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  • Writer's pictureKelly Marks

The Currents

You’ve heard the phrase guilty pleasure! “Something, such as a movie or music, that you enjoy, despite feeling that is not generally held in high regard.“ What’s your guilty pleasure? Mine is accordion music. I know; it’s a little embarrassing, but I love it. I usually refrain from telling people though because I dread their judgment.

Quirky, cute films are another one. Mr. Right is a movie I saw recently; it’s very quirky. There’s a little humor, a little romance, a little assassination plotting. During one scene the two protagonists are throwing and catching knives and one of the characters says, “Everything we see, like physical things, it’s all just islands. And under it, carrying it, is the sweeping current. And if you pay attention, you can start to feel it.“

I feel like there’s some truth to that. Sometimes it seems like everything that happens is fairly random, and then at other times, when we’re tuned in, we can sense things before they happen, even though we might not be able to explain it.

For example, the temperature is screaming SUMMER, but the feeling has changed to back-to-school. Even people who are going on vacation are rushing to get it in before... School is still a few weeks off, but there is a definite shift in the air.

Most of the time, we are so busy that we are just tooling along and all of a sudden the seasons have changed, new routines have begun, and we wonder when did all of this happen. We weren't even aware it was happening.

Less than a month ago, Madi stepped off the plane from Europe. She was thrilled to be home. There’s a distinct possibility that the promise of air conditioning was more enticing than seeing us, but nonetheless, we were all jubilant.

There wasn’t enough time. Work didn’t stop. In fact, one of my busiest work weeks followed our reunion at the airport. We all jumped into our routines. Madi was picking up a few shifts at work here and there, and Paul and I were teaching.

We grabbed moments together when we could, and I don’t think we passed each other in the hall without stopping for hugs, even once. We knew she only had two weeks at home. We were trying to make the most of it. We didn’t have enough time to grow tired of each other and get on each others’ nerves.

Despite trying to hang onto every moment, the energy transitioned again. Keys were obtained for housing in Chapel Hill, and the momentum shifted from happy-to-be-home to looking forward to starting senior year. The packing started, and that really changed the energy even more. We weren’t ready for the change and yet it crept in without our consent.

That’s the way most things happen though. We are either holding on for dear life or we’re wishing the time away. A friend of mine went white water rafting many years ago and the advice she got in the training seems to be pertinent to almost everything in life. They were told by the guide that if you fall out of the boat, don’t fight the current or try to get back in the boat; you’ll get hurt. Tuck your arms and legs in and let the river carry you to a safer place.

When the things change: old things end and new things begin and change is all around you, sometimes it’s safer to simply tuck your arms and legs in and let the current carry you to safety.

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