I’ll tell you where I was. I was right here, sitting at the table and watching the clock, clicking, clicking, clicking.
I wasn’t sure about my words, and I deleted, deleted, deleted as I wrote about living my dream. I hit ‘Publish’ with 2 minutes and 27 seconds left to spare and I still wasn’t honestly sure about my dream.
Was that where I wanted to be, when the old year turned new?
I could hear the neighbors hollering and whooping from the house next door, through walls and across an alley, through windows shut tight against the cold and damp.
There were fireworks that I couldn’t see. They flew too low and the fog was too thick.
My phone vibrated, a message from a dear friend and mentor and his alter-ego, which is friends with my wildebeest.
As I write this, and as I sit at the table, I need to remember who I am doing this for.
Do I care if a neurotypical housewife in Illinois is perplexed by this talk of wildebeests and alter egos, ego altars?
What about professors?
Would I be concerned if a professor thought I was stupid and foolish?
What about my family? Ach. What would they make of this now?
Last time they read this record with any regularity, I got tossed in the mental hospital.
…which ended up being a very useful study in the role of fear in family dynamics relating to mental health concerns and which put me through the final hell that I needed to survive in order for me to figure out what I needed to live for in order to stay alive…
Wanting my family to love and approve of me never got me anywhere I needed to be.
Oh, that fear needs to hurry up and wither…drop its needles and let the bugs tunnel through its very core until the bark falls free and there is nothing but light inside…
People have said that this is a brave thing that I do, and I’d have to agree. They also say the line between bravery and stupidity is a very thin line indeed.
Why am I doing this?
The answer is in this sentence:
What if everyone who seemed to be “at risk” for schizophrenia were told that they were, deep down, golden hearted poet architects struggling to be born?
The answer is in so many other sentences.
e.g.”I only want the world to be okay.”
Because I don’t forget much, I am keenly aware of change.
How does anyone change the world?
Does it change the world if just one voice speaks beauty into something that has been made sick? What if nobody even listens?
It is the tree falling in the forest, the voice in the wilderness.
Does it change the world if the right words are read by the right person on the right morning?
What about the wrong words, the ones that catch and flare and tangle, jamming some dissonance into the pudding of casual internet encounters with ideas?
So, sometimes I throw in a hook or two, but only for people who might be inclined to diagnose me or call me something that I’m not, because the fact of the matter is that I am more kind and clever than a great many of them.
This isn’t prideful, this is simple measurement.
Was I where I wanted to be last night?
I think so, though it’s not the final destination by any stretch of the imagination.
One day, I am going to go to Easter Island.
My ten year old told me that I looked younger this morning so I must have been where I needed to be last night.
Where were you?