"He is two feet longer than the skiff," the old man said. The line was going out fast but steadily and the fish was not panicked. The old man was trying with both hands to keep the line just inside of breaking strength. He knew that if he could not slow the fish with a steady pressure the fish could take out all the line and break it.
He is a great fish and I must convince him, he thought. I must never let him learn his strength nor what he could do if he made his run. If I were him I would put in everything now and go until something broke. But, thank God, they are not as intelligent as we who kill them; although they are more noble and more able.
I admire a lot of people and things. I admire the moon on a clear night. The sound of rain pelting my window. Poems by Sharon Olds and Tracy K. Smith. President Obama. President Biden for being willing to take on the mess left by his predecessor. My dog for showing me unconditional love every day. And I admire my wife and kids for putting up with me and all my weird, neurotic, obsessive, depressive tendencies.
Today, I took a seven-hour drive with my family to Gurnee, Illinois, to make good on a promise I made to my son. When he had his eighth grade class trip taken away from him by a school administration too worried about covering its own mistakes, I told my son that I would take him to Great America. So, here I sit in a Gurnee hotel room with my son, daughter, daughter's significant other, and wife.
I didn't make this trip because I want my family to admire me. Or because I love rollercoasters. (I don't, by the way.) Or because I had an extra $1000 lying around the house. (I never do.) I am in Illinois tonight because I love my wife and kids. Period. Love being with them. Sharing pizza with them. Going to movies with them. Laughing with them.
All we have is today. Right now. I chose to live in this moment because there's no guarantee for tomorrow. This point has been made very clear to me in the last day or so.
Sure, I'm still climbing my way out of an unending blue funk. At points during every day I cry, panic, cry some more, and feel overwhelmed. But even in the middle of all of that, I know love. Deep love.
Saint Marty's blessing today: a new pair of Vans shoes. (Hey, they are super cool.)
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