When I was young and couldn’t get to sleep, I would experience something I’ve never been able to describe by any of the senses I possess.
Fifty years later and I can only describe it as if I am hanging from a string inside a box and the box is enormous that it seems that I am floating in space but the string is connecting me to something, to the edge of space above me and I move slowly, nudged through space, it seems until I get close to the end of space, in front, behind or beside me, the edge of space is just a wall, a ceiling and a floor.
Make nothing of it.
A few days ago I had another feeling, a feeling that brought me back to the experience I just described but the logistics are dissimilar. I had that moment of sadness of how many times in my life have I looked back and wished things had gone differently. It was compounded as I looked forward and how I hoped things would change when they seem they might not. I was morose.
Trapped in space, wishing times were different.
I myself should know better than that. Looking at the past, happiness is distant. Looking forward if feels remote.
I do know better than that, to reflect when I am not calm, and that is when I need to hear the crackle of paper, the sound of the shower, a birdsong, diving into a cold dark lake and I know I will pivot and I will see all the amazing memories, all the places in the world I’ve been, and I will be honest it is hard to be optimistic but that’s part of this new and exciting stage in my life, I have the life skills to design hope. What’s holding me back, why aren’t I there, mind loops and mumble jumble, this time it’s different as I draw from the wisdom I have gathered to make long term decisions for happiness and joy such as getting a dog when I am ready, or actually being in an intimate and supportive relationship when I am ready and travelling. Let’s go now. No, that would be when I have the money. They all will happen in time, and in the mean time, make sure that time doesn’t feel mean. Simple pleasures. Dinner with a friend. My jungle of plants. Knowing my mother well and knowing when to take her from sadness to a memory or diversion or to just stop and know my mother as the human being who is my mother. The accomplishments of others. The obstacles I stumbled to overcome.
I take a moment for myself, put on my winter coat and walk to the river and hum.
I know well enough that everything will be great and it is great, it is when I dwell on what I don’t have or what I lost that turns my world misty blue.
Those are two powerful motherfuckers.
I know I am not the only one that feels this way, but why is it so hard to look forward to being happy?
I am not a pessimist, my glass is 3/4 full, I ain’t no Debbie Fucking-Downer.
What I feel beyond the walls and the edges is frustration and that is because of what I see when I look beyond. Into memories, into images, into horror.
I remember when I was in Grade One and the cover of The Toronto Star had pictures of starving children, in Africa, their bellies round and swollen by famine, their faces, gaunt and skeletal. I asked the teacher how come we didn’t just give them some of our food, there was plenty of it. I couldn’t understand why they did not have what I did.
I repeat, I know I am not the only one that feels this way, but why is it so hard to look forward to being happy?
The timing of our perspective.
Standing where I am standing now, I have struggled, I have scars, but I am grateful for what I have, love and a feeling of connection.
Timing and perspective are just shadows we cast against the wall.
2 thoughts on “Timing and Perpsective”
I love the image of shadows against the wall … because they are, I suppose. I spend much of my life fretting over metaphysical and existential stuff. I accidentally … literally … I heard noise in the street and went to my window just in time to see a man jump from a 20-foot building, bounce of a bench and lie in classic position on the sidewalk. I got sick. Others were (are you sitting down) taking photos and sending them. It took two days for them to steam clean the sidewalk. Now. I suspect, that like me, you would have been fretting over those people who took pictures of … a man’s brains on the pavement. It caused me no end of turmoil and at one point I said to a friend, “I hate people.” Mind you, I didn’t and don’t. BUT … I haven’t thought of that incident in nearly three years and reading your post brought my own life back into my soul.
This is one excellent post … and the cheapest psychiatric visit I’ve ever had !
Like many others, I absolutely love your blog. And, by the way, these two colors are the ‘in’ decorator colors for 2015. But you knew that, you rascal.
Time. Perspective. You are so right. Those are powerful motherfuckers. Thank you for the jolt of clarity. Happiness is in reading the words that remind me there’s something in us that can strike at any moment, and change everything…