Not poetry, not a short story, just me writing for a minute.
I’ve spent a lot of time lately trying to find grace – that place where everything is perfect, even for a moment. I feel incredibly lucky that I have many of the things that should and do many me happy – a few good friends, a job I love, a place to live that I like.
It’s not that not being in a relationship is ruining everything, but there is some connection to the outside world I’m missing. It’s that grace I find in yoga class, that moment when you’re dancing and it feels like the whole world is dancing with you, the view from the peak that puts everything into perspective. It’s been awhile since I’ve been there.
I’ve been reading this book on finding happiness. It says there are few things that universally can change your level of happiness – relationships, work, a few environmental conditions, and finding flow in life.
I’m in South Dakota today, a place I’ve wanted to go to my whole life (more on that somewhere else). We were driving and I was reading a Kerouac short story and I looked out the window. I felt this yearning to disappear into the fields and lay there until night time, just to see the stars and breathe the air. The vast flatness made it more compelling, as if when I laid down I would be part of that flatness, that nothingness, folding into the earth where people belong. We drove through a former mining town turned tourist trap and I saw a man smoking from a balcony I’m sure held prostitutes or something of the kind once upon a time. He had a long swirling mustache and he smoked a cigarette like only a man in Carhartt and boots can. It was a beautiful picture. He was staring at us, at the wide open, at the sky, at nothing in particular, cigarette smoke escaping his lungs into the chilly air.
What is grace anyhow? Is it finding a moment like my Midwestern friend, to see nothing and everything in particular? I’m not sure.
It’s missing. Something is missing. Something that makes for completeness. It could be a person, but I’m not going to rely on that – being heartbroken yet again (even when it’s your own doing) does nothing for trusting others with filling the space. It’s not simply that I need to learn to love myself or any of that crap. The missing is something different, maybe a viewpoint, a perspective I’ve lost along the way in my depression and ambition. (The ridiculousness of the words depression and ambition next to each other is not lost on me)
There is no conclusion here for me. I have no answers, just a search for whatever I lost in the last man I tried to love, or maybe before him. Maybe I just lost it now, I have no clue. But it’s gone.