This I Believe

Jessica - Great Barrington, Massachusetts
Entered on September 25, 2007
Age Group: 18 - 30

I believe,

if I am honest,

That much of my own sadness

Comes from the feeling of being confined to a finite existence

Within a seemingly infinite world.

That this must be what Proust meant when he wrote that there is an inherent imperfection at the very essence of the present moment.

That for me, this imperfection has mostly to do with what I want from the moment,


with the moment itself.

That good moments arrive—

I am on a covered porch, drinking something sweet watching the last moments of a summer that seems to have already passed,


I am spun-about-agog-in-love

and wanting to feel exactly that delerious forever;

In short,

that good moments arrive and repeatedly, I want to say to them,

“come linger here beside me and stay for awhile,”

and yet,

if I am honest,

they pass.

That I could live lifetimes inside of these moments,

because the feeling of quiet calm on that porch,

the foreverness of the sensation of that love,

does not seem to have an end within me.

And yet, outside of me,

the Sun shifts a few degrees north

upon the celestial sphere

and instantly,

it is Autumn.

That lives and loves do change in instants,

but that this truth is too overwhelming for me to always bear in mind

That ultimately this is the embarassingly simple recognition

that life is not perfect

—that I will likely go own wishing impossible permenence from people and moments, and will be disappointed at noting the last morsel of a delicious plum tart.

That having impossible wishes seems inherently human.

That the iherent imperfection with the present moment likely has more to do with my inherent humanness—

-my wishing and wanting, my infinity of sensation—

than it does to do with something particular to the moment.

That I am shy to admit to feeling these things, wondering if I’m alone with this sadness.

And then I look around me and think of how much has been written and sung and said about these quandries.

That rather,

I am in the company of an entire human race,

trying its best to sensibly deal,

with an often senseless world.

That each of us relies on some illusory scaffolding–

some attempt at order and meaning–

to make reality more habitable,

to believe in the importance of our own lives.

That I plan to go on wishing that I could live forever to love forever,

the people I infinitely love;

This I believe: that I am capable of infinity,

that it flows through me as endless feeling,

and yet,

I, am finite.