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.