Monday, October 6, 2014

Gonna Get Back Somehow

"Renew thyself completely each day; do it again, and again, and forever again." 
-Chinese inscription cited by Thoreau in Walden

I haven't stayed up late in quite some time. Keeping late hours- that used to be second nature to me. But life alters and thus you must alter with it. So, late nights have become a luxury. One I am engaging in now, because tomorrow I am granted the gift of unalarmed slumber. 

I sit here in my hug of a bed, enveloped in the blessed thrill of clean sheets. A simple joy that I have been able to appreciate since forever. Today was not an easy day. I woke up to disappointing news, accompanied, ungraciously but quite ceremoniously, by dreary and daunting clouds. I knew this news was vastly approaching, but nevertheless was unprepared for it. I reached for my phone in attempt at a lazy plea for comfort and found myself seeking that comfort from a man in whom comfort was personified in a voice, a glance, an embrace, mere presence.

The oddness of this completely un-calculated emotional maneuver is that his comfort hasn't been mine to access in quite some time. No, I haven't been anything to him in quite some time. Because I broke him. Well, I think he was quite broken already when our lives became entangled. But whatever whole fragments there were left inside of him, needing to be salvaged, I broke. So naturally, I am not anything to him now. And yet, in my minor distress, I sought comfort in him. Unprovoked.

I was not always kind to him. I always thought I was.

Thunder, again. And I love it. It is frighteningly alluring. I light all my candles and put on an Audrey DVD and the night is mine. On a night like this, I am remarkably adept at being alone.

I used to stay up late most nights. This is a strange habit for one so fond of slumber, and yet, there was always something alluring to me about being awake when all the world slept. Tonight, in this particular season, it is simply because I don't want to miss a wink of summer. Right this moment, my eyelids are imploringly heavy and I am betraying them by evading sleep but I need catharsis. 

I feel like I'm stuck in the deepest, most unforgiving abyss of lostness with no ladder, no map, no compass, no direction (home), no hope. I truly don't know where to go. 
When I write, I feel more myself than when I'm doing anything else, except for praying. But I haven't been praying lately either. And that is because I am utterly ashamed of this pathetic place in which I stand. How can I expect to climb out of my bleak surroundings without humble communion? If there is anything to which I can attest, it is to the panacea-ic power of prayer. But I write and write, because I am desperately trying to connect back to myself. I am trying to locate the person that I have lost somewhere. Maybe, subconsciously, I stay up so late because it is in these numb hours that I am susceptible to self-inflicted emotional autopsies that are more revelatory than anything else ever could be. As I scalpel the intricacies of my being, what I uncover terrifies me. I have no grasp on anything concrete. My future is tenuous. That which I want the very most, I have little control over achieving. All of this undulates within my chest and the coldest corners of my brain and I want to sink into nothingness for a little spell so I don't have to think about it or worry about it anymore. I want to stay in nothingness until someone can organize my future and construct me a map and then tell me what the first step is to pulling myself out of this unrelenting deepness.

I know how I want to seem. I want to seem whimsical and carefree and pleasant and vibrant and intelligent and feeling and charming and aware. I want to seem giving and righteous. I want to seem self-assured. I want to seem those things because I want to be those things. On some days I am one or two or three of them. On some days I am none of them.  

I struggle to be true to myself more than I wish to admit. What is it I want out of life? I want four walls with joyful living and humble remembrances inside and I want a strong, protective tree in the back yard, or front yard, that provides just the right amount of shade. And I want to read underneath it's branches.

But that is not all.

I want to saturate my life in all that is lovely, all that is of good report, all that is virtuous. I want to hear a piece of classical music and know its name and its measures like I know my own skin. I want to be well-read (not just because I've read all of F. Scott Fitzgerald's books) and know by heart the most beautiful lines ever written in the history of literature. I want to be able to recite them with the same familiarity as my own name. I want to not just appreciate art, but recognize it; sympathize with it. Once, a long time ago, I saw van Gogh's "Irises". I had read his biography and thus was able to recount where he was and what was going on in his life when he painted it. I loved the satisfaction that came from knowing that. Goethe said, "One ought, every day at least, to hear a little song, read a good poem, see a fine picture, and if it were possible, speak a few reasonable words", and how fervently I agree with him. The days that I seek out those realms feel the most complete, the most worthwhile. It is dichotomous that I feel most grateful for and yet at the same time most encumbered by the time that I am given. Grateful, because I think it is a precious gift. Encumbered by it, because I rarely use it wisely, and I feel inundated by guilt because of it. The irony of all this is that I have no one to point a condemning finger to but myself.

I want to cherish virtue. I want to cherish it like I cherish my cameo collection. I don't understand why I stray so far from this, when it is such an adamant beating of my heart. Or maybe it isn't and that is why I stray so far from protecting it. 
In my heart of hearts, I want to uphold it to the most miraculous degree. But I fail. I fail miserably. I even abandon it sometimes. And yet all the while I know that in doing so I am betraying my identity. When I reach those precipices of spirituality that ascend me to the peripheral heights from which I have strayed, I am comforted, inspired, and assured. I stray from those feelings and from that elevation when I am reckless and negligent with my spirituality, my virtue.

I want to radiate intelligence. Not the kind that is overbearing and useless, but the kind that makes other people think differently. I want to understand what is important, and I want to always be learning. Learning about the world and finding new ways to understand it in all it's living complexities. I want to be intelligent enough to appreciate differences to which I don't relate. Indeed, and in deed, I want to "be the change I wish to see in the world". I want to never for one breathing second take for granted my ability to envisage. 

Above all, I want to never forsake that part of me that yearns for closeness to my Maker. 

And so I bid farewell to this night on bended knee and with bowed head, hands clasped together as if they are each other's only hope. And in silent and earnest fervor I plead: "Please help me get back to where and who I need to be, I beg of You..." 

Peace and Love. 

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