I lay here, alone in my bed, the sounds of nature coming in through my open bedroom windows, wondering about such things.
My life is so beautiful. I have the love of three children, and the tender smiles and life-altering dramas of my little ones to grace my days. I have physically moved into a great space, with the harmonies of nature singing me to peace, and a cool breeze lightly filling the space where shortly I will fall to sleep.
I have beautiful people in my life. I have friends who mean so much to me even if I never quite find the right ways of expressing that great fortune. It isn’t that I don’t care. It’s just the opposite. I love them with all of my heart, and they are in many thoughts and deeds during my day. No, it’s not a lack of emotional love that keeps me silent.
Sometimes I just feel as if I need the distance. Not physically. Emotionally. I feel that I can love them best by not needing them, by not having them need me. I feel that I can do my thing in a way that allows them to do their thing, and that I best fly when not feeling constrained. See, I tend to crash into walls. And walls hurt.
I know, that the idea that pain is impending is an assumption, and making assumptions violates my own agreement. Yet at some point in life one must wonder where assumption-making ends and experience takes over. No, not every shard of glass is sharp, but experience tells me that if I walk on shards of glass I will end up cut and bleeding. I have the scars to prove it, and frankly I have no great desire to need more stitching.
More analogies and metaphors rush into my head like waves of a stormy sea. So far I’ve crashed into figurative walls and walked on ideological shards of glass while soaking in tsunami after tsunami of frothy, wind-swept ocean water. I’ve
heard echoes about my footsteps in the sand, how I was carried by some savior whose name I can’t remember out beyond some horizon I never seem to stand upon. I’ve cursed some saints and loved some sinners while not quite understanding the meaning to even my own questions. I’ve hated and loved, and pushed away some things I certainly should have held on to. I chuckle at the irony of it all.
I’ve choked on the very ocean water I love so much. I’ve become ill listening to my fears, and I’ve honored those fears as the very things that I’ve used as footholds on my trip to the summit of this life. I’ve been burnt by the fires that have warmed me, and I’ve grown blind in the very light I’ve used to light my way. I’ve hurt those I love the most, loved those who have hurt me terribly, and lived in the shadow of death. I’ve grown afraid of not knowing fear, and I’ve discovered that I find my truth when facing the monsters I’ve long held captive in the closets of mind. I’ve argued with others, but no more than I have argued with myself, with the voices implanted in me from birth often arguing with the voices implanted in me before birth. I’ve traveled enough in my own universe to know that there is no such thing as empty space, and I’ve heard the chorus sing through one, unified voice urging me onward even in the most wonderful moments of stillness.
Then there is that one voice I hear. The bastard macho fuck that won’t shut up until he gets his way. I know him well, and I fight him hard.
No, motherfucker, I won’t stop whining and I won’t stop complaining. I won’t “man up”, whatever the fuck that means. I won’t stop, and yes, I’ll let my panties get into a bunch. I’m sick of your rules too, and I plan to break every one of them until I am done here. In our time together you’ve kicked my ass and I’ve kicked yours to equal measure.
I’m not sure either of us has ever truly won anything in the process, although I’m pretty sure we’ve both loss plenty. We’re stupid that way.
Yet, I’ve met some beautiful people along the way. People who accept me even in the distance, people who feel close even when my heart is dancing among those stars neither of us can really see. I walk through the crowded room where I’ve put those memories and I smile broadly when saying “hello” to each of them. I remember the hugs, the kisses, the stories, the conversations. “I love you,” I say to each of them. They respond, “I know you do.”
I’ve seen some beautiful places while playing here. I’ve been fortunate to see so much in this journey, and to find the hidden caves of this place I could always call home if given the chance. I’ve seen flat land, my beloved high peaks, and the sandy ocean waters I now call home. I’ve gotten wet in viscous southern storms, kissed the snows of high altitude, and dove deep in the clearest seas I have ever bathed in. I’ve flown high above the clouds and felt the pressure of the deep, and I’ve floated on the surface of things when the people I love were floating there, too. I’ve had wealth, lost plenty, and felt the most loneliness a man could ever feel. I’ve been blessed with what my mind calls the “good” and the “bad”, and I’ve come through the day to see the night and then lived to see the sun rise again.
Yeah, I’m blessed. I’ve learned how to stand up on my own two feet without the crutches I’ve been told I’d need. I’ve learned that sometimes I have to crawl, even through the mud. I’ve learned that even the tone-deaf can find the right note from time to time. I’ve learned that I can make my kids laugh until their sides hurt. I’ve also learned that sometimes that is all we need; to laugh until our sides hurt. I’ve learned that thinking, acting, and being just like a kid is sometimes the cure for what ails me. I’ve learned that I love being alone because I love the company I keep there, and I’ve also learned that sometimes there is nothing like a great hug, a tender kiss, or that something more that highlights just how wonderful some people can be.
I guess when I look back I realize that the weatherman doesn’t always need to be right, and that sometimes it is just perfect to get soaked to the bone when science says the sun should be shining. Sometimes it is nice to be the only one on the beach because the experts have said it would be raining cats and dogs. Sometimes it is wonderful to just be wrong, to make that one mistake that sets your life on fire. It is especially wonderful when you realize that you already hold the tools necessary to put that fire out, yet you just sit and watch it burn for a while.
One day I will be done here. Then, I’ll be grateful for that one late night I spent writing about the idiosyncrasies of this experience.
I’ll be grateful for those wanderers who find value in these words I’ve thrown together, who seek out their own recipe even in the cookbooks found in other homes, on other shelves, written by other chefs, yet who invariably end up cooking the meal the way they want to with ingredients of their own choosing. I’ll be grateful for the loss that made room for so much gain, for the pain that exposed the pleasure, for the night that showed me the grandeur of each and every day.
After all, what is the good without the bad? It is, frankly, my horns that hold my halo in place. Or, perhaps, it is my halo that makes my horns just so fucking delicious. Hhhhhmmm, I’ll have to ponder that one for a while.