comprising a sequence of day and night.
Etymology: from Late Latin nocturnālis, from Latin nox – night + from Late Latin diurnālis, from Latin diurnus, from diēs – day.
“Some years ago, I was stuck on a crosstown bus in New York City during rush hour. Traffic was barely moving. The bus was filled with cold, tired people who were deeply irritated—with one another; with the rainy, sleety weather; with the world itself. Two men barked at each other about a shove that might or might not have been intentional. A pregnant woman got on, and nobody offered her a seat. Rage was in the air; no mercy would be found here.
But as the bus approached Seventh Avenue, the driver got on the intercom. “Folks,” he said, “I know you’ve had a rough day and you’re frustrated. I can’t do anything about the weather or traffic, but here’s what I can do. As each one of you gets off the bus, I will reach out my hand to you. As you walk by, drop your troubles into the palm of my hand, okay? Don’t take your problems home to your families tonight—just leave ‘em with me. My route goes right by the Hudson River, and when I drive by there later, I’ll open the window and throw your troubles in the water. Sound good?”
It was as if a spell had lifted. Everyone burst out laughing. Faces gleamed with surprised delight. People who’d been pretending for the past hour not to notice each other’s existence were suddenly grinning at each other like, is this guy serious?
Oh, he was serious.
At the next stop—just as promised—the driver reached out his hand, palm up, and waited. One by one, all the exiting commuters placed their hand just above his and mimed the gesture of dropping something into his palm. Some people laughed as they did this, some teared up—but everyone did it. The driver repeated the same lovely ritual at the next stop, too. And the next. All the way to the river.
We live in a hard world, my friends. Sometimes it’s extra difficult to be a human being. Sometimes you have a bad day. Sometimes you have a bad day that lasts for several years. You struggle and fail. You lose jobs, money, friends, faith, and love. You witness horrible events unfolding in the news, and you become fearful and withdrawn. There are times when everything seems cloaked in darkness. You long for the light but don’t know where to find it.
But what if you are the light? What if you’re the very agent of illumination that a dark situation begs for?
That’s what this bus driver taught me—that anyone can be the light, at any moment. This guy wasn’t some big power player. He wasn’t a spiritual leader. He wasn’t some media-savvy “influencer.” He was a bus driver—one of society’s most invisible workers. But he possessed real power, and he used it beautifully for our benefit.
When life feels especially grim, or when I feel particularly powerless in the face of the world’s troubles, I think of this man and ask myself, What can I do, right now, to be the light? Of course, I can’t personally end all wars, or solve global warming, or transform vexing people into entirely different creatures. I definitely can’t control traffic. But I do have some influence on everyone I brush up against, even if we never speak or learn each other’s name. How we behave matters because within human society everything is contagious—sadness and anger, yes, but also patience and generosity. Which means we all have more influence than we realize.
No matter who you are, or where you are, or how mundane or tough your situation may seem, I believe you can illuminate your world. In fact, I believe this is the only way the world will ever be illuminated—one bright act of grace at a time, all the way to the river.“
And in that moment, Obi-Wan knew that Anakin loved him.
Not as a brother loved his brother, or a friend loved his friend, no – Anakin loved him as he loved Padme, deeply and wildly and passionately. It scared Obi-Wan, not because of its intensity or its heat, but because of how immensely he enjoyed the way Anakin cared for him. It should have been a burden, it should have made him recoil, should have made him warn his former Padawan to tread lightly where attachment and affection and want were concerned.
But instead, it only made Obi-Wan warm, to look into Anakin’s eyes, to look into the eyes of the boy he had trained and the man that he called friend and brother, and to know that he loved him enough to throw aside his entire future in the Order. That Anakin would die for him was not surprising – Obi-Wan had witnessed his short-sightedness before, and on more than one occasion had been on the receiving end of his misguided heroism – but what was surprising was that Anakin had chosen to live for him too.
Leaving was for the best, Obi-Wan knew that. Ending the war was far more important than whatever painful, beautiful love existed in Anakin’s eyes when they watched him. It would do both of them good to be apart from one another, to let the stars separate them and know that they were strong enough to survive without one another. Attachment was forbidden for a reason, it clouded the senses and confused the mind, and the sooner Anakin realized that, the better.
He stopped, sure that when he turned around Anakin would have that same damnable look in his eyes, that cut him to the quick and made Obi-Wan feel that he could never survive so far from him. Stars, Anakin would look half-starved for him, and Obi-Wan wasn’t sure if he was strong enough to not sate his hunger.
His eyes, while needing, weren’t at all primal with hunger when Obi-Wan faced him. They were soft, pained, and Obi-Wan had to keep himself from reaching out to him.
“May the Force be with you, Master,” Anakin said.
There was a goodbye in his voice. Not only because Obi-Wan was leaving. He felt it, and there was nothing he could do but nod and smile, to wish him the same.
There was something else, hidden under his words, buried beneath his farewell.
Something like ‘I love you.’
obi: ur my brother i loved you
anakin: I hate u *trips* *hundreds of photos of obi-wan spill out of jacket* the fuckc??? these come from??? they arent mine???? *gathering them up frantically sweating* LOOK im jsut *thousands of photos of obi-wan scatter across the floor* SHIT Im hOlding thM for A friend JUTS LIST eN
Vader: There’s something you should know.
Luke: And what is that?
Vader: I am not left-handed.