One Day It Will All Make Sense

A wooden dining room chair in the forest, during a snow storm, staring out at the Hudson River.

Nothing makes sense right now.

One day it will all make sense.

These are the dualities that we live in right now. We live in a time where we are both in the past and in the future — and quite disbelieving of the present. In the same week, I found myself both saying that the kids I am seeing are exhibiting heightened levels of anxiety than I have ever seen, and that it will surely be fine in a few generations. I was both in the moment, and hoping for it to pass. I was both in the grim reality and the potential healing.

Last Friday, it both snowed, and the sun saw it fit to grace us for a few short minutes. On a late afternoon run, I came across this chair in the forest — It struck me for two reasons — the first being that it resembles the chairs that used to surround my grandparents’ dining room table, the second being that it sat -forlorn — looking out at the horizon. I was momentarily in simultaneous grief and hope. We are perpetually in “both….and…” right now.

We are in both grief and hope. We are in both certainty and doubt. We are both in stringencies and leniences. We are both in stress and calm. We are both in salty and sweet.

We are in an improv scene, but without the payoff.

The end of anything often leaves us with a momentary emptiness. It may be that at the end of a year, we try to leave behind us those moments that were challenging and open our hearts for new healing. We may be trying to step forward, and find ourselves taking several steps backwards. We fill with fear, with sadness, with anger — and the awareness of these emotions brings trepidation. We are walking a tightrope, and suddenly becoming aware of the ground below — so, so far below us.

Yet — in that heart pounding, temple throbbing, joint crushing moment of anger and fear- we are present. We are oh- so- present right now. We are monitoring every sensation in our bodies — is it COVID or did I just not sleep well last night? Is it COVID or did I stub my toe? — these are real, blood curdling thoughts. They navigate our veins in flimsy little boats, but still somehow make it into the conversations our neurons are having. Is it COVID or am I walking on a tightrope in the circus and there’s no net below me?

The question is, how do you move through the infuriating feeling of “both….and…” that doesn’t end with a laugh from an audience we can’t see? How do we walk the tightrope when we are so aware of the ground below?

Can something be both an ending and a beginning at the same time?

Coming up on the chair brought me to visit my grandparents in my memories, and to wonder about the person who put it here — to look out at the river. To hope. Where were they when I was running? What were they doing now? Were they warm? Happy? Safe? Did they know I both cared so much about them in that moment, and had no idea who they were?

“Both….and…” is hard. It rarely makes sense. It gives us the creepy crawly crazy feeling. Yet -here we are, in a new year (right?) living it every day. In some ways we are both teaching and learning, both shrinking and growing, both fearing and hoping.

I both ran past the chair, and took it home within me.

Both nothing makes sense right now, and one day it will all make sense.