It's a winter thing, a vague oppressed feeling that's difficult to explain. Impatience, maybe, a longing for longer days and shorter nights. Winter sedates the clock, if not the calendar. From this wretched annual tomb springs a longing to shed my skin... cage, decorum... clothes... and throw caution to the minus 20 wind-chill. Memories of youth float to the surface like oil on water, teasing... taunting. I hear Janis, her ashes and spirit reach out from the cold, blue Pacific. She bawls, "Freedom's just another word for nothing left to lose," and "I'd trade all my tomorrows for just one yesterday... Lordy Lordy Lordy Lordy..."
What happened to Mr Anti-Establishment? Where did that long-haired guy go? Not so much as a Peace Sign trinket or tie dyed tee shirt left over from those golden olden days. "The times they are a changin."
"Anchors" have a way of keeping us in "port" during the best years of our lives. Stones gather moss, instead of rolling. We traded VW vans and bugs for climate controlled comfort zones, with air bags to cushion reality. Oh, we still shoot up once in a while, but with disposable needles and Botox. It masks the decades of tedium in port, irrevocably etched on our now expressionless faces. Sometimes memories and choices made weigh on my metaphorical chest like an elephant, and I can hardly breathe.
The longing grows as the calendar slows during winter. My soul wants to find a dark hole and hibernate. What a gift, hibernation. It is a complex longing I speak of... one fueled by darkness and loneliness... obligations and bucket lists and containment. "Aw, just a little post-holiday letdown," say you, "perfectly normal. Quit whining." Then says I, "You, my well balanced and privileged friend, don't have a clue. Good for you. So as to what is about to follow, you might want to take your lack of understanding and skip to the pretty pictures... now. "Have a nice day."
Now that there are mostly empty chairs in the "room," I'd like the remaining few to move on down to the front row so we can be cozy and casual. That's better.
Where was I? Oh yes, the "longing" I speak of. As you can see by it's "menu," it's usually found in those blessed/cursed with restless spirit syndrome. It's a feeling of wanting to throw off "chains" and embark on a New Journey to an un-calculated destination... which is just another way of saying, "we never arrive." If it truly is The Journey, after all, and not "The Destination," that would make more sense, wouldn't it? Some plants just don't put down deep roots, and, like the giant saguaro cacti, are easily toppled in the wind. They don't do well in the cold, either.
Our closest friends and family wonder what we are running away from. Only those in the "room" can understand... that it's not so much running away from something as it is running to something else... something novel, previously unimagined... something that "waters" long dormant seeds of creative expression. It is only through creative expression that we can shake the "demons" of complacency. Yes, complacency and contentment are our "demons," while, for the the others who left the room, they are honorable retirement goals. Bahhh. If this runs over your toes, then you should have left the room when I told you to.
More and more, winter leaves me feeling like I've have exhausted my surround... that I am repeating all too familiar circles... that there is no new ground breaking under foot or wheel. "I need a new drug." I need an unfamiliar landscape in an un-calculated destination... an enriched human experience... a New Journey. I imagine possibilities for new destinations and couple them with different forms of creative expression. It reignites old passions and stirs the coals of new ones. Do we not hear the "clock?" Does the Bell toll for everyone else but us?
So I pass this on to you few people still left in the room. Let's dream anew with the honorable words, "Once upon a time, long ago and far away, in a deep forest, there lived a child" much like you..."