Somewhere around 11am yesterday the slump set in. Motivation dissolved and melted into the bedclothes where I lay, optimism and future-joy disappeared as the world shifted into a grey flat plane of existence.
Externally I don’t look any different, but internally?
You know it’s hard to try to live mindfully with awareness and choice when everything I examine just feels pointless.
Maybe I’m just not paying enough attention.
I went through the usual motions of making coffee this morning (what’s the point?) and setting up my computer and chair to sit down and write (do I even have anything to say?) so that I can ‘fess up to the grey pointlessness of my existence. I need to do some grocery shopping today. This will likely be the high point of my day.
What is the point of me?
What are my goals and aims, my long-term plans. I had some, I’m sure. I was excited about them once.
I have a list of things I could or should do. I can picture it in my mind. I dismiss everything. I don’t even really want to watch or read anything, but at least such actions are attractively passive. At least they allow me to slip out of this existence for a short while, into the skin and life of more interesting, more motivated, more alive people than I.
No, but there was a glimpse of something there a second ago. Something about awareness, something about the coffee.
When I took the first sip of my coffee, while I was pondering awareness, I really noticed it for a second. And it really tasted like coffee, and mountain mornings and … hope?
And then I typed on and I lost it. Drinking my coffee as a companion to my morning words – because that’s what I do.
But that glimpse is maybe telling me something. I think maybe it could be like those spy movies where the protagonist walks into a room and on initial inspection there’s nothing there but blank walls, an empty room. But if she walks around slowly tap-tapping on surfaces, there’s something there beneath the surface. Maybe the walls will peel away, maybe a bookcase swings ’round, maybe a knob on a desk reveals a hidden staircase down. Whatever, it’s just a metaphor after all – the point is that I feel a bit plastered over at the moment, and an initial foray into self-examination reveals nothing but boredom and disgust with myself, but if I push on through, maybe maybe there’s something more there.
I’ve got to stop the judgement!
(Of course that declaration is not going to stop the judgement.)
But this whole attitude that my life is pointless and trite and filled with privilege and what do I have to complain about? It’s like I’m telling myself that I don’t get to struggle with shit because what the fuck do I have to complain about. And I know, I know what the fuck do I have to complain about?
And yet, stuff still seems hard, and maybe it’s okay to not be living a life that would entertain the masses on the big screen. Maybe I don’t need to be “something special” in the larger statistical scheme of things. Maybe I can be special enough in the small pond of my close friends and family. Maybe I can find joy in grocery shopping? Maybe I can get excited about small moments in my life.
It’s going to be gone in a universe’s heartbeat. Every fucking breath I take is a fucking miracle. And it feels good. My breaths move in and out of my body without pain. Sure there are some pains and aches in my body and niggles and things that worry me .. but right here and now, can I feel it? Can I appreciate it? The very miracle of my existence as me, as something so improbable and yet could things have ever turned out any differently given the initial conditions.
Whatever the physics of it, here I sit with self-awareness and other-awareness and the minutiae of my daily existence are simultaneously the least important and most amazing things.
Here – this song by The Symphony of Science says it better. “We are a way for the cosmos to know itself.”
So life is feeling flat and grey in the macro? Maybe I can zoom right in to the marvel of each of my moments and find joy and wonder in there.
We’re made of Star-stuff.