life as i know it

"...everything in life is writable about if you have the outgoing guts to do it, and the imagination to improvise. The worst enemy to creativity is self-doubt." -Sylvia Plath

Wednesday, October 12, 2005


Sometimes I stop and contemplate where I am and where I’ve come from, both literally and metaphorically. Oftentimes these thoughts come when I’m speeding down the freeway at 75 mph and suddenly realize that I’m in the middle of 6 lanes of barreling traffic. Though this might not seem like a monumental revelation, it happens to be one for me. I can easily remember the days, not so long ago, when I refused to even drive on the interstate, much less in the middle lane. The days when the mere thought of such traffic terrified me to paralysis. The days when I could not have fathomed that the incessant beeping of horns and the blur of swerving cars would be a part of my everyday life.

Sometimes these thoughts come when I’m walking through the doors of one of Atlanta’s many, busy Emergency Rooms. Or when I’ve already walked through those doors and I’m speaking with some lost soul who has thankfully failed at ending their life. And the stench of sickness is overwhelming to the senses and I realize that only mere months ago the fear would have been too great to sit in these germ-filled rooms.

Sometimes these thoughts arise from nothing more than the sight of the skyline, with its monstrous buildings rising into the clouds. And I remember that only a year ago, those buildings were replaced by open fields and country highways, bales of cotton and miles of flat land. And before that were the jagged coastline and ancient oak trees with wiry streamers of Spanish moss. The scent of salty marsh that once greeted me through open windows has changed. First, to the aroma of freshly mowed farms that accompanied an ever-present silence. Now, to the smell of fuel exhaust that accompanies the constant buzz of too many people and too much traffic.

Regardless of what is happening when I stop and think of these changes, I am always reminded that some things never change. Though the specifics of my daily life are a drastic alteration from my past, I still feel the same emotions. A year ago, I would drive to work and thank God for the tranquility offered in the scenery. Now, I drive to work and thank God for the beauty of the river that I cross every day. And I thank God for the opportunities that I have been given in this city of diversity and grandiosity. But though the forms have changed, the underlying blessings are still here.

And each time I think of all the changes that have occurred, I am also reminded of how much I have grown to be in the place I am now. And this growth is the greatest blessing of all.


At 4:03 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

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At 4:03 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

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At 1:03 AM, Blogger Mark Wakefield said...

This is such a beautiful passage, Tara. I almost feel myself in certain places, crossing certain byways, and loafing in certain cloisters while I read what you have written. You truly have an ethereal gift of infusing poetry into your prose.

At 1:04 AM, Blogger Mark Wakefield said...

And PS. Way to go for making it to the middle lane!


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