In the past when you have been followed by something your response has been to say—I am nothing, so how could anything be in my wake? I create no wake.
Lately I have felt bitter, burnt out, distracted, and cruel. I have felt that I have had no outlet, that everything I say or have said is tainted by this swamp that I am mired in: as a result of my lack of outlet, an excess or an imposition. I have been both apologetic and fatalistic, upset to see the parts of myself I have wished to keep under the surface leak out. Wild and unrestrained, lingering like a bad taste in the mouth. And yet I know my life is good.
This is despite the fact that I am not sure I am always in it. Reflecting today on a conversation I had in May—one that felt meaningful to me. About precisely this feeling. And realizing that I had completely forgotten it. I could not bring it back.
I know my life is good, but it is not enough to have a good life, a life that looks all right from the outside. That is all right inside, too. All right, except. I have said no to that life a thousand times. I do not want it. I want—certain things. And those things will not complete me in the way that I imagine. I often want completion—I feel myself nearing it, like I am a technique or a concentrated afternoon away. No. It will never come. It will always be far away. If I don’t live like that—if I live like what I want is always just out of my grasp, I will spend the rest of my live staring intently at it. I will float through life, and I will die not having realized what I want.
And what I want is only: to acknowledge what is missing. To dwell in it, not in a perverse, wallowing way—instead as if in contemplation. To meditate on it, to turn what is missing into a strength. To take the question—what is missing?—and hold it in my hands.