"What would have happened if—if you had just made yourself stay where you were with us? If you had just forced yourself to put your other needs away?"
Gerald thought a moment and then replied. "I would have become increasingly bitter and empty—just like Frank." Frank was an old friend whom Gerald had recently run into. He was a homosexual who married and stayed married and had gained eighty pounds in the last two years and hadn’t touched anyone during those two years, not even his wife. "I had to do what I’ve done. I haven’t done it perfectly. I would change a lot if I could, but I had to do it." Had to? All that we had, all that we lost… Could not other choices have brought us to some better destination?Carol Lynn Pearson,
in Good-bye, I Love You
All I know about Gerald is what Carol Lynn Pearson has told me. I wonder what his blog would look like. What would he say when asked, "Could not other choices have brought us to some better destination?" There were several other quotes I considered discussing from the book, but (besides being a little sick of it) it all comes down to Gerald and his family as a single case example. A true story of a man and his choices. Of how it affected his family. Of where his choices led him.
Choices and destinations are the basis for life--finding the right ones, the best ones,... finding that a particular choice led to an unexpected destination and then making new choices in hopes of evading that destination. Look at the cast of characters I've met in my corner of the blogosphere. Look at their choices and their hopes and dreams and their common humanity. It's spectacular in a way I can't compare to anything else I've experienced.
I don't care that I'm being dramatic and sappy (call it an ode to Pearson). I can't believe the immeasurable humanity I've read in blogs lately. Sure, the literary quality is variable, the syntax occasionally with something left to be desired (ha ha), but just look at the raw intensity of so many people sorting things out. Look at them looking at the situation with clever eyes, critical eyes, frightened eyes, brave eyes because it matters. Look at the serious tenor that underlines even the casual comments. After all, it is the one thing our human chemistry tells us matters more than anything else in life (even if such a message is disguised).
In a way that social stigma and geographic boundaries have long prohibited, blogs seem to let me see choices and destinations with alarming clarity. And yet, there are so many variables that I can't really feel confidence in all the conclusions I'm inclined to draw. But I'm thankful for the things I can learn.
And so I continue the journey.
Index of Pearson posts