I was standing just outside the line of rain in the garage, looking over the top of the grill out into a point several dozen yards away at nothing in particular. I was enjoying the cold front, the drizzle. Enjoying the gray clouds as nothing more than outlines against a gray sky.
A car drove by, intersecting my eyes and that insignificant point in space, dissecting my vision until it came into focus, its taillights glowing as the brakes were applied and the telltale sound of moist radials contacting and extracting from wet pavement. Only, the heat rising from the grill obfuscated the sharpness of the image and I was transported back into the piney woods of East Texas where I spent many years as a boy camping, and many years being equally fascinated by both the open-pit fires, and the activities which transpired around them.
Only rarely do I feel like I'm just going through the motions of life rather than being an active participant, but that day is today. My wife awoke non-committal and I'm in the middle of a 72-hour work day in which nothing is proceeding as planned, being tossed to and fro as fluid requirements do and undo everything I've already done and undone. A melancholy feeling settled over me. Heavy, as if sodden by the very damp air surrounding me.
I found my sudden and reminiscent mood fascinating, turning it over and over like a smooth rock in my hand until I attempted to pull myself out of the suction of its grip, and failed. Were it a feeling other than dread in which I was currently mired surely I would've panicked, but pensiveness has a way of propagating itself. Surely those who freeze to death while their brains trick them into thinking they've reached warmth are familiar with the treachery involved in giving into your soulfulness when triggered at the wrong time.
I thought of working today instead of being with my wife - who herself was coping with similar sounding symptoms, or my children, who's bustle of activity and joy I should've been sharing in rather than suppressing, all in the name of work. I would've been glad that I at least took a break to smoke the pork chops, only...it really wasn't a break. Something I would normally enjoy being interrupted too frequently by work, and by that vehicle on its way home, through the ripple of heat from the grill. By thinking that my entire life up to this point was meaningless and I was just another ape on this green globe pretending to be happy. Interrupted by abject hopelessness. Interrupted by knowing that I, as one man, was not making a difference.
Then I remembered an email I received yesterday. It contained the sentence, "I don't like the path I see you walking." I thought back to all my recent posts on open-mindedness, and self-discovery, and empowerment and the fulfillment of achievable goals. I thought of the roadmaps I've outlined for anyone who wanted to reach out to greatness could follow, anyone at all who was strong enough to let go of selfishness and crippling close-mindedness. I thought back to offering true, unrestrained freedom for anyone brave enough to question themselves and those around them and to apply new ideas rather than scoff at them. Politics and religion don't separate people, only people separate people, those who dive headfirst into the waters of knowledge, and those who treat it as a pariah longing for the dark ages to return.
I remembered that email, and smiled.