It isn’t a place, or person, or job. It isn’t a mindset, attitude, outlook. It isn’t unhappiness, frustration, anger, sadness, boredom. It isn’t the weather, lack of vitamins, unruly hair. All the previous may have some effect on my desire to change my life, but not completely. It may be more that I am aging, slowing down a bit, and realize that my rocking chair isn’t suitable for a long term rock towards death. But even that is not the whole story. As I’ve mentioned before, I have died several times during my life, recently when my mother passed away, and then I return, half heartedly, to continue on what I know to be the wrong path, with no idea of how to set it right. It’s that life of quiet desperation mentioned by Thoreau, a life I was determined to avoid, and now I find myself in the middle of it, lost again.
These are good times for road trips, but at our age we know the road trip takes us to the same place in a different state or country. Youth adds and subtracts easily, moves through, under, and around the unpleasant, buoyed by hope fueled with innocense. I am no longer innocent, but I think I’m still dumb enough to make mistakes that won’t lead me to either an early grave or a jail cell. When one is young, there is nothing to lose because there is so much to gain. When one is older, there is again nothing to lose, for there is little to gain. The young and old share that freedom from over-earnest choices fraught with conditions and heavy consequence. Maybe that’s why I am feeling something other than a mid-life crisis. The standard crisis, in my mind, includes the sketch of an old dream gone sour and the determination to give it another try.
My present crisis is not rooted in the past or even the future. It does not contain a plan or a dream, a hope or a direction. It is just an internal dis-ease with the way my life has invented itself over the years, and the wrongness in the nowness of it. It is PRESENTLY, very presently, wrong.
It helps not to answer the telephone, but even that is an active choice to continue with the wrongness of the telephone. Of course, there is nothing wrong with a telephone per se, but in the context of choosing to answer or not answer it, it becomes a repository for questions regarding the people who exist, presently, in my life, and want to talk to me about something that I have no interest in discussing. My present interests are shifting so rapidly and haphazardly that they are impossible to acknowledge, let alone enjoy.
Instead, I am fascinated with the shift itself, in this nowness, every moment, of every day, this interior shake-up. It is a dream-like state, where everything is intensified. My blue curtains are very blue, the walk I took in the park, a very very walk in a park. The sweet potato for dinner, quite a potato, the only one in the world. So orange.
Now you’d think I was drunk, writing in this way, but no, it’s just a very now afternoon wherein I have erased all of the past and future and ideas and opinions and plans, in order to make the inner shift necessary for my sanity. The shift away from this life that I want to change.
It is a busy time. The business of a leaking life, spurting out and making a mess – the business of cleaning it up and plugging the holes, as I await the shift. The muscles in my body seem poised and ready for a heavy climb. There is a sense of the ominous and the sacred. Something’s up.