Sometimes, sitting in an airplane window seat at night above a brightly lit city, I’ve thought of what almost seems like another shining city, the city of my own life. Now and then, when I’m able to see my life from a distance, it seems to be lit-up with lights of all kinds. Close up, my life often seems under-lit, cluttered, and somewhat chaotic, but, when I stand way back, it looks like there’s serenity and a sort of luster in my hours and days. All the people, for instance, who come and go through my life are shining with their own hopes and worries – the shimmering lights of optimism as well as the pale lights of unease and sorrow. From a distance, the events in my life also seem to be sparkling in countless hues as they pass through my days and disappear. Some good, some bad, some just tedious – all the large and small episodes in my days, when I observe them from far off, seem to shine in their various ways. Somehow they all seem more effulgent than harmful, full of more brightness than distress. I sometimes pretend I’m on a mountaintop looking down at the valleys and hills of my life, and I realize, again, that this life of mine, this grand gift I was given 78 years ago, is indeed, a shining city for me, a spectacle of lights like I might see from a night sky over New York.  

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Mystic and Mystic Seaport, from a distance across the Mystic River …

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We took our morning walk today in Elm Grove Cemetery in Mystic, about 2.4 miles. It was inspiring, as usual, to be among the imposing, almost ceremonious trees, and to occasionally get a view from a distance, with the sun rising among clouds and brightening the stately gravestones.

Elm Grove Cemetery this morning

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A poem by William Wordsworth …


One thought on “Distances”

  1. Two very strong images, estuary/river and resting place. I’m thinking with them. Also remembering Mystic. What a treasure, this way to keep in touch! (P.S., The Wordsworth lines are an extra treat. Just right for the lovely day we had here today.)


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