I’ve never really sailed, but, I miss it.
In the same vein, I often miss people who I’ve never actually met.
I look over to my left, and there are, on shelves, hundreds of books I read as a child. My eyes light on one in particular, and I can remember the world of it, the one created on its pages.
Forty-five years after I last read it, I still remember Barracuda Island and the Order of the Twisted Claw, because imagination made it real.
But I couldn’t describe what our family dining room looked like at that same age.
After “I love you”, “Hi, sweetheart”, and “Goodbye, love”, quite possibly the sentence I have heard my wife utter to me most frequently in almost eighteen years of marriage is
“Everything is not about you.”
Straight up, there are (many) days where I make things about me that aren’t. So I need to hear this, repeatedly.
Over time, though, an entirely opposite set of thoughts has showed up, thoughts that have never been said except inside my own mind.
Whether people are mad at you or happy with you, it’s not about you. Whether people want to talk to you or don’t want to talk to you, it’s not about you. Nothing is about you. Therefore, there is no you, really, as people’s actions would all be the same regardless.
I’m trying to report the logic of my own heart as true-to-what-it-is as possible; realizing, of course, that it is insane.
Still, the disconnectedness of non-biologically based relationships seems to have something to it, something we frequently ignore, with sayings like
You can choose your friends, but you can’t choose your family.
Which is not exactly true, as we can choose people all day to be friends who may not choose us back.
You know, those people you miss even though you may not have actually met them.
When I would watch the sailboats, I would feel hopeful. Sailing has the kind of non-violent wandering purposefulness that my heart craves.
“Hope is the dream of the waking,” Aristotle was reported to have said. What drives us, moves us, transports us is not reason, it is the irrational part of us underneath, no matter how many rational explanations we attempt to backfit to our actions.
It is only at the limits of our reason that we glimpse who we really are: we are creatures of imagination, who plant hope and harvest dreams, all the while gazing at clouds we secretly think of as the sailboats of the angels.
[Day 11 of a 30-day prose essay undertaking.]