Way opens

When I was in high school, my AP English teacher, whom we called Doc, would give me books off his shelf to read once I had finished our required reading. This is how I found books like The Solace of Leaving Early by Haven Kimmel, or Don DeLillo's White Noise, or any number of books by Milan Kundera. It wasn't The Unbearable Lightness of Being, either, which I didn't read until years and years later; no, the one that stuck with me was Life is Elsewhere. I pulled it off the shelf, and Doc warned me, "It's not romantic." I laughed, gobbled up the book, and though I can't tell you any details about it, that title stuck with me.

At sixteen, my life was absolutely elsewhere. All of high school was waiting to not be in high school anymore. "Life is elsewhere" became my slogan, became something I would scrawl wherever I got the chance. Even through the first year of college, life was always elsewhere. I tried to be mindful of each moment - meditation helped - but then I ran across this and something shifted within me.

Life is often elsewhere, but it shouldn't be.


Last week was the first time we had been to yoga in two weeks. My body felt grateful to be moving, stretching, sweating. (I hadn't been treating myself very nicely, which is partially why last week's post was so short. I also got sick on my last day of the old job. Go figure.) I've mentioned before that at the end of each class, there's a short message. The message last week was about being in the moment and not searching for stability - especially fitting, as Jo and I had spent our hour before yoga walking around, taking about how much we craved simplicity and stability, a time when all our friends stopped moving around all the time.

Now I scrawl "yr life is beautiful" everywhere I can, including (now) above my bed, because it's so easy to fall in the trap of "life is elsewhere." I need reminding, sometimes.


I wanted to have a recipe here, and maybe a picture, but my mindspace has been a little scattered lately, what with starting a new job and all. Next week, I promise!


  1. Life is Elsewhere is totally about how we SHOULDN'T think of life as elswhere...everyone in the book does, and it's all tragic! it's funny that in high school, using it as a mantra was almost romantic to you, instead of tragic that you felt that way, you know?
    the message at the end of the yoga class i went to this week was "you are exactly where you are supposed to be!" it was nice.

  2. Interesting! I mean, what can I say, I was sixteen and an incurable romantic! Now I am grown up. (Ha.)

    Oh, yoga. It's so good!

  3. I am sad to say I haven't read either the Kimmel or DeLillo books, or Life is Elsewhere so will add them to my public library queue, pronto. And I love the reminder about your/my beautiful life...writing that everywhere is a GREAT idea. I'd replicate it if I wasn't pretty sure my husband would tease me mercilessly :-)

  4. Oh, Paige, I can't recommend The Solace of Leaving Early enough! It does sort of fit in with the theme of life is elsewhere, a little, but it also says some great things about sisters and being a sister - it is just fantastic.