Eleven months into a year that’s felt more like twenty in the living of it, a thought swam into my mind that if I should happen upon a nice, freshly dug hole somewhere, I might have the inclination to crawl into it.
Long before I turned 50, I started having the symptoms. Being quite suddenly and shockingly accident prone – the stupidest events, like slipping on ice I knew full well was there, to cutting halfway through my thumb while slicing vegetables. Periods of mindlessness; no thoughts whatsoever, or perhaps so many simultaneously they all turned into something akin to a television’s white noise. A feeling of extreme dread seeping into my bones like thick molasses. Frequent dizzy spells and poor eyesight in line with the observations of advanced age such as “why the f*ck is everyone racing around like psychopaths?” (running from the inevitable, no doubt). As time is a man-made construct, the idea of not having enough of it is a fanciful illusion. My friend Victor has always said that I have an adversarial relationship with time. This past year, time became an especially smelly whore. I don’t know why mankind ever felt the need for it.
There was the typical and not so typical work stress, seeming all the more like a bad spy novel at 2am in the morning, tapping away at the computer into the wee hours. My dear mom in and out of the hospital, and in and out of logical thought; discussing with equal weight of importance her daily routine, news of relatives, and soldiers who lived in the walls.
I was living the life of a modern-day vampire, searching for the nourishment of fresh blood by day, but never quite finding it. My personal hell. My Dark Night of the Soul. My own little microcosm of a madly churning maelstrom outside my door. Amidst seemingly endless stories of slimy undertakings and human hardship – quagmire warfare, predator drones and innocent casualties, economic collapse, corrupt powers and corporate greed, vicious attacks on nature, traveling sideshow politicians peddling venom and fear – were “news items” of pompous sports figures, celebrity excess and general denial. This was the year of phony pop stars, reality TV merging with real life, and rappers releasing albums from prison. A nation increasingly dependent on – and doomed by – its addiction to medication. Anything to get you through the night. Anything to survive the day. At the end of this crazy year, I find myself with an unopened bottle of anti-anxiety pills, prescribed to me by a well-meaning physician when I explained that it felt like I was falling off a cliff with no bottom. This is how it starts, folks! I have facebook friends and myspace friends and youtube subscribers and twitter followers, but I was still alone when the walls started to cave in.
For now though, as the final days and hours trickle through the hourglass, I sit on my sunny porch looking out at Boston harbor. This lifetime of New Age dabblings tells me that everything happens in cycles, that in every experience there’s a lesson, and that great things are built upon the rubble of disappointments and abandoned dreams. This too shall pass. A new year dawns.share this: