Yesterday afternoon, I realized how empty the house was, with my husband away in Europe, and nothing pressing to do. Strangled by the quietness, I left, brooding over my un-extraordinary life, and drove around listening to a Brahms concerto, feeling directionless. I parked my car in a strip mall to watch the sun set in grayish pink tones over a Bank of America and a sparse splattering of shops and ash trees across the busy road. I ate in a Panera Bread and read The Runner’s Rule Book, laughing out loud over my tomato soup at jokes about black toe nails and racing etiquette only runners could find hilarious. I came back to the still empty apartment in the dark, turned on the air conditioner, read about a boy murdered and dismembered in Brooklyn, and pondered on the purpose of this life. Then I sang prayers in my meditation room.
In all of this, I realized the enormous complexity of life, how no one day is contained in a single emotion. I decided it was after all a day of small extraordinary events, and promised myself to mindfully do at least one simple and extraordinary thing every day for the rest of my undetermined length of time here.