My kids started school today, and for the first time, it was kind of a bittersweet experience. There have been a lot of life changes in the past several months (more on this in the weeks to come, I'm sure), and it all kind of culminated today. You see, we moved across the state to be closer to family. Which means the kids had to start at an all new school. Which would be awesome, if any of their cousins went to their school. The one that lives closest is in a different district, and the ones that are in the same district go to a different school (different levels entirely as mine are in elementary, and the two cousins are finishing their last years of Jr. High and High School). Needless to say all back-to-school excitement was tempered with a lot of nerves.
And today was anticlimactic. They went to school. They met some kids. They came home. The biggest differences were the new rules for the new teachers, which they would have had anyway. Life...went on, as it likes to do.
It was kind of a mirror of everything else that's happened. All this life-altering to-do and...life just kept on going. It's strange how that works, and even stranger that it's rarely seen in fiction (at least not genre fiction--maybe this is what literary fiction is for but I'm not the person who would know such things).
You see, in a book, you get a snapshot of reality. The characters care about each other in some way (even if that way is hate). You don't get a much of a look at the people who are just there, the ones that show life just happening. And even with those close characters--they are all right there through everything.
People say that art imitates life, as if it's a mirror in the way my kids' first day of school was, but I don't think that's true. Art, to me, takes life and experiments on it. It filters it and removes all the mundane details. It condenses it into a concentrated fraction of what life would have been. And then, it takes another concentrated substance (or more than one), and throws them all into a fire to see what happens. Where life ebbs and flows around itself, art...explodes. It doesn't show you the big picture, it shows you the flash.
I'm not really sure there's a magical, important point to this post. It was just where my mind went after walking the kids home from school.
Tomorrow I think I'm going to take a little tiny piece of my life, sit in the sun, and hold a magnifying glass over it. Something's bound to happen. Just wait and see.