Doorways



I have been going through one of those phases in life where one is suddenly consumed with a great desire to clear out, to adjust, to modify. This is not new- after all it is January, the month for that in this day and age. But I am not exactly interested in resolutions and half-baked, empty promises to myself- this time, something subtle is different and I find myself more inclined towards doing rather than planning.

I have always been an excellent planner. In my college days I would spend hours drawing up whole schedules for a month, or more, at a time. I would color code and block off, measure and weigh, filling in each square quite meticulously. All of my assorted syllabi would lay scattered about me as I would read each of them through, cross comparing for important assignments, scouting for weeks that would be so overwhelming that they would benefit enormously from the gentle and balancing touch of the planner. It felt profoundly productive to do this, to place everything in each little box and adjust them accordingly, as if I was some beneficent master establishing order out of chaos. 

For all of those hours I spent, ruling lines and marking borders, I found that a schedule rarely lasted more than a few days, never more than a week. It was some complicated alchemy of life and chance, of the unpredictable and indifferent march of time and circumstance that would render them utterly useless. For mark and plan as I might, the tasks still had to be accomplished in deed rather than thought, and besieged by the interminable and utterly unpredictable subjects of chance, I found myself gradually sliding towards the spectrum of action- working constantly when I was well to balance the slow days of inevitable illness, running until forced to rest, always looking out for the random act that might throw it all into chaos, attempting to counter it with foresight, or at the very least, fore action.

It was exhausting, and I ended, three years later, with a degree in hand and a mind and soul so fractured that it would take years to put them back together again. But I wouldn't have had it any other way. I had learned that the sense of productivity that comes with planning is ephemeral, little more than a will-o-the-wisp on the horizon. I had learned that doing is grand but that without balance, it is utterly futile for what we deny now will resurface later, what we push down will inevitably raise its scaly head, much grown for the time it spent below.

So, I am leery of quick tricks and drastic changes, of plans and marathon runs towards specific ends. I like to be fairly aware of my limitations and restraints, conscious of my priorities. I am likely to debate for quite some time before I begin something new (admittedly, sometimes for far too long) and if it does not suit, I am likely to drop it. Of late, however, my life has been made up of a great series of long debated modifications, asserting themselves quite forcefully upon me, for somehow, in my consideration of them, they have grown strong and persistent, refusing to be quieted or doubted any longer-- and the strangest thing is how rightly, and how smoothly, they are weaving themselves into the fabric of my life.

It seems affected and mystical to write of changes forcefully asserting themselves into ones life and yet there seems to be no other way to describe it accurately. It is, perhaps, an unconscious matter of choice: a realization of time and life slipping away, a stubborn insistence to begin before it is too late-- and of finding ones self continuing because now that it has been begun, one is quite unable to stop it. In the course of the debate a step has been taken, in the movement of the foot-- a small shuffling of shoe against a flagstone-- momentum has been built, steps roll-- slow and persistent-- and then there is the shadow, the flash of a frame on the peripheral, and one has suddenly stepped through the door. Ianus has been there, and one's life has been forever altered for it.

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