Friday, July 16, 2010

Catching the mist

When I was a kid, I used to spend a lot time trying to catch the mist. Not water, but mist. I would take an empty glass bottle, and run around helter skelter, always hoping that some of that mysterious, white, wispy, magical “thing” would end up in it. At night, snug in my bed under the warm covers, I used to dream of elaborate schemes of mist-capturing. Quite why I wanted to do this I still don’t know- it must have been some silly childhood notion or something. Then I grew up and understood what mist really was. Like all the stupid things we do as kids, I grew out of it.

Or did I?

I was going through some old photographs when I suddenly remembered this story, and I realized that all my life I have been trying to catch the mist. Running helter skelter, after some “thing” about which I only have the vaguest idea. Education, job, hobbies….. Once you take a step back, you realize how meaningless it all is.

Now I know what you are thinking – Enough of self pity! This guy is just disillusioned! Srsly, dude you need to get a life!   

You know what, I agree. I would love to feel driven about something. I would love to passionately care about some ideal. I would love to have goals in life. Love, hate, relationships, a cause... something. But from where I am right now, all I can see is a sheet of grey smog around me. Vague shapes surround me, gliding about slowly, and untouchable even if I wanted to. It’s like drifting on a quiet lake in a boat without rudders and oars. And without an anchor.

Perhaps that’s when life will make sense - when I have an anchor. Something to bind me, prevent me from drifting about. But isn’t the very notion the antithesis to being free spirited? How can I say that I am truly free if I am bound to something or someone? This is one paradox I am truly incapable of solving. I do not know.
I do not know what matters to me. I do not know whether something should matter to me. In fact, I do not know whether there is any point in anything mattering to me. I feel like a freak, living in a cocoon where time moves at half the speed, while all around me the hustle and bustle of daily life increases in tempo. In fact, just like in an out of body experience, I can see myself going through the motions – mechanical, meaningless and pathetic. Perhaps I am too cynical, or too logical. Or just a plain old pessimist. Whatever.

In the days of antiquity, sailors lost in the Mediterranean were guided to Alexandria by the great light house of Pharos. But in the sea of life, not all lights guide you home. A Pharos for me? I hope to find it once I wander out far enough.