The First Step

It’s true: like anyone else I want stimulation and excitement. I’m driven by avoidance of pain and monotony. I want equilibrium emotionally because I have been hurt too often and too much. I want tranquility because I am afraid of pain. And, of course, I can confess none of this to the world, because I have at least a normal helping of conceit.

Thirty years from first asking if there is any way out of this maze, I find myself still at the beginning. No illumination, enlightenment, or union with the grand absolute, just the daily attempt to be human, to suffer fools gladly, and brighten someone’s day. And that is all I shall have to say to justify my existence when I reach those Pearly Gates.

Still full of myself; replete with petty guilts and silly vices. Confused, and torn in at least two directions at almost every moment. And vain about my own learning, my own patience, my own understanding, my own taste, my own perception. A lifetime of struggle to achieve the state of regular human being, so it seems.

May 2004