“And the time on the clock, when you realize it’s so late, and this time we’ve spent, together.” – Dashboard Confessional

I just realized something. Something that probably shouldn’t have taken 46 years, 5 months, and most of 16 days to figure out. Something that maybe I used to know, once, in the shining moment of youth, and then forgot, along the hard way.

You have to be chasing something.

It almost doesn’t matter what. Or how. Or how remote, or even if you’ve ever got a fucking chance in hell of ever catching up to it. It’s the chase that matters.

All those days, months, years where I’d pretty much given up the chase.

“And I know it’s long gone and the magic’s not here no more, and I might be OK but I’m not fine at all.” – St. Swift

It’s so good to be more excited about the next oddball, semi-random thing I’ll discover through the kiln than worried about what happens if they don’t all turn out well. It’s good to dwell on the almost-successes; to allow my imagination to go fractal and pursue the entire flock of receding birds at once. It’s okay to live part of each day in an inspiring fantasy. Just remember to keep eating protein and take care of your kid(s).

I dunno. It’s 3:51 in the dark, or so they tell me. Feels awake to me.

Sometimes the thing you can chase is dumb, or silly, or absurd, or even painful. That’s the thing — no, one of the many things — I loved about Dart, back when I really knew him; back when we were growing up together on an almost-hourly basis: he ran towards the pain. If it was hard to do, he was even more motivated to try. The only way out is through. The only way to get good at all the pain — and there will be so much more than you’ve dreampt of, my sweet summer child — is to practice. Dive into the cold water all at once. My friend Dart, from what I remember, usually ran towards it with a howl in his lungs and a mad gleam in his eyes, like the exact opposite of what any rational person would want to meet coming towards you on a battlefield, back in the days when his red-haired ancestors (and mine) were swinging rocks and bronze axes at each others’ skulls. He’d have won, every time.

He chased painting, muscles, style, friendships, cycling, attitude, loyalty, discovery, belief. Goddamnit.

So. So so so. Here’s to the negative nine week olds, who don’t even know yet that they’re gonna inherit one super cool dog as best friend. Here’s to words across the wire; friendships on the wind; potters firing as if the food they’ll eat in April is on the bubble now. Because it actually is.

I’m gonna try, like the damn fool that I am. Not to give up the chase. Not to revert to my mean[ness]. Do more stupid shit that might leave me on my face, in the mud, embarrassed for the attempt; but at least not smug and clean on the couch. Like a free mug caption contest on Instagram. Like making changes where all the change seems to have bled dry years ago. Like eating better food, throwing better curves, dreaming better dreams.

Oh! Look! There’s some new pain::: RIGHT. OVER. THERE.

Let’s go!!!

“And I knew, that you meant it, that you meant it, that you meant it.”