Tuesday, November 19, 2013

These are the days that must happen to you

Skype conversations are a norm in my life now. I adjust to the fifteen hour time difference between Sydney and Cochabamba. I get home in the late afternoon to talk to my sister or my friend before they head off to work. I make time because these conversations have been the lifeblood of all my relationships. The conversations that are nothing but tonterias, the conversations that are all weight and depth, the conversations that are like wars of words where nobody wins but nobody loses because there's so much to say and it's been too long. All of these conversations keep me sane and give me a different sketch of reality to the one I drew myself. I talk to see my thoughts float out before me and be rearranged in so many different ways by the person on the other side. There are conversations that must happen to you, just as There are days that must happen to you.

A few weeks ago I had a long overdue conversation with my best friend. The conversation steered from recounting of recent events to present doings to the comparison of our past selves. Our past selves who would not settle, who would not sit down, whose dreams clawed out of us impatiently and always. Ghosts of then who would fail to recognise the sleepy faces we wear today. Past selves who would have covered their ears had they heard our conversation - We are not as ambitious as we once were. We do not want the whole world, just a small part of it. We no longer want to conquer, we want to nest. We do not want everything, anymore. We want less, but we want it more. 

What happened to us and the endless possibility that spilled in excess from our mouths at every turn we had to talk about the future? Days, weeks, months, years happened. Reality happened in the realist way possible. Dreams came true and achievements were reached and still the constant ache, the restlessness that did not fade. Problems, instead of being forgotten with the old clothes and ideas we threw out, simply stuck to whatever else we put on.

These are the days that had to happen to me, to us. The knowing that this is the way things are. There will never be a point on the graph of living years that signifies the end of change, of struggle, of figuring it out. The days where you realise that much of the events in your life cannot be controlled by you anymore than the clouds that move and flood and clear without warning or obedience to your sun-filled day dreams. The days where your heart bends to the point of breaking, is set on fire and begins to melt then dries rock hard into a shape you do not recognise. The days the events around you turn to swirls of dust that choke you because you are too slow or time is too fast. The days where you choose wrong, you do wrong, all the while entirely convinced of your rightness. The days where you crawl into a cave for a while to draw paintings and maps on the inside of your mind to try and figure out where to go from here, and when. There are a lot of these days, and although I fight it, I know they have to happen to get to other places and other days.

Listen! I will be honest with you;
I do not offer the old smooth prizes, but offer rough new prizes;
These are the days that must happen to you:

Forever alive, forever forward,
Stately, solemn, sad, withdrawn, baffled, mad, turbulent, feeble, dissatisfied,
Desperate, proud, found, sick, accepted by men, rejected by men,
They go! they go! I know that they go, but I know not where they go;
But I know that they go toward the best - toward something great. 

- Song of the Open Road, Walt Whitman

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