The torrent

I woke up this morning upside down in bed – I mean, my head was where my feet would normally be. It was interesting perspective. I’d been out partying last night, and coming home later had one of those surreal journeys right out of a Jim Jarmusch movie. It was warm still, and so when I slept it was without any covers and I moved around to become as comfortable as possible. I hate it when it’s hot when I’m trying to sleep.

Now it’s Sunday morning. It’s smoky out still, they say it will be for days more. I’ve collected my paper and read it, right way around, in bed. I’ve had my coffee and on the TV I’ve tuned it to one of the music channels. I’m sitting here in a pair of shorts, bare chested, reminding me of my Brisbane days. It’s another day sports fans.

I know I said the other day I’m going to abstain from making any decisions, but I’m the sort of guy where my mind is perpetually ticking over. Mostly I like it actually, I see things from different angles because of it, and am more present in the moment. Sometimes it’s a pain in the neck to. That’s life. But anyway…I think, I look ahead, I feel, and somehow I combine the two, thought and feeling, and carry it in me, this is what I want, this where I want to go – now, how to get there? That’s the space I’m in right now, but sort of glowing with it.

I look forward to next year very much. It’s purely psychological – there’s no reason that next year should be better than this year unless I make it so. Fair enough. Yet the psychology counts – believe in it and maybe it will be. And so I believe in it, January 1 here I come.

This has been an awful year, but there’s reason to believe that next year will be much better, possibly the best ever – that’s my aim.

So what do I know? I’ll be in a new home, a new environment. That’s good in several ways. I like this joint, I like living in St Kilda, but I guess now I have associations I’d do well to remove myself from. I look forward to a new adventure on the other side of the river. Close my eyes and I picture it: a townhouse maybe, with a yard in any case, bright and warm inside, with that bathtub, a bedroom and a study. In the back yard will be my barbecue, a dining setting – or at least somewhere shady to sit sipping on a cool drink on Sunday afternoons. Maybe the chocolate brown Labrador is there too, though he/she is more likely to come later. Never mind.

Of course I hope to share this little oasis. I think about that, well, naturally. In fact I never tire of defining what that person means to me. I know myself pretty well, clear I guess from these pages. I know what I feel, I know, mostly, what makes me feel. At my best – which I’m sure to return to – I’m strong and generous, I want to share my life and all that I feel, right down the middle. I may be strong and sure but I want from life a true partnership, even and true. I can’t understand anything different. I want to give and keep on giving – and to receive in return, in balance.

It’s a cliché when people say of their partner that they are their best friend also. It is what I seek though, and what I expect. I guess that means different things. A lot of it is fun, sharing the same small pleasures, recognising each others cues; talking openly, freely, sharing jokes; flirting like we still have to prove something but purely for fun; and just being there, as a friend. I want to be able to turn to her and just talk and see in her eyes that she is vitally interested because it is me talking, because in me to her there is something precious. And I want to feel that to, always, and I believe in it – romantic sap that I am.

And I want more than that. I’ve lived long enough to know that the central meaning of life is to love. Man, that sounds corny, and I guess I might need to clarify.

I have many ambitions in life, and they excite me. They give me meaning and purpose. I think though that they hang off this central meaning. They radiate from that core of self, and that core must be cherished to enable that. In my mind to give completely to love is to strip yourself utterly bare to that one person in the world: here I am, the good and the bad, the strength and weakness, the hope and the frailty, here I am raw, love me. It’s giving yourself to that feeling and that person, like that game of trust sometimes played – close your eyes and fall backwards, trusting that the person behind will catch you. That is what love is, having the faith and courage to cast yourself into that reality, knowing that the person you love will cushion your fall in their arms.

I could go on in practical detail, but won’t now. I want a lot, and find it hard to believe that I’ll accept anything less.

Next year I want to remap my way forward. I’ve lost nothing but a little focus in the last 18 months. I’m still very fortunate, I have mighty things in me, I just need to reconnect to them.

And so there is another quote from my little black book that feels very true to me. It’s by the New Zealand writer Katherine Mansfield, a great short story writer who died young:

I want to be all that I’m capable of becoming…I want so to live that I work with my hands and my feeling and my brain. I want a garden, a small house, grass, animals, books, pictures, music. And out of this, the expression of this, I want to be writing.

Katherine Mansfield

That works for me to. Here I am, it’s Sunday morning, bare chested working at my PC. Time for breakfast I believe. I can’t say too much more anyway. I have been through a fire that still burns, but no regrets. That’s my advice to anyone. Don’t hesitate on the edge. Step forward into the torrent and let it carry you away, live.

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