I wish I could say we all lived happily ever after. I can't. But I can say we lived. Our love for Nate lives, and he's left us this piece of himself in his art; it was his gift to us. We know him through his art, and I can take comfort in that. I guess the thing about high school is, it's the moment when you start to cross from a being a kid to being an adult, and this journey to know yourself begins. Nate's journey ended to early, and I thought I had to run away to some far-off land to start mine. But, for now, it seems to me that I have enough to explore right here. There's a whole continent to discover in myself, and I know that it's love - love for my parents, my friends, my brother, and my art - that will guide me. Love will be my map.
Living is about capturing the essence of things. I go through my life every day with a vial, a vial wherein can be found precious essential oils of every kind! The priceless, fragrant oils that are the essence of my experiences, my thoughts. I walk inside a different realm from everybody else, in that I am existing in the essence of things; every time there is reason to smile, I hold out my glass vial and capture that drop of oil, that essence, and then I smile. And that is why I have smiled, and so you and I may be smiling at the same time but I am smiling because of that one drop of cherished, treasured oil that I have extracted. When I write, I find no need to memorize an idea, a plot, a sequence of things: no. I must only capture the essence of a feeling or a thought and once I have inhaled that aroma, I know that I have what I need.
If you saw her in these moments, you might think she was collecting her thoughts in order to go forward. But I see it another way: Her mind is being overwhelmed by two processes that must simultaneously proceed at full steam. One is to deal with and live in the present world. The other is to re-experience and mourn something that happened long ago. It is as though her lightness pulls her toward heaven, but the extra gravity around her keeps her earthbound.
Why can't we simply borrow what is useful to us from Buddhism, Hinduism, Taoism, especially Zen, as we borrow from Christianity, science, American Indian traditions and world literature in general, including philosophy, and let the rest go hang? Borrow what we need but rely principally upon our own senses, common sense and daily living experience.