I don’t know what to say. Well, I guess I could say what I thought on my walk home from work, “I don’t like this phase of the journey.” Or, “I feel like I’m in the Twilight Zone.”
This phase of the journey is very much existential. Very external. I’ve noticed one major difference from how I reacted or responded to the external in the past, before this journey, it doesn’t affect me on the inside. It is quiet on the inside. I don’t feel anxiety or any discomfort. The only way to describe what I’m going through is that I feel dizzy. Not so much physically dizzy but like the world is spinning around me and I can’t seem to find any balance, other than within me.
I know that my heart never lets me down. She puts me through experiences that always end up for my best interests. I think about inquiring of her about all of this but I have no idea what to ask other than, “What the hell is going on?” I know she will ignore this question simply because it has no substance or significance and she always ignores such questions.
I felt strange from the moment I woke up this morning. It had the images of how I used to wake up when I was depressed yet I wasn’t depressed. It was simply a very existential feeling. Empty and void.
This was after a wonderful day yesterday where I found something interesting. I was reading Harry Potter and the Sorcerer’s Stone. I have read the first half of this book many times. The last attempt was before this journey began. As I was reading, from the first chapter, there were things that were familiar but there were many details I had no recall of ever reading.
As I progressed through the book, fully engrossed, I felt like I was reading the book for the first time. It caused me to think that I was so distracted back then by other things that I wasn’t able to actually able to become fully engrossed in a book. In many ways, this is why I stopped reading for entertainment. I hadn’t read a book for entertainment for a long time, many years. I often said it was because they put me to sleep or that my eyes couldn’t focus on the pages for a long time.
Yesterday, I couldn’t put the book down. I just kept reading, oddly, while the movies played on the TV. For some reason, this series has become very important to me. I don’t care why. I am enjoying it. I also noticed that I don’t care for watching news or anything else other than breaks of Gilmore Girls for a change of pace. All the while, reading the book.
This sort of reminds me of early stages in the journey when my heart took me completely out of the societal mainstream of media. For the most part, all that played on the TV were music videos on YouTube while I rarely slept and wrote most all of my free time as I explored with with my heart as she worked me through the process of answering all my questions, taking me on amazing journeys by intensifying my recall to the point that is was nearly, if not truly, eidetic memory, being able to literally see pages of books I read decades before that had the information needed at the time.
This time it is much less intense. In fact, I have to wonder if this journey actually affected my mind in ways. Possibly killed off a few brain cells. I am no longer as sharp as I used to be. All day I make mistakes. More than I ever used to make. Nothing drastic but things like reading a sign and not actually processing what it says. In some instances, putting another word in place of another that causes the sign to mean something else.
In the past, I would have been very upset with myself. This would have caused me extreme anxiety. I will admit, in many ways I was obsessive compulsive. If it wasn’t perfect then I would be upset. This doesn’t happen anymore. I don’t get upset at all. Confused a little but I just laugh it off. Ultimately, it doesn’t affect me on the inside, which is what it used to do. My heart would pound and my head would ache and I would make a little molehill in a huge mountain.
These things have only started to happen and my first thought about it was that winter has set in. I don’t do as well in the winter. The cold really slows me down. Yet, it is more so this year. I used to get depressed in the winter. I don’t feel depression coming on like most years. I have the same feelings in a way but I look at them differently. In some ways, the depression wasn’t so much from what was going on but how I perceived it. I was slower. I couldn’t respond to life with quick sharpness. This would make me feel out of control. When I would feel out of control anxiety would set in. This would make me feel terrible and even more out of control. This would then lead to depression.
It is also the holidays. The holidays were never a happy time for me. Not even when I spent them with my family. Maybe I could say it was worse when I spent the holidays with them. There would always be fights, both verbal and physical. Someone would get drunk and start judging others harshly. Everyone would put up with it for a while but then it would lead to an explosion at the end. For them, this was normal. For me, well, I hated it. I rarely participated in the aggression. I usually went to another room and just listened as I cringed on the inside.
