If only they could see that none of these things scratch the surface, that all of the things I’ve done and all of the stories that I tell about myself are just hollow excuses, and they don’t really mean anything to me.
If only I could share with one pointed glance or one deadened word all that I feel inside, all of the despondency and all of the disbelief, that I know deep down it’s nothing but a comic ruse and a zoo of absurdities that we put up for one another’s benefit so we can hide ourselves from our shame. If only I could share this feeling with someone else, and then maybe create a real connection and make some real progress against this onslaught. Then the real work could maybe begin.
As it stands now I’m a hamster spinning his wheels, hoping desperately for some kind of traction to work its way into the ground and deliver me some motive power. I’ll keep going and going in the hope that something sticks.
It’s two sides of the same heavy coin, I keep telling myself—the tragedy of loss and the dark realization of impermanence, and the lightness and satisfaction that comes from building something on real, established, holy ground.
I want my temple and my monastery more than anything, and I’ll sacrifice whatever’s necessary to get it. Because I know that if I can’t have it—can’t start the building process or ever start laying the foundations—then my life is really worthless, and there’s no point in living at all.
Thinking back to all my castles built on sand—how they sway in the wind and crumble and erode, all just fucking empty memories and me too, these old-looking hands so familiar and this set of insignificant circumstances and people who’ve affected me so just more grains arranged in neat ordinance for now but fated to be blown away again, gone, gone. How soon will these false edifices currently safeguarding my heart fall, and leave me hopeless once again, with nothing to show for my entire life, except for maybe one sweet story.
It could be worse. At least I have my story, though it ended. And if I have one story that was real, then reason, pesky reason consoles my abandoned heart—why can’t you have another? And then, another? And another still? So, weary and disgusted, and glum like a boy who’s learned the error of his ways, I pick myself back up, and start slowly, slowly, one bucket at a time, to build again.
Spinning my wheels. Even if I only get to keep a single grain, once it has all been washed away. Even if I only get to keep a single grain. Spinning my wheels.