Clarity in Stillness

by Valerie Wittman


I don't want life to speed past me like a blur of moving traffic. I want to breathe in all its gifts and let its current run right through me. I want to look at beauty and not just see it but feel it. I don't just want a starry sky, I want it to tell me its story. I want it to lecture me as I gawk up at it from one out of endless perspectives. I want to shut up for once and listen to the purring of the wind while appreciating the way it tickles my skin when it brushes past me. And even if my thoughts intervene maybe I'll still hear its lullaby. I want my next meal to not just be a race until desert. That's all life ever seems to be. I want to admire every hidden flavor as they melt on my tongue. I want to lick my lips between each bite. To really take my time as I lovingly satisfy my appetite with a little sweet and savory. I want to dust off old vinyl records and be swept off my feet by music the right way. With its pops and crackles and perfect imperfections. I don't want to skip to any song, I want to hear them all. Every heavenly instrument and heartfelt lyric. I want to love someone so much I see their face in the clouds. And I want our next kiss to be two spirits colliding. And then I don't want small talk, I want enormous talk. All centered around the cobwebs of our pasts, what keeps us up at night and what makes our hearts sing. I want to stop overlooking signs and start realizing all that's right in front of me. I've already slept through far too many miracles it seems. I don't want my coffee to go, I want to sit and sip it mindfully in the courtyard to the soundtrack of children's laughter. Then I want to express gratitude for that coffee and laughter. I want to drive in my car with no destination in mind. Just an open road beckoning me from beyond. I want the kind of clarity that can only birth from stillness. In a space where the clamor of voices can't talk over wisdom. I want to see the world through a child's eyes, with my mouth agape as if seeing it all for the first time. I never want to acclimate to the trees, the mountains, the oceans, the cotton candy skies. And if I do please let them remind me of their grandeur. I don't want to move so quickly that I zoom past life itself. Because then I'll be an old woman longing for her wasted youth. And she would want me to savor every fleeting moment. She would want me to look. Really look. To listen. Really listen. To feel. To taste. To breathe. To love. To be. She would want me to bask in my borrowed time. To wrap my arms around the many marvels of the world and not just graze them with my fingertips. But to embrace them as the whole that I'm a part of. Because soon everything that surrounds me will be nothing but a reflection in my rearview mirror. And I will have sprinted right past my one precious life.