this month's collab for Jaunt:
Think how you can't see the science without seeing first the self,
But then nobody thinks of growing somebody else,
And how the sun, hungry sun, holds the withered withered world,
So why shouldn't I kiss the beautiful girl?
--"The Good Gardener", Augie March.
have you noticed that our lives seem to be getting more ephemeral by the day? the pace of change accelerates, we hustle a little harder to stay ahead, and we realize we're just keeping up.
i often think of my life in terms of my parents' lives, and my grandparents' lives. i mumble thru the mental math, and mark where they were when they were the age i am now. they had homes, careers, bridge clubs and cocktail hours, children. it seems, from here, that they had a slower pace. things quickened for my parents, and again for me. somehow, i am given less time to do more.
but when i write it out, how long they held a job, had a house, lived in one place long enough to know where they were from, it's not so different from my life, at least on the surface. half my childhood was in one town, the rest in a second. there was always a place, a home to go back to. and now i've been here, in this little part of the world i've claimed as my own, for long enough that this is the place to come home. it's everyone else now who moves. they move jobs, they move thru roles, they move homes.
despite that, it still seems as if the world is rushing by. we email, we voice mail, we play tag with each other in quick short bursts. technology, medicine, politics rumble thru daily shifts. we're drowning in information. i'm wallowing in facts and minutiae. perhaps as a result, i have the patience of a flea. or maybe that is just my nature. in any event, i expect immediate responses, and am frustrated when they do not come, disappointed when i can't give them. i fight the urge to go even faster, cram more into my life, get more done. and i sit here, nailed in place by fear and inertia. then i jump up and sprint thru my assigned roles, trembling, thinking i've missed the point.
it feels as if i do not get enough done in a day, that there should be more hours, more light. the dark creeps in later and later these days, and all i want is for the sun to set so that i can wrap the safety of anonimity around myself, sheltering from the waves of demands.
each birthday, the runway gets shorter. i have the expectation that there is some thing, some purpose that i need to achieve, and i haven't recognized yet what that thing is. i worry that i'll be done before i find it. looking around at the meager facts of my life, i panic quietly.
and then. and then every so often, a small ray of sunshine breaks thru this self-involved fog to remind me that our life is in the small details, here, in the moment. stop. breathe. sat nam. sit and talk with the beautiful girl. listen to her story. hold her hand. stroll in the moonlight. kiss her. namaste.