[find your bearings. hang up your coat. stay for a little while.]
In your respective city far away from the place you were raised, you are a floating point. A dot amongst thousands of other dots working very hard to grab on and hold on. That's how I've felt lately. Like a little dot. A little point that keeps trying and trying but, like an archaic computer game, keeps getting deflected off of walls.
This is all that they see. A little dot with not enough management experience to take the 90k a year job they hung out before me for three months like a carrot. And after three months of interviews they turned me away with the flick of their wrist.
A little dot who is not pretty enough, or thin enough, is not enough.
After a while it starts to get to you. Each morning you wake up and run your hands up and down your body. I'm sure I have dimensions. I can feel them. But I must be wrong. They know better than I do. Little by little, I lose my dimension and my orientation. The space that I take up begins to diminish. I start to bounce around off of walls.
I'm a total heathen, with very little interest in thinking, researching, even discussing or the idea of God. I'd rather discuss books, or the weather, or anything really, with the exception of sports teams. Such little dialog I've had with 'God' that I know, should by some great trick it turns out he's been there all along, I'll show up at the finish line and he'll be there with his great Book and he'll look at me and say, "And who are you?" And then, after a pause- "I'm sorry, but I just can't place you."
Despite this, when one is a bouncing little dot, or feels, at any rate, that they have been reduced to this, one does begin to question what the point of it it all is.
***At first the soft, deep powder of the backyard was bearable on bare feet, a refreshing sting, but the packed-down crust of the driveway was torture. We exploded back in through the door and dashed back to the stove where we hopped back and forth from leg to leg, laughing a sort of crying laugh. Just as the blood was beginning to drain away from our feet, Teal's husband Mark, a solid Bostonian with a heavy New England Accent and tattoos running up his arm, decided to have another lap. The rest of them soon followed. Everyone but me. I have frostbite scars. I'm Chicken Shit. However you want to spell it out. I stayed put.
They returned howling.
You are so much more than a little point. You are a long ribbon of color and light. You have been here for a while now, and you will keep going like this, unwinding and unwinding. The trick is to be find the people and the occasions who can recognize this. (And get rid of the rest.)
Listen, I know what you're thinking. But there is a difference in those who think that life is built for our pleasure and convenience and joy, and those who know that with any sort of joy there is equal parts suffering. Everyone in that beautiful house on that perfect night was familiar, some intimately so, with wrecking tragedy. The kind that saves us from melting into the delusion that everything in life is clean and pretty, or that we are entitled. To anything. The pieces of that tragedy have been lodged inside my body ever since, keeping me wildly alert, hyper-questioning and unwilling to accept anything at face value.
So when I start to think about it, this is the only conclusion I can draw:
That the whole of life is a mystery. A hard, complicated mystery.
But if nights like this are the height of what the whole world can provide, in my lifetime- if this is all I ever get in terms of answers regarding purpose and intention and fulfillment- then I'll settle for that. I'll settle for that gratefully.