My friend Patrick noted the "occassional glimpse of the Big Picture," and questioned whether it happens to anyone else:
"Just once in awhile, for a moment, I sometimes feel like I understand my life a little better. It's a momentary insight that I often struggle to hang on to and just as often lose my grip. I know this must not be a unique feeling, the epiphany, but I wonder how it happens to others."
I believe it does. In varying extents and perhaps to varying degrees of recognition, but none the less existent. Within the span of those moments, it feels to me as though the clockwork of myself is turning - truly turning for once instead of merely ticking away, turning towards a more effective way of telling time... Not just keeping track, but creating a whollistic mechanism by which to encompass the whole mess. It feels in those moments as though every other moment of my life is a hazy side-step from The Truth, that being a more authentic paradigm of living in which I would be more myself, more fulfilled, more cognizant.
Yes; sometimes they are insignificant and at other times grand. The insignifant come with a nagging feeling that if I just stepped slightly to the left or right, mentally, of where I am at that moment, that I just might grasp the whole damn mess and perhaps life would change. Perhaps I could understand it. Perhaps I could become, in a word, cohesive. Standing in the supermarket, waiting to purchase some eggs and cheese, knowing that my life is going to change once I am finally finished with school - knowing that, somewhere, I will become that person I always wished I could be as a young child. That feeling in itself, too; I remember being that small child and looking away into the distance of Virginia, seeing the mountains in their purple haze and feeling that one day, I might be able to have a normal life. I would be able to go to work and come home and be one of the other people I saw walking around. Hang Halloween decorations, bake for neighbors, create small nicknacks for the students. Be fulfilled. Standing outside waiting for the bus after drama club in Camden, staring at the skies and realizing exactly how fervently I wished on the stars just a few months ago, while I walked the dog, truly wanting to believe I could wish my way into another life - realizing, then, exactly how far away they were... But that those same stars are seen all across the world.
There have been moments in my childhood in which I felt that maybe the whole mess was for some good. Laying in my bed at Christmas time, my parents blasting carols, singing at the top of my lungs and thinking that maybe... maybe some day, it will all be okay. Perhaps, I felt then, there is a way for every life to come to its own version of fruition. That perhaps there is a way to link all of the shit points and make it into some sense. In the backyard of my grandparents' house, staring up at the trees in the sunlight, feeling that maybe even if that didn't happen, this was all part of making me who I am and will be. And maybe that is okay.As I grew older, the moments became more defined and therefore more grand. By this I mean, the shadowy thought of life Becoming, of life Progressing, was lent more edges. The Moments of my childhood, lent more definitive outlining through the context of my experiences up to that point. Remembering being in the living room at 4am with my mother, realizing even then that sometimes things just will not be okay but that it has no bearing on my own potential and freedoms, not ultimately. Recalling every time spent laying on my stomach in my bed, doing homework or reading, and realizing that it was a small child's escape into normalcy. Watching television the other day and realizing that in many ways I've learned more about family and family values from watching televsision than I have from my own life... and laughing when this became clear. Realizing during an internal outburst of rage subsequent to being railed in the head by an open dryer door that the anger I always felt after being hurt was a result of a childhood of hurt. This was the catalyst to unlocking the rage I didn't even know I was carrying.
These moments have served to help me to grow as a person, even when they feel so ephemeral and tentative that I cannot hold onto them. These moments sometimes do feel slightly out of my grasp. I may stand there, silent, with my head cocked to one side as though I were a confused puppy, waiting and listening for the rest of The Moment to arrive. In those times, I feel like a train station waiting for the last train to come in to port. I do feel small, insignificant, in these moments. I feel like I am awash in the situations and experiences of my life as well as those I could have had. I am a conglomeration of my life as well as the things that I could have had: my dreams of moving to New York and becoming a beat writer, lurking about in cafes and learning about poetry and prose that has yet to be discovered; thoughts of leaving it all and driving across the country in an old pickup truck held together with prayer and primer paint; ideas of becoming a minister and talking to people about the concept of God being just another way for us to maybe, just maybe, create a world in which we might actually be able to understand some of this whole thing.
More often than not, the feeling escapes me from its entirety and I am left alone, as I was before, listening to the echoes within my own head.