Five Things a Day


Things I find beautiful:

Two older women at a coffee shop meeting for lunch and talking about the people in their lives, talking about their kids and grandkids. One of them showed pictures.

The toddler coloring while her mom eats. She also has stickers and just offered one of a flower to her mom, who put down her cinnamon roll to put the sticker on her blouse.

A very old man walking very slowly, noting that it is an extraordinary thing to have an ordinary day. He has a cane. He wears a hat.


Today on Facebook I read the post of a friend of mine who I hardly knew at all from a time in my life so long ago I can hardly remember, is visiting other friends in Arizona, and in the picture they’re laughing. I liked the picture and commented how much fun it looks, and one of her friends said, “Yes, and it is only eight in the morning!” I thought about how time is out of joint. In that one exchange I bulleted to 1973 to today and back again. We are all connected; Facebook is just the physical reminder and convenient apparatus. But we’ve all been connected the whole time, even if we lose touch.

How I noticed when I stopped at an ice rink to say hi to two skaters home from a world tour that these partners are on vacation and spending it skating together, in love with each other, in love with what they do for a living, and everything’s going to be alright. They pursued life the way they wanted it to be and found it. They skate really well too.

Driving across the river I noticed the sun on the water, and the colors, and the shapes of the colors ever so briefly before becoming other shapes, and how my son’s photography makes me notice the beauty in something I’ve been looking at my entire life.

So look, I have a new plan: I’m going to find five things a day and note how beautiful they are. This doesn’t mean I won’t still get pissed at the idiot walking diagonally across a parking lot and holding up a line of cars; or at the woman at the checkout who needs to account for everything in her purse before picking up her packages and getting the hell out of the way, or the punk in front of me at the light who was reading his phone when the light turned green and my quick honk to let him know he can go now startled him into flipping me the bird. No, I’ll still find no pleasure there.

But, honestly, it took me less time to note how the very old woman and her husband at the table next to me were thrilled to share a free chocolate chip cookie than it did to calm down from the finger flipping.

I take a lot of pictures of sunsets, sunrises, and I know they’re trite, I know the worst picture of a sunset or sunrise is still a beautiful thing, but they remind me that whatever falls between the beauty of the start and the beauty of the finish is still as miraculous.

Like the school bus filled with kids counting down their final days before summer.

Or the way waking up at three in the morning doesn’t mean I have to get frustrated at not sleeping when there is an indescribable blanket of stars to see just outside.

Or how endings, as Neil Simon once pointed out, can be just beginnings backwards, depending upon perspective.

Pachabel’s Canon in D.


Sitting with a friend, having a drink, laughing. Crying. Whatever.

Remembering. Wondering why.


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