My sister mentioned something written by Louise Erdrich to me some time ago, something about love and apples and not letting love go to waste. My sister, I think, knows my biggest greatest fear, which is that I might waste this one precious chance at life that I am so lucky to have been given, and she also probably has a pretty clear picture of how I can be when something doesn’t work out the way I thought or hoped it would. I am either more determined to try again, or else I close the book on it. And so the quote has torn me in two ever since she sent it to me.
Life will break you. Nobody can protect you from that, and living alone won’t either, for solitude will also break you with its yearning. You have to love. You have to feel. It is the reason you are here on earth. You are here to risk your heart. You are here to be swallowed up. And when it happens that you are broken, or betrayed, or left, or hurt, or death brushes near, let yourself sit by an apple tree and listen to the apples falling all around you in heaps, wasting their sweetness. Tell yourself you tasted as many as you could.
I hate to waste all those sweet apples. But ugh, that bit about the breaking; I’m not about to taste any yet either.