The early part of the walk, the downer thoughts usually have to do with the sadness I carry around. Sadness that comes from childhood. Sadness to do with the lack of love and support I received as a kid, the inner struggle that was ever present, the loneliness, the insecurity, the tears.
I try to see beyond, to make amends, to forgive, forget. But I can't. Sometimes I feel like I am damaged goods. That I am doing the best with what I have got, but that I could have been so much more. Other times, I just, shrug and say fuckit, carry on. Expect less. Accept. Surrender.
Waa, waa, waa. Isn't everyone just the same, though. Aren't we all fallen angels, broken machines, injured souls. I think so. So it's really about coping. And carrying on.
Anyway, I was walking along today and on my way back, I mentally compared life to the beach stroll. At a certain point, you turn back. On the way back you are covering the same ground, but you see things differently. Just like when you hit your forties or fifties, you have lived a fair chunk of life and you can actually use it to look back on and consider who you are and what you have done. When you are in your teens, twenties, you just go for it. You have no perspective.
Obviously, things slow down as you get older. Some things you have done hundreds, thousands of times. You are well versed in the everyday requirements and expectations of being a human. (Hopefully.) Your needs and urges wane. Your ego has taken countless beatings and can now shut the fuck up sometimes, take a back seat, maybe even disappear.
You've most likely been through at least a few wonderful relationships that end, either badly, terribly or not very well. You've seen the ugly side of yourself and others. You have tried and failed. Tried again and failed again. You sometimes get lucky and somethings work out alright.
Mostly, though, you realise that life is not all fun and games. It's a challenge. And it keeps on being one. The parameters shift but the rules stay the same. As hard as it all is, you wish it didn't have to go by so quickly. There are many, many things you would do differently, given the chance. But you don't get second chances. Not really.
Strangely, there is a certain calm, acceptance that comes with age. You probably believe more in destiny. You know what you can do and can't do. You know how to make do with less. You know how to enjoy more from little. Nature appears more vividly and has a bigger place. Children offer delight, hope, warmth and a reason for still caring, still fighting. The miracle of existence, as a whole package, can be appreciated more often and readily. You know you are going to die. You've seen it happen to people around you. You may or may not think about it much, but you definitely know it's coming, getting closer. This can be a comforting thing or a frightening one. Depends on the individual, on the day, the circumstance.
Sometimes, not today, but every few weeks, I look out onto the horizon, while on my walk, and think, every picture I have ever done, even if it was expanded to 1,000 times it's size, would only fill the tiniest fraction of a single percent of this vista. Every day, every hour, the glorious outlook; the sky, the ocean, the beach changes and delights. A dynamic, breathtaking, living work of art. What I do, making little pictures, well, comparatively, it's just laughable. Of so little consequence. Why do I bother? It will never amount to anything. It is of absolutely no significance. In fact, my life, is of no significance. Not in the long run. Not really. Not when you realise and understand that it's all just a self created illusion. Not one of us is more that a grain of sand. So why bother?
See what I deal with on my daily walk? These are the kinds of things that go through my head. And looking at me, from the outside, if you chanced to see me walk past - you'd just see a dude taking a stroll. You wouldn't look twice. But in the silence, behind those squinting eyes - a battle rages. The struggle of self. The coming to terms with the quagmire of existence. The never ending questioning. Like the waves crashing on the shore. Relentless. And yet, soothing. Somehow. Kinda soothing. Comfortable.
One step at a time. Down the beach and back up it. A dip in the ocean. A frolic in the waves. The sun shines on skin. The seagulls jeer. The spirit is uplifted after a commune with nature's essence. The petty concerns washed away with the tide for another day.
I'll be back tomorrow to do it all again.