I knew it would happen. In fact, I kind of welcomed it. What with my changing lifestyle and my self imposed cessation from the kind of things that I used to turn to to forget what worried me, it makes perfect sense.
It makes a little too much sense.
The world is wearing away.
Each time we place a cup on a saucer we scrape a miniscule portion of the porcelain off. Each swirl of a spoon creates its own pattern of scuffs on the inside. And don't think I don't count the erosion from the actual liquid whirl-pooling around and around. It all does a little.
When we put on our sneakers we stretch the leather, string, and glue a little more. As we stuff our feet in each one our sock is pulled back along with it, loosening its overall composition. We pull at the laces, and it, in turn, strains the rivets that run along each side of the tongue. We tie a bow, and stand up to walk, and each step we take wears a little more rubber off the sole. Sometimes, that which we walk on is softer than our shoe bottoms, and it is worn away, but more often than not it is our foot that takes the brunt of the abuse.
Only dressier shoes are really capable of repair, and even at that they can only hold on for so long before they lose their dressiness and turn into work shoes, and then into trash.
And one day we try to put on our sneakers and something snaps. It may be one of the laces, which is an easy fix--maybe even just tying it together, or, better yet, replacing it for a couple of bucks. But one day our sneakers will just stop being useful. It's not so easy to fix a sneaker as it is a dress shoe or a boot, as I mentioned, so we just toss them and buy some new ones. And from the moment we take the balled up tissue paper from the toe of each one it begins to wear down.
I feel like this a lot these days. But it's not because I actually am worn down--quite the opposite. I am living a life I only dreamed of, and then, even at that, I never really ever had the kind of imagination that could invent such a reality. I feel alive and well with each keystroke, every inhale, every blink, every step I take and each time I lock eyes with another human.
But I am ultra aware of the brevity of our time here. And so, I feel that I must write or become complacent and comfortable with the unexamined life. And that just will not do.
I clench my teeth constantly to the point where one of my back teeth has become extremely sensitive. I've been seeing an acupuncturist for a few weeks now and I think it's helping a bit but I still do it. It's maddening. It's not quite like grinding. I think I just like feeling the pressure of one tooth against another. If I keep doing it, in time, I will just wear down all of them. I don't think chewing gum helps, but I do that sometimes to strengthen my gums.
What does this all mean?
It means that I have realized that one of the byproducts of my abstinence from drugs and alcohol is that everything matters now.
However, I realize that I can't let this get to me or else I won't be able to enjoy the sublime facets of the conscious world like cucumber water on a sweltering day, or the brush of a hand from a loved one triggering a frantic spider dance, awkwardly locking fingers, squeezing, sighing, and smiling.
But what it does do is to make me ever so sure of what I want to do with my clarity.
I want to create. I want to perform. I want to clean. I want to recycle. I want to laugh. I want to dance. I want to eat. I want to exercise. I want to watch the best and the worst movies ever made. I want to think up a joke that will bring tears of laughter to the right person. I want to swim in the ocean and come up with eyes red from salt and hair that is tangled and mangled from the ocean's tousling. I want to walk under the moon and wink hoping it saw me. I want to kiss until I can't feel my lips, and then kiss twice as hard. I want to be so out of breath that I may pass out, but so full of life that I feel I'll never die.
And, of course, I will indeed die some day. But I can't spend my time worrying about that. All I can do is keep doing the things that may extend the time I have randomly been assessed, and stay away from the things that will most decidedly pull the curtain early.
And here is where I realize that my neurosis regarding the inevitable and everlasting erosion of everything and anything in our world can coexist with my calm and contentment.
Because each time I put on my sneakers; each time I swirl my spoon around in a cup of fresh coffee; each shirt I manhandle with haste putting on as I run out the door, wearing a little of the wood off its edges with each slam behind me--each time I do any of these things, if I do them with a clear mind and a clean body I give myself that much better of a chance that I will be able to enjoy what is left of them just a little longer. I may live long enough to see the pair of sneakers to their end. I may see the day when I notice a chip in the enamel of my favorite coffee mug and have to dispose of it. I may escort my favorite shirt, if not to the point of the curbside, then at least to the point where it gets put in the box with my other favorite shirts I can't bear to part with. I may see the day when I need to get a new front door, from all the times its welcomed my presence and those of my world who pass in and out.
Because all of these things were made by us. Some were made to last longer than we do; some not even close. And they will keep being made until supply exceeds demand.
Even though my neurosis of the wearing down of the world had to be the inspiration for me to write after almost three weeks, there is a pleasant byproduct of this all.
I realized that once we stop wearing away our world, we stop worrying about it.
I know you know what I mean.
Now, if you'll excuse me, I have to pour myself a cup of coffee and throw on some clothes and shoes. I'm going to slam the front door shut because I'm probably going to be late for work. I'm going to put a few miles on my car and a few more hours on my guitar strings.
It's what I do.
And I'll thank you all for reading this post, like I always do, and hope to do it again tomorrow.
Here's to life, to love, to laughter, to contentment ...
... in fact ... here's to everything!
Thanks for reading.