Worry

Water drips, worrying a crease into stone. Water flows, worrying rivers, creeks, and cracks into the face of the earth.

Cows seek fresh grass, worrying paths for others to follow.

A mother brings new life into the world, and worry sets in. Will the new be the same as the old, will the suffering be the same? Will the child grow to be healthy? Will she find her way in the scary world, find life and joy and peace and happiness?

We meet someone new, we learn a name. A small groove forms in our mind. We are reminded, we form an association. Time passes, more reminders turn association to certainty. We know someone, we feel their being and their essence, almost as a part of our selves. What will he say, what will he do? We have seen him say and do a thousand times before: we know.

Except that we don’t know, not really. Surprises continue, we grow apart and together and apart again. We grow alongside. We meet new people who are like the old and familiar, but different. In some we see better versions of ourselves, others remind us of the parts of ourselves we are ashamed of or wish were different. Some make us aspire, others make us despise.

One day we catch ourselves in the mirror and realize we aren’t the same as we once were: we have changed. We haven’t lost who we once were, there is something of the old there, reminders of a life lived. But the act of living has worried lines into our faces, thoughts into our minds, decisions into our pasts.

Time, however it moves, will continue. Tomorrow comes apace, and our yesterdays pile up one after the other.

—Brooklyn 2013