Carbon, nitrogen . . . there was an explosion, and now you have to pay attention
to everything. At the party, everyone was talking about the crappy TV series
that’s so popular, and you didn’t say you wanted better, wanted more.
I suppose this is what I mean when I say we cannot possibly know what will manifest in our lives. We live and have experiences and leave people we love and get left by them. People we thought would be with us forever aren’t and people we didn’t know would come into our lives do. Our work here is to keep faith with that, to put it in a box and wait. To trust that someday we will know what it means, so that when the ordinary miraculous is revealed to us we will be there, standing before the baby girl in the pretty dress, grateful for the smallest things.
From Tiny Beautiful Things: Advice on Love and Life from Dear Sugar by Cheryl Stayed. Thanks to Grace for recommending this book — serendipitous timing.
E quando poi davanti a te si apriranno tante strade e non saprai quale prendere, non imboccarne una a caso, ma siediti e aspetta. Respira con la profondità fiduciosa con cui hai respirato il giorno in cui sei venuta al mondo, senza farti distrarre da nulla, aspetta e aspetta ancora. Stai ferma, in silenzio, e ascolta il tuo cuore. Quando poi ti parla, alzati e và dove lui ti porta.
― Susanna Tamaro, Va’ dove ti porta il cuore
Almost ten years ago, I came across this quote scrawled on a wall in Sorrento, Italy. I loved it at the time and it’s a photograph that I always keep right next to my bed as a reminder.
For some reason, today, I decided to look up to see where exactly it came from, if not from the genius mind of some teenager in Campania. And, indeed, it’s from a book I’ve never read, but think I absolutely need to.
My rough version of a translation
When so many paths open up before you and you’re not sure which to take, don’t choose just any, but sit and wait. Breathe with the same confident depth with which you breathed the day you came into this world, without any distractions, wait and wait some more. Be still, in silence, and listen to your heart. And when it speaks to you, get up and go where it takes you.