Saturday, April 22, 2006

Nothing is enough

Simplicity seems to be a major theme of spiritual and literary magzines lately, though most editors admit that nothing is really simple, that life is amazingly complex. One person's definition of simplicity is to be happy with enough.

Whatever is enough? I know that I have more than enough, much more than enough, and I enjoy every bit of it. I delight in the things I own, the beauty I create, the wonder all around me, the relationships, the pull and push of God. But, I confess that, while all of this is more than enough, none of this is enough. I want more.

I yearn for the roller coaster life of ups and downs, peaks and valleys of my younger years. Now I have no extremes, just a gently peaceful joy, and I miss those edges. How can I be wildly daring or frankly creative when I can't see the edge. The horizon keeps retreating and I keep being happy and serene.

Most of my stories are about the edge, about times when I walked the narrow path along the abyss of nothingness or gloried from the peak of a dare-well-done. My past is a gathering of the odd folks of life and their strange and awe-filled lives. When I was living those stories, I didn't think about them as part of the saga of my life; they were just what happened that day. And, I wallowed in the emotions, both elated and despairing, sucking them dry of their energy and using them to fly along the next day or the next week. The laws of physics worked well for me; emotions generated heat and heat was energy and energy generated more actions and more actions generated more emotions...and so I kept going.

I'm not sure what keeps me going now that my emotions don't have those treacherous highs and lows. I drift in calmness and wonder, and the strange feeling of being someone else. I never dreamed that life could be like this; I'm not sure I ever wanted this much happiness. And, now that I have it; what do I do with it? I fear becoming bored with contentment.

When will the natural beauty of this creek fade from my seeing? Just how many different ways can that water look and still be beautiful? Will I cease to notice the brightness of the red-winged black bird's shoulders?

Right now I feel that I could marvel at that bonanza of color and movement that lies outside my door for the next fifty years - if I had fifty years. Part of me wonders how long that will hold my attention; that's the part of me that moved from place to place and job to job. My fear of success kept me going away from the good things that happen after you've been in a place for a while. Now I have no need to fear success; no goals demand my talents and skills. I am required only to enjoy what I have.

Some days that is enough. Some days nothing is enough.

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