“I woke up once in the middle of the night, and Buckminster’s paws were on my eyelids. He must have been feeling my nightmares.” Extremely Loud and Incredibly Close by Johnathan Safran Foer
I have read a great many books since my childhood but there are very few that linger within me the way this one does. I think of the way my own cat, Bali, will sleep upon my chest – sniffing my eyelids and laying a cool paw on my lips when my breathing blows through her fur, something she finds supremely annoying. She knows when I have awful dreams because she will sleep a good distance away to avoid my tossing and turning.
Tomorrow is my birthday. 27. Which means that it is almost 3 years since the worst day. Somehow, things seem unrecognizable since then. Even so, I find myself looking forward to each new year as an opportunity to put more distance between myself and 24. Time doesn’t really heal all wounds so much as it profoundly dulls them from a sharp stab to an underlying ache. A new year, a birthday, is yet another opportunity to peel away the next layer in the quest to discover all that life has to offer. What adventures are in store? What changes will occur? There is always the promise that what lies ahead will be infinitely better than what lies behind.
Just 3 years ago, Bali was a scrawny kitten whose face was oddly distorted by the bold orange and white patch above her eye. My mother professed that this was the ugliest cat she had ever laid eyes on. Now she is a hefty creature of 10lbs and the orange and white patch has seemingly shrunk to nothing but a daub upon her fur. Dad used to sit in his chair and call to her from across the dining room, “hey, Ballsy…come here”. He knew it was a ridiculous nickname but I always hear him in my head when she comes running to me, chattering in her cheerful mew.
So now I am 27 and Bali is almost 4 but the more things change, the more they seem to stay the same in this old house. I am curious to see what will be different about this year and what will remain as it is. I never really thought about coming this far before.