The other night while lying in bed I got an idea for a post. Hesitant to turn on the light I fumbled for my pen and, since I did not have my pad, I held my flat hand up to the tiny dim glowing green light on the baby monitor. In the dark I began to scrawl the idea into my palm, but the pen refused. I figured I’d coax the stubborn ink into service by scribbling for a while but it still wouldn’t come out. Finally, I gave up, hoping I’d remember the next morning to write a post about underdogs.

At eleven o’clock Calvin woke and wanted some water. He sucked down a bottle so I padded to the sink to refill. In the bathroom I was stunned, and amused, to see my entire palm blackened by a mass of smooth overlapping inky loops. How could I have not seen these scribbles earlier? I was incredulous. I crawled back into bed and tried to recreate the scene in front of the monitor, but this time the marks were obvious to me, even in the dim light. I was most puzzled. Maybe earlier I hadn’t held my hand as closely to the light and therefore couldn’t see the contrast of ink on skin, or perhaps in my mind I had, for whatever reason, predetermined that the pen would be rusty so my eyes obeyed my brain’s preconception.

As I rolled over to go back to sleep, making sure not to rest my tattooed palm under my cheek, I wondered how many other of life’s images or moments I have been blind to, or have simply and utterly misread. As I was drifting off to sleep I remember thinking that I must focus on keeping my eyes and ears and brain wide open to drink in all that the world has to offer, without assumption or prejudice, as if I’m feeling each moment and learning each lesson for the very first time. Only that way can I hope to experience and sense it all, with clarity.

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