I got some bad news today, the kind of thing that’s totally out of my control. As Dad says, if things could be controlled, they wouldn’t be so bad, would they? He’s a smart man, your dad, when I’m not too stubborn to listen to him.
Anyway, I thought about what I wanted to say and how to say it, because I don’t want to put anger out there. I am trying to ride the waves more than fight them. It’s a gentler way to live, and I have to work hard at it.
Part of the reason I’m frustrated is because I’m still in that journey of figuring out what I want to do with my waking hours, and what I don’t want to do. Some days put the don’t want to do’s into sharp focus, like today. Those days are hard. The journey is the harder part, though, because as people we are always growing and changing. You think it’s figured out and then the world changes, or you do. I don’t think that the self-discovery journey ever ends. Sorry, kid. Maybe, though, it gets easier.
I started thinking about this book you and I have been reading a lot lately, about a cat named Comet. In the story, Comet runs around Nantucket Island trying to figure out where he wants to be in life. Each new place seems exciting, but he keeps dying once he gets there. (Look, I didn’t write it. If we get too deep into it, it gets kind of heavy). But luckily, Comet has nine lives, so he can keep searching.
The book is kind of genius, despite the morbid parts, because there’s a second set of illustrations running parallel to Comet’s pictures – those of a lighthouse cat who knows what he wants (a friend) and who is calling out desperately for it. His owner helps him write messages on the sand, in bottles, on boats, but Comet is too caught up in his own journey to pay attention.
Eventually, on his last life, Comet sees a lighthouse beacon in the distance and goes to it. There he finds the other cat.
Every time we get to this point, you touch your hand to the page and say, “Awww,” in your sleepy bedtime voice. “They found each other.” Every time, I melt a little inside.
I read this story to you the other night and it finally hit me. The story isn’t necessarily about two different cats. Sometimes it’s about two sides of the same cat. Some days we’re Comet, trying to figure out where to go next. And some days we’re the lighthouse cat, shouting that we know what we want, but we need the rest of the world to listen up. Some days on our journey, we’re both.
Cheers to you, Lily. May you always find the lighthouse in the end. And may you always be ready for good fate when it finds you. Thanks for insisting on this story enough times for me to get the message that I needed to hear.
xo I love you,