It was also the time where I spent from Thanksgiving through the first week of the New Year with my mother in her last days. Watching as my siblings fought over who was getting what while I tried to keep my step dad from freaking out and keep things in some sort of perspective. The youngest, weakest child came in to a very stressful situation and did all I could to get my mother through to the end as peacefully as possible until that day when I left her death bed while my brother and step father got into a fist fight outside the door of her room saying to my mother, “I have to leave. I can’t stay to the end.”
She replied in her deep morphine induced state, “I know. You should go.” We then spent a few minutes sharing our last words with each other. Very loving words. Beautiful words. The most beautiful words I ever experienced between me and my mother.
On the way home, I pulled off to the side of the freeway because I couldn’t drive anymore. I broke down and really didn’t recover for about 5 years. It began the darkest period of my life. A time when I no longer interacted with the rest of my family. Where I saw the darkest, most painful side of who I am. At times, never leaving my apartment for months on end, except to get groceries.
I no longer feel the sorrow and pain like I used to feel every year at this time for about 10 years after my mother passed. But, the month of her birthday, Mother’s Day, and the holidays, I still feel something. It usually sneaks up on me because I don’t think about it in any way other times of the year.
Yet, this year is different. I still seem to be feeling it all but in a much different way. Like there is an external me and an internal. Where, in the past, I would feel it all throughout me, now I only feel it on the outside. The physical me. Within me, all is quiet and calm.
This is what, in a sense, is confusing me. The world around me is spinning while within me, all is calm and stable. And what is so wonderful about it now is that I am able to write this and it doesn’t take me over like it did in the past. I couldn’t talk about it because it would cause me to fall into a depression. I had to keep it separate from me. Now I can actually look at it, feel it and even observe it in a different way without being overwhelmed by it.
It is like the rest of my life, which I rarely spoke about because most people would tell me how horrible it was when for me, I thought it was amazing. Experiences of things that most people spend their lives avoiding. Going to tourist cities and exploring them from the underbelly rather than the clean, sterile popular sights that most people visited and remember about those places, often avoiding and trying to ignore the real people who live there.
Back then, to pass the time I would find a homeless person out begging for money and sit next to them for as long as they would let me, simply listening to their stories. I always enjoyed their stories, even if they were often embellished as they tried to say that they were better then the people there were at the time. How they once had everything, did great things but now they are sitting on a stair begging for change.
All the times I would walk these cities around 3am, meeting people those in the day would not want to know. Again, just listening to them and their lives. Sharing a pint of cheap whiskey with them.
Yes, this phase of the journey has become very existential. I can feel my heart guiding as she has throughout this journey. Though I might feel that I don’t like it now, I know it will lead to something beautiful. In fact, what I’m experiencing now will probably become beautiful once the realization, the painting she is painting comes into view.
I couldn’t help but think, “Maybe this is what it feels like to be sculpted. To be the expression coming forth from the stone.” It’s like all of these painful memories and things I have tried to avoid all of my life, as they come through, are all part of the expression as a whole as it all blends with the beautiful person that my heart has already exposed within me. Giving the art deeper perspective and form.
Well, all I know right now is that everything feels like it is spinning round and it feels like the Twilight Zone. So strange yet, I can’t help but say, in a strange way, it is really beautiful.
Something else I know, I really enjoy reading the Harry Potter books, knowing that I won’t stop until I’ve read them all. That alone is beautiful to me right now. Enjoying all those beautiful details I had missed before when reading the first book and knowing that I will get to enjoy all the detail of the books to come.
In conclusion, as I thought of how I was seeing all these details that I had never seen before in a book I had read many times, it caused me to think that maybe this answers my question about what I am to do. In some way, maybe all ways, it is not about seeking out new experiences but to see all the things in the world around me that I never saw before because I was so distracted. Maybe right where I am, where I’ve been for many years, there is a world of details that I’ve overlooked because I was so distracted. Here I will find an entirely new world to explore and enjoy.