Sunday, September 18, 2005


During the last few days, I've been stanching my anxiety, which seems to be oozing out under the combined pressures of seasonal change, not-quite enough to do (or rather, not quite enough NEED to do, so that I keep procrastinating, even though my whole life is still in triage--i.e., looking good, but still in need of radical care,) and fear that I don't have the courage to act on what I do have to do. I've also had a couple of bad auditions in a row, which is always unnerving.

Funnily, I got a letter yesterday from one of my best friends. She's married, has two healthy and capable teenage children (one of whom is going off to college this week,) is a productive, published writer, and remains admirably grounded in the quotidian. But, in her letter, the poor woman expressed a moment's envy of my life as a single, "unencumbered," adult. She has been envying my time and ability "for sinking into the self where the dark passions live." I'm confident that she will have shrugged off this cloak of envy within hours of writing to me, so I've resisted the temptation of shooting back a "the grass is always greener... blah, blah" response. But, oh, what she seems to have forgotten is that I still spend long stretches of my day waiting for something to happen, having it not happen, and working up the courage to initiate something to happen on my own, though I succeed at that only a small percentage of the time. And, for the moment at least, she's forgotten that "the self where the dark passions live," is a realm of illusion, in which one tires of straining to find something real and solid; for the moment, she's forgotten that the only thing solid about the self is it's encumbrance (I'm not doing her self-awareness full justice, here, so forgive the shorthand.)

To live an encumbered life takes courage, which my friend has in spades. Do I?


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