For *those that have just lost their keys *those that are well-versed *inebriated ones *wanderers *mermaids *those that belong elsewhere *whippersnappers *marvelous ones *those that are not included in this classification *those that flutter because the moment is fleeting *boundless ones *those colored with slippery fingerpaint *others *those that resemble someone I know from a distance

Thursday, September 22, 2005

"Man I ain't changed, but I know I ain't the same"

I've been listening non-stop to KGSR in an attempt to win ACL tickets, and they just played "One Headlight" by the Wallflowers. This song will forever and always remind me of when I first moved to Austin - the two are inextricably intertwined. I had an absurd car, as always, a 1986 Mercury Cougar, affectionately known as the "Great White Slug," or slug for short. The slug had faulty seatbelts, no air-conditioning, only one window capable of rolling down, and its very own ant colony, whose inhabitants would skitter up my leg at inopportune moments, such as when I was changing lanes, dancing vigorously at stop lights, or runnin' from the law. At the time, I lived in a messy apartment off of Riverside and worked at Barnes and Noble at the arboretum. This was before there was an overpass from IH-35 to 183, which meant I had to sit at that god-forsaken intersection for at least two rounds of stop-lights, usually ten minutes or more. Sweating and listening to the radio. No cross-breeze. Giant summer clouds above. Heat. Watching cars zip by, off to work or families or errands or lovers or studies. And almost every time "One Headlight" would come on. The first few measures of that song instantly transport me to that time and place. I feel like that person again. The thing that strikes me about that time is the faith that I had in my future. Even though I was young, and insecure, and poor, I truly felt like life was going to provide me with amazing opportunity after amazing opportunity, all lined up one after another for fabulous me. Nothing but insights into the world, big-ass love, beauty, and marvelous jobs that challenged me and paid me oh so well.

Add ten years and what do you get? A nihilistic secretary with a pointless master's degree and loads of student loan debt. With no idea what to do with her time here on earth. And a blog. Still has a messy apartment, still has an absurd car, still poor.

I wonder what I would say to 19-year old Wendy, with her soft, unshakeable optimism, sitting at that light under the big sky. What can anyone ever say to younger versions of themselves? Avoid that job, that man, that thought? The rub being, of course, that you become who you are precisely because of that job, that man, that thought.

Isn't my current unknowing a gift? Is it? "The realization of the fact that he has no aim and that he is not going anywhere is the first sign of the approaching awakening of a man or of awakening becoming really possible for him. Awakening begins when a man realizes that he is going nowhere and does not know where to go." Gurdjieff, in "Search of the Miraculous" by P. D. Ouspensky.

Am I really where I need to be?

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1 Comments:

Blogger RedBark said...

Sounds about right to me.

3:02 PM

 

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