Profile Response: Johna Applestein, North Bethesda, MD

HWWLT Logo on yellowJohna is a determined 24-year-old woman brimming with creative potential. Her parent’s house is full of sculptures she’s made in various mediums. She is also an aerial artist on the silks. Two years ago, after graduating college, she applied to NECCA (New England Center for the Circus Arts) but didn’t make the cut. She improved her skills the following year, applied again and was accepted. Then she tore her ACL. After a year of rehab and teaching at a local circus camp, Johna’s looking forward to finally attending circus school this fall.

IMG_7276Her parents and I were deep into our discussion of tomorrow when Johna joined us. She wove into the conversation, as often with snippets of song lyrics as in prose. I asked her my question – once- and though she seemed intrigued, especially about those who gave ’24 hour responses,’ she didn’t offer up her own ideas. I don’t press a second time.

The next morning I found a folded sheet of paper with my name on the kitchen table and the following response inside. I always appreciate when the question simmers.

How will we live tomorrow?

images-1“Maybe it matters less, how we will live tomorrow, and more how we will live today. You can go into tomorrow, or next week, or next year, or the rest of your life with an intention, but life will throw things at you and things won’t work out the way you intended. But we can live each day with as much joy and gratitude as possible and be here and now embracing each moment. For example, can we forget about Trump and Brexit for a minute and really be present and appreciate the fireflies twinkling in the trees. That’s not to say the future doesn’t matter at all. Maybe tomorrow something bad will happen but then later a good thing will come out of the bad and then a bad from the good. Se we’ve just got to bop along following the path that works best for each of us.”

A million tomorrows shall all pass away, ‘ere I forget all the joy that is mine, today.

I can’t be contented with yesterday’s glory. I can’t live on promises winter to spring,

Today is my moment and now is my story,

I’ll laugh and I’ll cry and I’ll sing.

– ‘Today’ by Randy Sparks, popularized by John Denver

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About paulefallon

Greetings reader. I am a writer, architect, cyclist and father from Cambridge, MA. My primary blog, theawkwardpose.com is an archive of all my published writing. The title refers to a sequence of three yoga positions that increase focus and build strength by shifting the body’s center of gravity. The objective is balance without stability. My writing addresses opposing tension in our world, and my attempt to find balance through understanding that opposition. During 2015-2106 I am cycling through all 48 mainland United States and asking the question "How will we live tomorrow?" That journey is chronicled in a dedicated blog, www.howwillwelivetomorrw.com, that includes personal writing related to my adventure as well as others' responses to my question. Thank you for visiting.
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