I sit upon the familiar log that rests upon the familiar sea cliff.
What has changed in the last few days? What has remained the same?
Where Saturday I grappled with a profound annihilation anxiety—a part of me fighting it, a part of me hoping for it to bring about my ultimate demise—today I feel as though my problems are grounded in the day-to-day: anger and helplessness about not being paid for my work; fear of not making rent; struggles with my “attachment issues”.
I feel like I am drifting on the very ocean upon which I now gaze. Whatever dissatisfaction or trouble I may have, there is nothing to be done about it here. And even when my mind insists on attaching itself to some problem or other, it is interrupted by a sense that none of it matters. I will be gone soon enough and the world will go on. Humankind will continue to be the ugly and beautiful mess that it is (and always will be) and these waves will continue to crash. It is one of the more interesting and paradoxical aspects of being human that the realization of one’s insignificance can bring with it insufferable pain and immense relief. In keeping with the feeling of drifting, I wish to let my writing drift.
As I feel my shirt wrapping tightly around my growing belly I am reminded of my shameful encounter with a jar of peanut butter last night. It requires very little analysis to understand that I binge to cover the pain of my unmet needs even at the expense of my health. But here, my gnarled warlock tree does not care. It offers its shade to criminals and saints alike!
I believe I would very much enjoy a life where I had only two patients in the morning and rest of the day to myself. It is not that I imagine it would relieve all of my suffering; perhaps I would suffer just the same. But the idea of having the freedom to suffer (or be joyful) without having to hold it together for long periods of time relaxes me. Big breath. That feels right. But these crashing waves—they do not care. They will continue to do what they do regardless of my work and survival woes.
My eyes grow tearful at imagining returning to my full time duties. Especially in light of not being paid. I need more than a vacation, I need a sabbatical. I am recovering from sixteen straight years of this work with never more than ten days off to stay at home (a kind of forced vacation due to end of year holidays). I feel a pinch on my wrist. An insect bites me. Rascal! Thank you for not caring about my insignificant complaints or fantasies! For reminding me that I’m no more or less than you.
Enough writing. These words matter not. I will heed the ocean’s call, close my eyes and listen to the birds’ songs, invite the insects to feast on me. I will be the drifter I yearn to be.