Tonight there is no quote to start with. On some nights, the quote can only be music.
Because sometimes, it is possible to completely fall in love with the witnessing of rare beauty, which of course comes to you with the greatest simplicity and ease.
A striking crescent moon in a dark, dark sky, revealing a hint of blue and leading nearby stars in a mosaic that seems a never-ending dance.
A warm breeze to accompany the gentleness of the night, a summer-like night in fall, here in the desert where the passing of seasons is soft.
Couples sitting and having important and amusing conversations in restaurants full of candles and delicate aromas of seafood and spices that drift into the street through open windows and doors.
On these nights, as I wrote elsewhere, you drive and look and suddenly you are in love. With everything.
With all that is and all that is missing. With the sweetness that lingers in the place where your heart used to be. With the sparkle hope left on the walls of that empty space where your soul sleeps.
You start to remember the future because you remember the past. And you realize that you are still, somehow, alive.
Tonight I remembered walking through the streets of Vienna, and the music in the cathedral where Napoleon married Josephine. And I remembered Venice, that moment, also at night, when from the Piazza San Marco I first saw the Grand Canal…with gondolas and lights and everywhere beautiful everythings…and I cried, just as I did in Florence when I first saw Michelangelo’s David.
Sometimes, there is so much beauty to witness outside yourself that it forces you to open. The things of the soul are, after all, the things of the soul. And despite anything and everything, you discover the terrifying truth: that you are full of love. So full. Of only love. And nothing else matters.
Tonight, all the maybes of a lifetime became real for a while. They surrendered to the sweet memory of days that were better than dreams, and let themselves be carried into a dance.
The woman who got out of my car when I got home was suddenly younger, and she smiled as she glanced admiringly at her ankles and her shoes, at her dress, and green purse, and then, at her eyes in the mirror. For a moment she recognized them.
And so it was that tonight I fell in love with the beautiful happiness of dreams, of second chances dancing with memories, with the sweet child I hide from on most days.
And truth be told, even with that immeasurable sadness for which there are never any words…only music.
Do me a favor and listen to Schubert’s “Serenade”. That is my quote.