The shimmering electric outline of anticipation becomes achingly apparent when a pall descends – and then you realize how lucky you were. You have excitedly made a pact with yourself to avoid using the present as a stop-gap, a filler, an incidental nothing, on your way to something else, some grand plan – achievable only after you’ve “put in time”. When you’ve “paid your dues”.
Your new resolution (“which” you say to your friends, hoping to ensure they understand the clarification “has nothing to do with New Years, or momentary ‘come to Jesus’ fleeting and vague decisions”) is to start each day with one thought in mind. “How can I make this day the best day I’ve ever had?”
You tell a few people about this, knowing how cheesy it sounds – but you know full well it represents not only a change in lifestyle, but a re-aligning of purpose into the charged design of your DNA. You know you’ve been inwardly preparing for this for such a long time. You saw it on the horizon, only vaguely, but rumbling and more present than the bus on the busy street corner that is now ten minutes late. And you’re aware too that this shift in your paradigm is only the beginning of a major change – and that it is a prerequisite, the tip of the rhino’s horn as it comes around the corner, with hurricane force. Unstoppable and so very much alive.
There are only a few times in your life when such seemingly overwhelming events announce their imminence, and you wait, unafraid yet knowing that nothing will be the same. There is piercing awareness that this time is exactly like that. Unable to articulate it well to anyone else, you know with an understanding as old as rock, that this ….will….happen. It’s fantastic yet is not fantasy, nor is it wishful thinking. It is.
A moment arrives where you have perfect clarity, and a decision must be made. Having purposed to occupy the unending present, there comes a micro-second in your day, and you make your binary choice. Either direction would serve you well: one direction allows you to treasure this new clarity, while you remain fully aware that the other direction threatens that clarity for a short time, but allows you to embrace a beautiful chaos.
The writer, in his zeal to be understood must now abandon cryptic description, and change the point of view.
He saw her walking toward him, all smiles and wicked beauty. He knew she’d been sick and was still contagious. He knew what she would do. That she would run up to him. Kiss him. Share her illness.
His choice: to hold his hand up and protect his health, and his clarity. Or leave his hand down, smile and lean in.
He leaned in. They kissed. And one day later, the sniffles and fever arrived, took off their coats and hats, pulled up chairs and sat back, with their feet on his clean kitchen table. Just as he knew they would.
Clarity gasps, holds its throat in dramatic agony, and falls to the floor of understanding. Pale, disappointed, unsure.
Clarity is the hammiest of divas.
He knows she will rise again, to occupy his consciousness. For now, he must wade through the consequences of his choice. His boots now muddied with fever and ache and self-pity. Only the memory of that chaotic meeting elicits a reluctant smile. It was worth it.
Of late, her rainbow brightness has occupied his thoughts – though he has known her for years. They’ve been friends. And he has had such an orderly life, until now. Hers is the antithesis of his existence: he has struggled to describe his attraction to her, until this morning. He finally had it. She was, is, a beautiful mess. Flirting, unpredictable, joyful, passionate and, as he has rarely seen, angry. And, of all of the people in his life – friends, family, work mates – she is the most unreadable. The more he sees, the greater his attraction.
It seems odd, this desire to embrace such an ephemeral and wild spirit. There is no control on the horizon (and he wouldn’t want it anyway – his own wolfish spirit shies from such restriction); there is only the increasing thunder.
Perhaps this will be a new chapter, and the charging rhino will stop long enough for them to mount up and ride.
He has no idea. He just knows that each opportunity must be embraced. The war of the germs will be won, his clarity will return and…..something will happen. She may have something to do with it, or not. He knows the event horizon of his life – or perhaps theirs – is larger than just relationship. It will consume him – or them – before there’s a chance to turn away. There is no intention to turn anyway.
If anything, he finds himself running toward it.