i remember being 8 years old or so
standing outside on the asphalt
gray sky, gray clouds hanging around
i remember standing look out into the sky
kids playing on the monkey bars, running around
recess monitor walking around, hands clasped behind them
and me standing alone
pulling from some depth within me,
the question –
how do i live this life?
or maybe, more accurately,
how is this life meant to be lived?
what is my path?
who am i?
my questions seemed to trickle out of me,
float out into the air,
dissipate into the grayness,
swallowed up by the air.
looking up, i felt no response,
no indication that my question was heard,
or that it was a valid question.
up until now, i had interpreted that experience is a lonely one
a melancholic moment of existential questioning,
met with… nothing
met by nothing.
i interpreted it as empty.
the quiet that was before and came after my inquiry seem to solidify in my little mind,
that i was on my own
i took that ‘lesson’ with me throughout,
through significant and seemingly insignificant moments,
quietly shelving that piece of ‘knowledge’ into the file cabinets of my personality,
my relationship with myself,
my relationship with others.
i am alone.
i have to figure this out on my own.
no one is coming.
fascinating, what a mind will do, no?
making sense of things,
or rather, trying to,
and then trying to fit the world into the interpretation,
trying to fit myself into what i now ‘knew’.
it’s no surprise, then, that for most of my life, i’ve felt lonely,
a lot of the way i carry myself,
the way i see the world,
the way i see myself,
is from a place of disconnection,
ready to leap off,
the moment i find something to validate my suspicions,
attracting exactly the experiences that confirm my fears…
last night, i had an experience that took me back to that moment,
to that 8 year old,
that precious little girl,
looking out into the world,
soft and open
of the silence that ensued after her questions,
her cries, really.
when i go back to that moment,
i realize that i was not able to see what was there,
what had always been there,
what i’m able to see now,
more than 2 decades later.
the silence i had miscontrued for emptiness,
for lack of something, someone out there listening to me
for lack of care and attention towards me
for lack of love,
for lack of hope for me…
the silence was not a void,
the sky above was not ignorant
the clouds were not dismissive
the air around me, not unconcerned.
it was the exact opposite
everything was at attention,
all faculties of perception of the universe,
of All That Is,
on this little girl,
this little soul,
full undivided attention on me
as ever before,
and ever after that moment,
never once not doting on me
never not adoring me
never not near,
i thought the response i needed was in the form of words,
some kind of validation,
i got the audience of the universe,
of my ancestors,
of every good thing,
looking at me,
almost holding their breath,
peering at me from the cosmos,
the answer, was always there.
the answer was always true.
the answer needed no translation,
no understanding, even.
i was on the stage, asking the universe if they were there,
if there was any point to living,
while every seat was taken,
every eye turned to me,
wildly captivated by me,
by my desires,
deeply curious to see what i would do with each breath,
to observe my journey,
to rejoice in who i was and who i was becoming,
taking great pleasure in the moments between the moments.
the silence was not an absence of presence,
as i had thought.
it was quite the opposite.
the universe, god, whatever, loved me so deeply,
to hold out lol
the irony is that,
somewhere along the way,
i learned to interpret silence to be
and nothingness to be
and aloneness to be
it was quite the opposite.
even when i was on the stage, thinking i was an extra,
the role of a tree
or a person that managed the light,
or a stagehand,
or someone that helped the star of the show change costumes behind the scenes…
i was still the main character.
i mean, it’s my freaking life,
how could i not be???
just imagining me thinking like i was really not much,
not that interesting
i was certainly all those things,
the entire audience,
captivated by me,
pretending, with every cell of my body,
every drop of blood in me,
pretending that i was anything but
Who I Am,
What I Am.
adorable, really lol.
creeping around, thinking that i’m not worthy of the spotlight,
all the while asking the audience for just that…
all the while receiving exactly that…
all the while not being aware of it lolllll.
that is the story of my motherfucking life, i tell you.
i’m still working on the whole what-does-it-look-and-feel-like-to-be-the-main-character-of-my-life thing.
still tiptoeing around the edges,
exploring a moment at a time,
stretching into me little by little.
but being here, knowing what i know…
even the not-knowing-ness, the loneliness,
the fear, the anxiety, etc etc etc.
all of that.