When I walked into my kitchen this morning, there was a big bubble mailer on the table with my name and address on it.  This was the package of dresses that Lauren had promised to send.  Not only are the dresses beautiful in floral patterns and softest fabrics, but they are free, they are sent, and they are sent by a friend.  This is a combination unbeatable by any thrift store or sales rack find.  They came out of the mailer in my hand like the nest of a bird of paradise, and unfolded like wings.

I don’t know whether it’s the correct life for me to be living, this poor one, in which I haven’t worked full-time in over a year and only just manage to get bills paid and cups of coffee bought.  I especially have doubts in weeks like this one: realizing that I didn’t save enough money to pay my self-employment taxes and have to figure out how to pay $384 immediately. I even bitched about it on facebook.  But in moments like this, when the life I’ve chosen opens easily to show the beauty of a friend, the dazzling glint of generosity, I feel ok about it.  Even lucky, blessed.

A few more things.  After restlessly wandering through some of Paul’s letters, some of Matthew, and some Psalms (for weeks?), I have finally found a home in the story of Joseph.  So odd how you think you need Psalm 139 or the Beatitudes, but it turns out you needed to hear a story of a person.  And I did.  No more irritable whapping through those tissue-thin water-wrinkled pages: once I started reading this story something in me grew still.  Might have something to do with the fact that I’m so wanting to know how the story of my life is reading, right now.  Also that I’m reading Cherry, Mary Karr’s memoir of adolescence, and finding her thoughts on her own early formation so steadying.  But Joseph’s life— it too is steadying.  Knowing so well that all this shit that happened to him wasn’t the direct result of his actions, but were independent forces.  Products of others’ lives.  And that his life’s dramatic veering backward and forward was, finally, a more beautiful thing than was possible.  Having read Karr’s first memoir, The Liar’s Club, I know this is true for her as well.

In that “Pep Talk” entry, below, I said something about how there were never — even in the very beginning of your life — an infinite branching of possible lives.  There were only ever a few possible, and a very few probable.  I think there are some things that change forever the trajectory of our lives, and whether those things were inevitable or not, they bring into possibility things that were as out of reach before as the moon.  Joseph the tattletale little brother put on a moving sidewalk and rushed with the velocity of terror, grief, into Egypt, into prison, into the favor of Pharoah, into governance of the kingdom.

So an addendum to the pep talk — or maybe this logically follows:  The branching of your / my life that breaks off opportunities, breaks off your arms, your heart, that branching is bringing what was impossible into your future.  It’s probably too easy for me to say this, cozy as I am in my little blue room, trees tossing in the alleyway and new dresses laid slender across my bed.  But I think it’s true.  And if it’s true, it won’t matter who says it, or when.

And the branching that’s happening now, deciding to relinquish single life and so much of its independence, secrets, solitude & familiarity (and this is hard), I know it’s introducing what had been impossible.  What I hope will be more beautiful than it would have been.