How to Return
My first impulse is to apologize - that I am not writing that expected cheerful and optimistic end-of-year conclusion or beginning-of-year introduction. My first impulse is to apologize for the truth in the essay below. But I resist the impulse and instead I choose honesty.
It's the end of a year and as I reflect on my life honestly, I feel I am not free but I cannot describe how exactly.
I reflect on the qualities of those times I have felt free, completely unhindered and unburdened. I have indeed felt that expanse - when my feet bare felt earth soft and cold underneath. When my skin lie on hot white sand. When I watched the sun slowly over the day cast different light into the sky and then return back down again to bring the sky into her darkness. When I had no list and no plan but to watch the rhythm of the waves on the horizon and say my prayers and read my book. And none of these things were goals to me. They were just, life. And I lie next to my dog and pet her black fur hot from sun and did nothing but let my mind be cleaned and emptied. I am not free but I cannot describe how exactly.
But these days I am a slave to the screens, the calls for my attention, the texts and the emails and the maintenance of the facebook marketplace items I am selling. The car repairs and the bills to pay and the vacuuming and the dusting and the cleaning all the things I've collected here in this home. The lists of things to do and goals to meet and my daily and monthly calendars. And the work that has me staring at a bright screen from nine to five and I don't see the sun that shines or feel nature in my hands and in my lungs. All the things that make this life so modern are my slave masters and I have complacently put on these chains, unaware of how I am pressing down on the artery of life herself, to join this half-life modern-life. I am not free but I cannot describe how exactly.
Am I the one who put on these chains? Does anyone else feel the same way? Can I indeed set myself free - with one swift movement, or perhaps slowly over time, clamp down on the chain? Is it possible to return? Does anyone know how?
I'd like to live in my heart and not my head. In my eyes and not my mind. I’d like to make this a year for returning.
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