Photo by Don Komarechka.
Here I am. Back to my life. C. gone, back to Ithaca, his home, the sense of home I gave him, all those years living there, I guess. And it isn’t like I didn’t want him gone, Jesus Christ almost desperately by the end but now, alone here with the cats, there’s an absence, a complicated, mixed-up missing, my own personal deep vein of striated coal that runs under the surface of my skin and makes me play the same songs over and over: forever loss.
How to say this? How to find the words? Can random babbling ever, in the end, help? In the Woody Allen movie tonight, the main character, Chris Wilton, in a sequence towards the end of the film that may actually be someone else’s dream, quotes Socrates (and I will have to track it down, find the words, exactly) saying that maybe the greatest gift is to never have been born. To be unknowing of all this—dukkha, suffering, as the Buddha called it and that’s an applicable catch-all, this swirling around that goes on inside me, a pea soup laced with loss and guilt and regret. It’s beyond the melodramatic, the urge to find a tiny path for my selfish self that makes some kind of bourgeois sense. Half a century living. You think you’d get some more regular glimmer of insight and wisdom. My triumph is getting the recycling up the hill, the cats fed, the coffee maker set up for tomorrow morning’s assignation with motivational caffeine.
How many of us ever figure it out, feel at home, comfortable, reliably secure, at peace?
Life is in the moments, in spite of all the rhetoric floated in this crazy culture to convince us otherwise. They come, they go. Maybe my problem is that I’ve gotten quite used to that.