Raw and scar covered fingers reach for honey soaked chamomile and in my tenderness, this night feels more clear than those of recent days. Warm air steadily brushes my tired arms and subtly tickles my nose and I find the breath I’ve been holding in.
These past few weeks have been trying, filled to the brim with physical pain, mental stress, a restless heart and answerless questions, but even so there were wonderful moments that nearly left me in tears of joy. I’m not going to try to hide it…I get moody. I have highs and lows like anyone else, but I don’t believe it’s because of a chemical imbalance or anything like that, I believe that it’s just the unique person I am, the sensitive, creative, seeking soul that I call my own. I recently stumbled across a short interview with Jim Carrey about depression and spirituality. He spoke of being on medicine and how it just made everything “okay”, but he wanted the highs and the lows, to experience it all. I have never been on prescribed medication, but I have done my fair share of medicating, diving head-first into alcohol, working/business, relationships, apathy and so on. I have grown over the years and know myself well enough to recognize when I start to medicate and I’m usually swift to cut if off and seek the cause of my pain, but sometimes I sit in it for too long. I’d say I’m a mostly positive person, I have countless things to be happy about and grateful for and I try as often as I can to acknowledge them, so why do my lows feel so damn low? The last weekend granted me a new perspective and at the risk of sounding self-centered or whatever, I’ll do my best to explain.
A few months ago I was part of an art show and had a few of my shirts for sale and this guy came up and asked to buy one. We walked to the trunk of my car, pulled out the shirts, got him the right size and the night went on. I later found out that said guy wrote one of the most influential albums of my earlier years. I remember driving 3 1/2hrs to see his band play with a few other of my favorites and that show is still up there in my top 10 favorite of all time. Fast forward to about a month ago, I get a text from him asking if some of his friends bands and his band could play a house show at my place. I was ecstatic and we started working out the details. The show was this last Friday and as he pulled up to the house, got out of his car and walked towards me, I must have been smiling ear-to-ear; he was wearing the shirt he bought from me…but he completely forgot it was me he bought it from. I didn’t say anything for fear of sounding stupid, but at one point he was in the living room and glanced at the painting he was standing next to, the original. He looked at me and said wait…I laughed and said yeah, you bought that shirt off me, that’s the original. He lit up and started telling the story to his friends and explained he didn’t even realize it was my house, just wore the shirt because he loved it. Later his band played my living room and even though it was after 11:30pm and I was certain the night was going to end with a noise violation citation, time slowed down and I soaked it all in. There in my own home, stood someone who wrote songs I knew every word to wearing a piece of art I created.
I’m going to assume this doesn’t happen to everyone and I’m going to try to summarize the feeling the best I can: What else does life have to offer?! I experienced something I’d never even dreamed about dreaming about, but it left me speechless, nearly in tears. This happens fairly often as I recognize how significant a moment is, how grand its impact, right in the middle of it. It nearly breaks me every time, but I’ve witnessed countless dreams come true and I stagger back trying to keep it all together. I don’t understand why these things happen to me, but I hold them dear, dwelling on them with thankfulness and hope that I can use them for more than a good story, for something that gifts life to a tired soul. In the days after though, I usually sink in a deeply reflective posture and feel so insignificant at the thought of having experienced something so inspiring. I think my lows tend to be as low as they are because I can’t see the next high to chase after, as no one could foresee or predict what just happened. I have some vague long-term goals, typical to most, but I can’t plan this stuff and it kicks my ass every time.
I want my highs and lows, to live in the known and unknown, to experience happiness to the point of tears and sadness the same. I’ve wished for easier times and for longer good times, but I’m learning to take life for what it is, letting chapters open and close. The seasons are shifting to change again and actual (and metaphorical) spring cleaning has begun as I prepare for whatever the next step might be.
My eyes are open, my heart the same.