If ever there is tomorrow when we’re not together… there is something you must always remember. You are braver than you believe, stronger than you seem, and smarter than you think. But the most important thing is, even if we’re apart… I’ll always be with you –
You can stop right here with the quote if you want. Read it one or two times more and go about your business.
I found it atop The Exception’s blog post of October 26, which I read a little while ago. It was titled, “The One that Remains Untitled.”
I moved my lips to the quote three times before reading on. It’s a post—nay, a novel—in itself, isn’t it? If I’d never appreciated the Tao of Pooh before, that quote alone would open my eyes.
I had meant to write about something else today, but now it’s gone. In her post, The Exception went on to tell about a friend who had just lost a child—a sudden, unexplained stopping of the heart.
How do you title a piece about that? You don’t. You fret about it, give up, and let it remain untitled.
It doesn’t take much to see that the problems of three little people don’t amount to a hill of beans in this crazy world.
–Humphrey Bogart, Casablanca
Sometimes I think about that last scene in Casablanca where Rick tells Ilsa he’s not getting on the plane with her. His “hill-of-beans” line bores directly into my bloggy middle. If you’re going to write, write about big things, not your little problems.
But then, after saying the line, Rick gives it the lie by lifting Ilsa’s chin so their eyes meet. “Here’s looking at you, kid,” he says, and melts everyone’s heart.
When I first read Pooh’s tomorrow words, I thought of a parent speaking to a child. I thought about myself speaking to Nick.
I always think that way about such words I, suppose, because I would have loved my father to have spoken something like that to me when I was a child, before his sudden leaving.
At first I didn’t think about the words going the other way round, from a child to a parent. Which is why The Exception’s post was a kick in the gut. No child would ever say a thing like that, so we need Pooh to say it.
As I write, the election is a week away. The candidates are more or less in a dead heat. Upon this vote turn matters of great weight. One candidate is the real deal, the other is a fake, take your pick which is which.
But all that isn’t real. All the far away sadness isn’t real. That’s not quite fair. Perhaps it’s more accurate to say those things aren’t real enough. What’s real enough, of course, is what’s in front of you when you look away from the screen.
As The Exception says so beautifully, We just have this moment; today; just this and just now.
There will be time enough to think about all the big things and all the sadness.
Hug your kid.
If you don’t have a kid handy, hug someone else.
YOU MIGHT ALSO ENJOY:
The Beauty Balm. Solace from Big Little Wolf. Just go read it, if you haven’t already.
Detail of Painting by Steve Seinberg (courtesy Daily Plate of Crazy)
Casablanca. Can it be possible that somebody, somewhere, hasn’t seen this movie? If even one of you is in that lamentable and yet happy position, this link to the Netflix DVD will not have been in vain. I feel bad for Netflix. Despite their transgressions, they are still the best movie deal going. Run, don’t walk.
Got something beautiful? A favorite line in Casablanca? Pooh? The Tao Te Ching? Just Add Father is listening. (Add your thoughts by clicking a few lines below below, where it says comments or add one. I always respond here.)
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