I’ve made it 31 years so far, today. It’s odd how looking back I can remember standing there looking at my 8-year-old feet, my hands, peering out from 8-year-old eyes without the beginning of crow’s feet spreading softly, so many years later. I can look forward, too, to see my mother’s hands becoming mine in 20 more years. I feel as incredulous now as I know I will then, wondering what happened to all that time. Wondering how on earth all of this could possibly end.
I keep running into the writerly road block, the one that says I was supposed to be successful so much earlier. The one that makes you feel like a failure, no matter how many times you publish something or someone tells you you have talent. Some people call it drive, but we all know it’s just desperation. How can you be successful when you sit on your ass and do nothing, lamenting the wasted time that you are wasting that very second? The best solution to all of this, I’ve found, is just to have a sense of humor. We’re all in the same boat, people. Pick up an oar once in a while.
This time-traveling, it tires me. I am never quite sure when I am, or whether I am moving forward or backward. The lines are drawn most darkly when I have lost something or someone that I tried to anchor to, though I was most aware in this process that it was fruitless and had gone about fastening myself temporarily anyway. We are not allowed anchors in this torrent of time. I am saddened when I am in the middle of joy or pleasure, knowing that it will be only the blink of an eye when I am looking back on this joy from somewhere far away. Standing in five-year-old shoes, I can recall quite clearly fast-forwarding in my head to age 30, and thinking – hmm, so this is it. Yes, this is just as I thought it would be. Yes, it is almost as if I have been here before. In my barefoot 30s, I look ahead to 60 and the losses and the pain I will have seen by then. I look backward, from my future self, and wish for these years that today I might call “now.” I am never stable, never living as much in the now as I would like. It is impossible, because I am never sure where I am.
I have been visited recently, by disconcerting dreams, presences, whatever you feel safe calling them. The medical profession calls it sleep paralysis, hallucinations, night terrors. I like to think I know better. I know that I don’t know everything, and that we can’t explain scientifically everything that occurs. I know that I see things, sometimes, and that I feel very specifically about these things without having a rational explanation. I have dreamed of future places, and later visited them. I have watched from afar, from above and from below.
This thing, lately. It is a buzzing presence that calls my name, off to the right of my vision. I see it in the gap between asleep and awake, the place that I always recognize and that I can use to control my dreams if I so choose. Often in that place I am distracted by things that are not of me, nor of my imagination. There are other THINGS there that I do not recognize. This one, it has called my name. The other afternoon, when I was drifting in that in-between place (though oddly I could still see everything in the room) it began dragging me out of myself, rocking me, and I felt myself start to disconnect and release. I did not feel pain or fear, and was calm. I also knew instantly that this is not what I wanted, and I pulled myself back. I can’t explain or talk to anyone about this. I am too practical, I understand that it is not believable if you have not experienced it yourself. I marvel at these astral projectors, lucid dreamers, OBE seekers – why would you want to leave this body? We leave so quickly anyway. I do not want to test that silver thread that anchors us to reality.