When good is near you, when you have life in yourself, it is not by any known or accustomed way; you shall not discern the foot-prints of any other; you shall not see the face of man; you shall not hear any name;—— the way, the thought, the good, shall be wholly strange and new. – Ralph Waldo Emerson
Can you remember a moment in your life when you had life in yourself and it was wholly strange and new? Can you remember the moment when you stopped walking a path of someone else, and started cutting your own? Write about that moment. And if you haven’t experienced it yet, let the miracle play out in your mind’s eye and write about that moment in your future. (Author: Bridget Pilloud)
God. Really? Everyday is strange and new. Is that what that means to have life in me? Because, if it is, life body-snatched me at the very beginning.
All of my days are absurdities, ventures through a crazy world of prickly unease and vague yearning. You think I’m kidding. I’m not. Daily interactions with people are like little mini-dramas playing out in old-time-y newsreel past my eyes–and I never really get the hang of it. Most words out of my mouth are like little plays—How To lists of the right thing to say, read out loud, but unnaturally.
Floods of questions flit past and then attach themselves to their subjects. How did I end up HERE? Where did the day go? Remember that time that was just similar to this? Did I just say the wrong thing? Oh shit, I did. I just said the wrong thing. Is this for real right now? Is this what I worked for? What WAS I working for? Am I talking to myself? Did my lips actually move? Did they see it?
Everything is alien to me, and while it’s not the most comfortable of all existences, I can’t say that I don’t enjoy it. It’s hard, sure. The beat of my drum is irregular and harried, and sometimes, mournfully slow. I learned a long time ago that the harder I try to calibrate it to the pulse of others, the more I’m tampering with and unsettling what was MEANT TO BE a personal and private music. Fitting in throws me off, gives me headaches. Mostly because I wasn’t made to blend. Square peg, you know?
It makes sense, thinking about it now. It’s in the way that I feel life’s knocks more deeply, that I’m more affected by things, influences, stimuli. My reaction time is slower, my recovery time longer, molehills into mountains, a travesty around every turn. I haven’t the time to get USED to anything before I’m off absorbing, daydreaming, wishing, aching, naming again and again in a relentless forward push. I KNOW that the strange and new are where it’s at. I search them out. Choose them in spite of the risk of meltdown. If I’m already jumping out of this airplane, why not do so in style with back flips and 360 spins?
This is the human condition. It’s MY condition. If it weren’t odd, If I did recognize my surroundings, I’d be moving backwards.