Tortured by Nothing
I can’t help it.
I ponder life almost incessantly.
On my late night walk tonight, I reflected on how our civilization has conquered almost everything.
Everything but immortality and meaning.
When I stood outside my apartment, in 45 degrees of winter, with fire in my hand, a super-warm jacket and the knowledge that I can go back inside to a warm abode whenever I wanted,
I realized how blessed I am.
How much the people who have come before me have literally and figuratively paved the way.
Each generation has left this world (mostly) better off.
It was the best of times; it was the worst of times.
As above, so below…
There is nothing new under the sun.
I am this little fragment–
this small imprint,
a little spark that’s glowing in the dark night.
And for a brief span
until the day my light is extinguished
(not unlike the stars in our galaxy, if you think about it).
As Louis C.K. says, we’re dead for way longer than we’re alive.
From whence we came, so shall we return.
I’m not scared of returning.
Truly, I’m not.
But it’s the question of the in-between that moves me,
which keeps me up at night.
I don’t have a family of my own;
humanity is my family.
You are my family, and your children are my children.
I don’t have a lot of needs–
some time in nature, travel, great conversations, music, physical affection, laughter, friendship.
But it’s the imprint which calls me,
which tortures me.
What imprint shall I make with this brief time in physical form before I go back from whence I came?
What stirrings within beckon me?
Perhaps, this is it.
Perhaps I’ve looked too far, and the answer is near.
We all live different pieces of life for each other.
None of us get to experience it all.
Perhaps, through my soul searching and meanderings, my questions and struggles, you get a different perspective–my own–that reflects a different aspect of Being.
I have tried to do and be many things in this world; and for most of them, I’ve done the best that I could. I’ve tried to be part of this world as such.
To find my place, as it were.
But life often feels like a giant puzzle, and my piece doesn’t seem to fit into any of the gaps very neatly.
Yes, I’m aware that I’m not a human doing;
I’m a human being.
(Though I forget, often, it is true.)
I think there are others out there like me, yes?
Others who can’t just fall into a nice profession (w/ benefits),
or start a family with that special someone.
You could (as could I), but not without a cost to your being.
A great cost.
I spent my 20’s doing what most people wait to do until their 60’s.
I’ve traveled the globe and seen much of our beautiful backyard in the States.
I’ve read great works. I’ve loved deeply. I’ve taken risks–and failed.
I’ve been on many an adventure, and I am grateful for all that is in my past.
And here I am, now.
I ask myself.
It’s so easy to invent something–anything– to dull that gnawing question which burns at my insides.
So many distractions to choose from.
But what happens when even your distractions no longer do the trick?
(Sleeping pills, drugs, tv, sex, booze, sports, politics, career…)
You’re left all alone again
It’s truly not a bad place to be.
Sometimes, in the quiet of the night, my fire sleeps
and I get rest.
I feel like Sisyphus,
climbing the hill each day,
except my rock is nothing.
I am tortured… by nothing.
(feel free to smile)
In the night, I can smile.
But when day returns, I’ll face my nothing
and start climbing my lonely hill again.