I’m interested in the In-Between moments of life.
Flummoxed from decision-fatigue wrought from sheer fatigue-fatigue. I stand in a salad-selection stalemate. It’s 4 pm, I’m at the grocery store. The need for basic human fuel drove me here first. Pillow later. Deliberating five minutes too-long between organic arugula, organic kale, organic “power” greens…I just came in for some spinach. And there are three options more.
What will strike me later in an ironic (and more-rested) flash of insight is that I am currently living out one of the more “organic” moments of my life. Toss the salad. Mortality is cooking.
A simple errand made laughably complicated by choice. I’m in a sleep-drunk stupor. Away from the familiar beeps of blood pressure cuffs, thermometers, and clockwork check-ins, I’m a fish out of water. Outside of the sterile fishbowl bubble, things are suddenly less certain.
Who’s gonna monitor things here?
Is someone available to check the vitals on these greens?
…When did hospital become home?
Looking around I register other faces. I suppress the urge to grip someone’s arm, to ask him where he came from. “Did you just finish work? The gym? Where to next? How hard did you human today??” I’m desperate for the refuge of normalcy. Is it obvious how long it’s been since I last showered?
Peering into passerby’s shopping carts as if to make runes of soup cans. I try to translate pastas, breads, those baby tomatoes into a Möbius strip tell-all of How-My-Day-Was. As though I could decipher and decode my neighbors by deli cuts and cookie counts.
What a peculiar place, this petri dish of community and cuisine called Grocery Store. Each face bears a story. I pause again in Aisle 3. I feel like an Isle. I’m cocooned in this bubble named Reality. I just came for some spinach. When did I leave the well-lit produce perimeter and end up in the center-bowels of this store?
Is my human showing?
I’m interested in the tiniest fraction of those in-between spaces in life. Middling moments and how we manage…you know, like the fracture between a hit-and-run, (leave a note or go?) The decision pivots, the swallow that follows the shoe drop. When going up is going down, when limbo is thrust into Timbeerrr! I like to think it is these times that we get really honest.
The sort of honesty that smells like a days-plus past shower and acts like the Divine’s hand at play. Kinder and keener, more like a kid, it’s receptive and adaptive.
In and out. I’m interested in the pause that precedes an inhale, and the full depth and death of your exhale. But in the interim shuffle and squirm, in that in-between, gimme all the Whats, Wheres, and Hows we show up as People in our fully-realized Peopley-ness. Whether or not that means swelling to breathe and expand or fleeing for a temporary T-O. Because largely, mostly, always I’m interested in how we Human. I’ve been doing it a lot lately.
You could say I’ve gotten some life spinach stuck in my teeth.
But at least it’s organic.