Monday, April 20, 2009

what IS the what?

The rain knows to fall and the earth knows to drink, and while I watch the natural course of things course on, I can't help noting my envy of the little birds, whose genus and species I cannot cite, that scuttle along the damp grass and glossy asphalt. They have very few responsibilities and very few quests to conquer. Yet I feel oddly at peace sitting here in the back doorway watching them carry on, the just-cut grass, listening to the dribbling rain fall from disjointed gutters into puddles that slowly erode the yard and driveway, and feeling the cool, heavy air enwrap my bare toes. For this contentment there are no questions only the desire for endless amounts of it, a lifetime of uninterrupted moments of stillness, and the reminder of light traffic that I am not alone.

I stopped into the office of a professor I had last semester to grasp at a last ditch effort to prevent me from quitting. I'm not happy at all with where I feel like this masters program is going. And I wanted someone to say something that wasn't practical. I wanted someone to use words like "energy" and "spirit" and "meaning." She had been trying to plan a trip to India for the summer, had done the research and found flights, but she couldn't buy the tickets. She said that something inside of her kept her fingers from closing the deal. In the end, she decided that she hadn't really wanted to go to India and wound up booking a trip to a Caribbean Isle instead. She said that sometimes you just know, and that I needed to find what it was that I wanted to gain. "What is the what?" she gently asked. I folded in on myself and wrinkled my face in a dire effort to keep from crying. Is this English program my India?

This is where The Staff Sergeant, in his sweetest, feigned exasperation, would sigh, "so many questions..."

At twenty-five I don't expect to have the whole of my lifetime mapped out. I don't expect to know every detail, recognize every nuance eloquently relayed, have it all figured out. But it bothers me that the further I climb, with plans of enhancing my future, the more blurry my vision becomes. I want to be a writer and I don't even know what that means anymore. I feel like grabbing it by the limp ankles and wrists and heaving it into my growing pile of lifeless, romantic ideals. I feel like cursing the stars for bestowing me with a world of passions and talents that do not provide a salary.

All that I know for certain is that it needs to mean something, my purpose here on earth, something more than watching the gray-blue clouds shuffle beyond trees like foamy waves - with direction. I could sit here with the company of deep-indigo irises and my sweet pug loyally by my side. I could sip strawberry beer and be in awe of all that rises up around me, but I believe they have names for people like that, and really my need for answers would eventually move me.

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