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The unbearable lightness of being

January 15, 2012

With time on my hands I went looking to my desk this morning for something that needed fixing. I came across a photo album with a broken spine, some loose sheets of plastic, and slightly torn pages. There’s an oak leaf on the cover; it’s for strength.

I assessed it for the possibility of repairing it. The spine looked like it could be fixed with hot glue, but I was hoping to do a little better than that. I did not succeed, and I’ll end up replacing the album.

In removing all the pictures, I realized that this was my house album from my last known address. It captured the freedom I felt in the post-divorce area, the dark days leading up to my diabetic coma (in which I heard the attending emergency room physician speak about me in the past tense), the wonder that is insulin in the form of several sporting event photos, and the growing pains experienced in the addition of our youngest family member.

I held that address for five years. Somewhere near the midpoint, I spent a few hours with a small group of unlikely accomplices distributing soccer balls, clothing, and bouncy balls to children affected by AIDS in the Horn of Africa. They were dying. The thing about that is, it was of those rare moments in my own experience where I encountered life in its truest form.

The child in this photo followed me until I picked her up and carried her around with me for the remainder of my visit. Every now and then I fall apart.

The Whole World in My Hands

Summer 2009


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  1. This young girl recognized your strength aura. xo

  2. urbanrelocation permalink

    In my darkest hours, I draw my strength from her.

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