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Each Page

All of Time began when you first answered
to the names your mother and father gave you.

Soon, those names will travel with the leaves.
Then, you can trade places with the wind.

Then you’ll remember your life
as a book of candles,
each page read by the light of its own burning.
Li-Young Lee, Become Becoming

Recently, I spoke about travel with people who aren’t traveling right now for the same reasons I once didn’t travel. Different chapter of life, as the saying aptly goes. Each page offers value and helps complete the story, but we don’t always see that when the story is incomplete.

The thing is, the story is always incomplete to the very end. We live a novel life with the last page ripped out. There’s simply no knowing how this one turns out until we get there ourselves. Each page is ours to write, mostly ours anyway, edited by the troupe that presently surrounds us. Our task is to make it a hell of a story.

Page-turners tend to be thrilling but lack substance. Weightier tomes sometimes feel plodding and a chore to get through but leave a mark long after we’ve tucked them up on the shelf. Somewhere in between is a life’s work that is meaningfully appealing and often reflected upon.

Ultimately there will be other chapters. Aware of this, we might choose to weave magic and depth into this one. When we arrive later in our story, the pieces may finally all come together. It’s then that we’ll remember the true meaning of each page.

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