Wood for the trees

I have things I could write of today, but feel little inclined to do so. I could report on my dinner the other night with the girls from the shop, or else ponder the current spate of enthusiastic women in my life. I could delve further into the unpredictable state of my housing, but surely no-one is interested in that? Then there’s my thoughts on the ‘fanatics’, and my recent conjectures on bushrangers and how they relate to present day society. Then there’s the odds and bob’s pertaining to my gainful employment – the website I’m building, the mentoring group I’m working on, etc.

There’s plenty to write about really, it’s just that I couldn’t give a fuck doing the writing.

In an attempt to get in the mood I had a rare foray into my archives. There are times I’ll go back and read things I wrote years ago. Sometimes I’ll sit there reading for 30-40 minutes. Generally I’m amazed at the quality of a lot of the stuff I’ve written. I don’t mean to pat myself on the back, but, well, there’s plenty vivid, and even a fair bit insightful – and interesting at least. I don’t do that much though. It might be only 4-5 times a year I’ll venture back in time.

I did that today, briefly, reading about half a dozen random posts since 2010.

One of the things that surprised me was perspective. I’m very aware of this in general, and more keenly given my recent predicament. It’s a matter of self-preservation that I will often step-back to look at the bigger picture.

I was explaining this to a friend last night in another conversation. Life, I pontificated, is like a piece of music – there are fast movements and slow movements, upbeat highlights and melancholy shifts down. When you’re living through one of those solemn and sad movements it’s easy to feel it infecting you. It’s the soundtrack to your life, and you can find yourself moving in sync with it. You forget it’s a part of a greater symphony. You live so deeply in this present reality that it feels nothing else exists, and nothing else can be. That’s when you need to step back from it and recall the tune that came before, and know that in time the music will change again.

Much as I make an effort to remember that it’s also clear that insight is often something that comes after the fact. That’s a matter of perspective too. It’s not easy to understand what’s happening when you’re in the middle of it. What’s significant, and what isn’t, will often be unknown until everything has played itself out.

I found myself reading posts which revealed no understanding of what I was undergoing. I wasn’t dumb, or ignorant, I just didn’t have all the facts yet, and was too close to it. Still it appeared odd to me because from my perspective now the things I overlooked then seem so obvious now.

There was one post when I reported on a dream matter of factly. There were three characters in it and I described them objectively, while expressing some curiosity at the odd events of the dream. Reading it today the dream seemed a clear reflection of my life and its frustrations at that time. One of the characters was clearly me, capable and intelligent and fundamentally good, but seen perhaps as being past my prime. My glory days, glorious as they were described, were past. Still, this character strove to be relevant still, to do things, to be.

There was another character ridiculing that effort, and another, currently riding high, applauding it.

Such as it is. There will come a time when I look back on this time and see the things I don’t notice now. And a time beyond that perhaps when the melody has changed to something sweeter and I don’t need to consciously tell myself, this too shall pass…

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