We Write To Taste Life Twice

7 Apr


“We write to taste life twice, in the moment and in retrospect,” Anaïs Nin said.

“Hold on to the things that make you enjoy being alive,” Kat, my yoga instructor said.

It was a foggy morning, my favorite in Malibu.  I love Malibu so much even the weather I don’t love is becoming my favorite.  I want my skies foggy and gloomy, deep and dramatic.

I forget that Malibu gives me that about half the day, half the times.

I don’t know why I’m talking about weather.  When I think of the hot yoga class and the sweat dripping off my toes and Kat imparting her wisdom, that’s what I think.  Outside it was overcast and gray.

Last night was one of the nights worth repeating,.

I write to taste life twice.

Last night was one of the nights that make me enjoy living.

I write because it makes me enjoy being alive.

My night took place in the corner classroom of an innocuous building at Pepperdine. I was on campus for a reading of a classmate’s script–me and my friends and a classroom full of undergraduate creative writing students.

I looked at the undergrads jealously, sad I didn’t pursue writing at their age.  I looked at the undergrads contentedly, glad I did what I did at their age.

Life is like that, I suppose.

We sat in a circle and read the script.  I played two parts, the two characters I liked best.  Hilary performed at the top of her game, bringing energy and life to everything she did.  The room lost time for a bit, gained a story.

Afterwards we gave notes and feedback on what we just read.  We debated a character’s arc. We argued feminism.  We discussed what type of actor could play what type of role.

Jake Gyllenhaal.

Josh Duhamel.

Young Hugh Jackman.

The class was dismissed.

My friends stayed after to talk some more.

On the way up the stairs we talked some more and then in the courtyard we talked some more and in the car we talked some more.

On our way to get Indian food we talked more, over garlic naan and mango lassis we talked more.  After dinner more, more, more.

I was so happy to be alive yesterday.  I was so happy to be telling stories and talking about stories.  To be reading scripts and playing pretend.  My voice was loud, my energy high, my people with me.

Gosh, I love what I do.

Gosh, I love my life.

I live in the most beautiful place in the world.  I get to do the most fun thing in the world.

Gosh I love it.  I want to taste it again.

I want to taste the gasp as the story took a turn.  The laugh as the script was funny.  The pride I had at my friends doing such good work.

I want to taste the Hyderabadi  lamb mixed with the saag.

I want to taste it all again and again.  I want this to be my life.

This is my life.

My youngest sister is a senior in high school and as she nears graduation I see this growing urgency.  “THESE ARE THE DAYS!” her friends post on social media.  “SOAK IT UP!” they say in their various ways.

I remember that feeling.  I remember that high school bubble where you see everyone you love every day of the week, where possibilities are endless, when hearts were whole and hopeful.

Indeed those were the days.

These are the days, too.

The days of Dodger games and day trips to Catalina.  The days of beach picnics and script readings and buying my own snorkeling set.

My transition to adulthood was tumultuous and hard.  I limped into my early 20s and barely crawled out.  I often felt trapped or in the wrong place, with the wrong person.

Someone recently asked me the best decision I ever made.

Choosing to write, I said.

Moving here, I said.

These are the days.

I want to taste them again and again.

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3 Responses to “We Write To Taste Life Twice”

  1. Christine April 8, 2015 at 4:00 am #

    I love this!! Never heard that quote before but it’s now one of my favorites.

    • jillianlorraine April 13, 2015 at 9:14 am #

      Thank you! I love that quote, too. I find myself thinking about it whenever I sit down to write.

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