Trooping through the Grass 

I am not sure why I have been so tired lately, or why I have needed to take a nap in the middle of the day. Perhaps sleeping is my reaction to stress. I've been feeling the sort of existential disconnect that make great novels, and of course, it is all connected to considering my place in the world and the state of affairs it (and I) am currently in.

It seems that my biggest challenge during this stage of my life is learning to be happy in the face of everything that seems to be headed in the wrong direction. I wish society was nicer, more concerned about the true and beneficial growth of the individual, less concerned with the material selfishness of getting ahead, less focused on contention and pain, and committed to taking care of those who are less fortunate. When I say all of that though, I realize how far away that I am from fulfilling those conditions personally. Evidence of the disconnect I mentioned earlier perhaps. But enough of being vague.


During my afternoon nap, I had a dream that I was at Woodstock '69 listening to a concert being given by a lesser known musician. She was on stage playing her guitar. She was very beautiful, but did not seem especially connected to the crowd. She had some sort of weird face jewelery that I could not make out entirely, but it was interesting and stylish. Eventually though, as the crowd surged and morphed around the stage, I found myself wandering out into the nearby fields of tall and sunlit grasses.

As I stood looking out toward the horizon, I noticed a small troop of hippie children walking down the sloping hill in front of me. They had long hair and happy faces. They were playing a sort of game. I sat upon the ground and watched as they walked almost single file through the tall grasses, laughing and talking. They seemed to have a single minded purpose to their play, but what that was, I did not have a clue. I watched as they filed passed me. I considered taking a photograph of the stripling in front and the older children behind him. The kid in front was a happy-enough child leader who had a long and wild tumble of curly hair falling about his shoulders. They did not take much notice of me. I turned to watch them go and edge themselves along the garden behind me. The afternoon sun was warm and friendly.

And then I woke up. I really don't know what the dream symbolized if anything, but I remember a sort of wistfulness about it that stuck with me for an hour or two. I think part of me felt like I was being "passed by" in life in general, that I was missing something. But I did not (and do not) know what.

For most of my life, I think I have felt like an outsider looking in on things. An observer who can see how some of the puzzle pieces fit together, come to an insightful conclusion that others can be impressed with, but the price of having knowledge that others do not is the isolation that it imposes. It is a shame. I am trying to participate more in my own life, be an active leader of it and directing it to where I want it to go. But I do not think that I am having much luck with that. I go between wanting to steer my life in satisfying direction and figuring out how to cope with the things one must face in life that can not be changed, or live up to the serious consequences of decisions that seemed frivolous at the time. (One of my greatest frustrations is how a seemingly innocent and inconsequential choice that I believe will lead to some small measure of happiness turns out to have serious long term and unhappy consequences for the future. If only I had the ability to predict this better, maybe I would not feel so trapped in the future.)

07 August 2010
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