a hot wind with such magnitude that I forget to breathe. And the only way to get my breath back is to write. To write furiously, the words coming with such force, almost spewing out of me- erupting. I can never keep up, I’m just holding on.

I want refinement in so many ways, but the mess is what anchors me. I played a game like Speed Scrabble with a friend the other night, and in the fury of trying to beat her in using all of the letters in my possession, I became distracted by the words that formed. I had forgotten about this word, or that, and I was suprised, excited that they were visiting me again. I want words to come visit me, to come live with me and sit, in my presence, to give me the pleasure of tasting them, sitting on my tongue and then placing them with my pen strokes on this paper where they’ll live for a while. I have to remember to spend time with them, these words. Not in spoken form, not regulated by pixels or soundbites, but typecast and laughing on the pages where they’re happiest. It’s the words that inspire me.

I feel anxious and awakened at the beginning of this week and this new year. I feel unquiet, I feel restless. Powerful and powerless at the same moment, unknowing of how to wield my power. I feel the pressure of years-future pressing hotly on the insecurities, immobilities, and inabilities of the present. I feel, in my bones, the necessity of movement. Of Movements, any kind of Movement. If I keep dancing, if I only keep dancing, my feet say, maybe I’ll make the world move. If I convince the unwilling people, take a look at their eyes and do  a bit of convincing, if I make the thrill of the dance absolutely undeniable, then there’s a chance. But I have to, I must, dance with conviction in spite of those to try to convince us that we should quiet our feet. I’ll dance and stomp and look them in the eye and for one moment, that moment, they’ll know they’re not alone.

He came over with his dad to our table last night at dinner, his dad explaining that I was the one that was celebrating a birthday, for whom the cake had seemingly magically appeared for the kitchen. His 4 year old eyes lit up- there’s no better phrase but ‘full of wonder. ‘ When I asked his name, he said, matter-of-factly- “Jack.” and when I told him that the flowers on my cake were made of marshmallows, his mouth suddenly opened in surprise and excitement- MARSHMALLOWS? on cake?  I traded a piece of my marshmallow cake for a moment of sweet joy.

How I want to live my life with that awe- whether it be the sunshine in my hair of moments of laughter with friends at something ridiculous, meeting a new small person, cooking dinner for friends or cheering on the Braves with my family, reaching for my favorite mug to make my favorite tea, or any number of out-of-this-world-out-of-my-mind crazy experiences here and abroad, I want to expect such moments with fervor. Each moment deserves a wide-eyed ‘Jack’ moment.

Give me the capacity for wonder, my universe, that I may not explode or implode from either the beauty or the pain. May I find my marshmallow moments. May I seize life.

Happy 24th to me. It’s going to be a good year.