POV: Basketcase.

POV ("point of view") is a new series that addresses many of the same themes covered in my Equals Record column: growing up, saying yes to adventure, learning to embrace a quarter-life crisis. Each POV entry will include a photograph and a short reflection based on what’s pictured. While my previous column focused largely on ideas, POV will focus on moments - glimpses, glances, tiny stories.

I knew things were changing when, perched on a stool at a table in my favorite neighborhood coffee shop, I read a letter that the poet Ted Hughes had written to his troubled twenty-something son years ago, and felt tears welling in my eyes.

That’s how we measure out our real respect for people, he writes, by the degree of feeling they can register, the voltage of life they can carry and tolerate - and enjoy. End of sermon. 

A man sitting across from me at the table in the coffee shop pulled a chocolate doughnut from a paper bag and took a bite.

As Buddha says, Hughes continues, live like a mighty river. And as the old Greeks said: live as though all your ancestors were living again through you.

I read those last lines again. And again. A third time still. Blinked back tears. 

The man with the doughnut was staring at me. “How’s your day going?” he asked, chocolate on his fingers.

“Great,” I replied, and sniffled. “That doughnut looks delicious.”

“I’m an emotional basketcase,” I told a friend later.

“What’s going on?” she asked. “Are you feeling okay?”

“I feel amazing,” I said. 


Thank you so much, as always, for reading. You can find last week's POV entry, here, and the archive for my personal essay column on the Equals Record, here. More to come!

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