I'm obsessed with that word right now. It recently dawned on me while trying to find the words to describe something I had experienced, that sensational was not only an option, but it was a great one. Sensational. It's always been one of those words for me that only your grandma says, and can only be used to describe the play she recently saw, the cake her friend made at bridge the other night, or what she thought of my performance at my band concert (apparently my limited perspective of this word has been going on for that long). But sensational, in regards to how very remarkable something might be, that it truly dapples each of your senses!?!? What a gorgeous word. Now that I've got it figured out, it appears life is sensational.
The time I spent with my grandma recently, who has been very ill. "I didn't think I was going to make it!" She said over and over again. Thoughts spewing out of her at what she feels is the end of her life, she recalls snippets of her life with her first husband, my dad's dad. Her journey with him as a young twenty year-old from Scotland to America, into marriage, into motherhood. Watching her husband become consumed by alcohol, remembering how she never shared with her mom what she went through, almost as if we weren't there listening. She tells us about the way my father served her in that time as a son. The scars my dad has appear before my eyes, like invisible ink unfurling into visible words in the light. Holding her hand, like squeezing little bones, hearing her story, understanding my dad. Sensational.
Returning to an old job with gratitude, appreciating purpose, a pay check, the chance to see some old customers. My favorite, a tiny older lady who works at the museum downtown with an accent I haven't gotten to ask about yet. She embraces me, "whare hahve yew beeeeen? I loooove your hahire!!" Why the hell am I working here again? I want to wonder sometimes. It's not about how I immaturely identity myself. It's about that moment. Living in that moment. Sensational.
Our weekend in New York. All the glitz and glam, yes it was great fun. But it was sensational. We know how to travel together. We know how to navigate as a team--navigate the unexpected, navigate "you need to eat something right now cause I know I'll regret it if you don't," navigate letting him nap for 20 minutes when we got to our hotel because it really is important and navigate "we're in a random place in brooklyn and it's kind of far from all the famous coffee shops and not that exciting but we're TOGETHER and NOT working and NOT having to take our dog outside in 13 degrees and it's just the two of us and we're smiling at each other in a tiny cafe because we both think the tiny kid outside the window is absolutely the cutest." My husband who wants to buy me all the scarves in the grey-blue scheme that we can possibly manage. Myself, actually NOT wanting all of the scarves (I don't take the credit for this, I think it was just an incredibly lucky moment of self-control). We walk as fast as we can to the Brooklyn Academy of Music, out of breath and red cheeks and SO amused by how very well we've managed to create a weekend out of Portlandia for ourselves. The film and music begins. The first moment of "oh my gosh this IS truly SENSATIONAL" I know my husband will have tears on his cheeks. I look. He does. That moment. That I know when he's crying and that he's crying. Incredibly sensational. My mind takes this opportunity to think everything there is to think about this piece of art. That we as humans can create things like this and that they can be so so very moving! (Is it getting old hearing me say it?) Sensational.
Sometimes being this sensitive hurts me. That's usually what I'm thinking about. Again I come back to this quote, the author unknown. "It is both a blessing and a curse to feel everything so deeply." Life is leaving me now at the scene of the other side. Life is sensational. Suddenly the very vein that's typically responsible for the blow to my stomach, a weaker smile, a quiet mind, is now my vehicle for triumph, powerful and sacred emotion. This is the journey of a highly-sensitive being. Today, at least, I feel like I've won.