I wrote this when I was 23 and parts of it still ring true
|It is so difficult to allow the best days of your life to pass by! The urge to build the world that we believe we were destined to build – soon – is so strong in all of us. When I was graduating in literature one of my professors told me that I always miss the mark of brilliance in my essays because I kept looking for solutions. And don’t we all! Trying to place people, objects, emotions, experiences, ambitions, desires, relationships – all in their proper place tidily – so you know the meaning and relevance of everything.
And most often none of them get placed just so – people leave or change; objects disappear or are forgotten; experiences don’t come with explanations; ambitions and desires become circumstantial rather than emotional; and relationships just fade away. And the possibility of disappointment resulting in either courage or cynicism, are quite even. I don’t think they go together. A happy heart and a whole lot of laughter are far more likely to inspire faith and courage, than any unhappy and traditionally ‘ennobling’ experience.
So what does one do? Where do you find a new Santa Claus every time the previous one leaves? What do you do when you come home from a hard day’s work and find your neat world ransacked by life? (‘Life is what happens to you while you are busy making other plans’, rightly says John Lennon). Personally, the idea of making my world tiny, and shrinking it continuously, so that life has little room for harm, does not appeal. But I have tried that too.
I keep an eye on that door and treat every one with what I think is careful suspicion. But as the claustrophobia becomes difficult to bear, you let people in - and before you know it, you have another ‘visiting’ Santa; and probably another hurt too soon.
Have we ever considered that perhaps happiness and joy were meant to be short-lived, and sadness long? Is it possible for us to let everything that comes into our life decide its own place and tenure? There will always be that particular pen that wrote so well, or that easy chair that was so warm; but could I possibly, gracefully, let the chair hug someone else when it chooses to, and pack and label the warmth it gave me as a ‘goodie’ for my bag of memories? Sounds incredibly sweet and impossible, doesn’t it? But as long as there will be people, things and attached emotions, and as along as shrinking your world only makes you a smaller person trying to fit, can we create such a huge world for ourselves, that when the easy chair disappears, you could race across to the other end of the world, where its warm enough for you to sleep…and smile.