There has been a sense of peace, or composure that has eluded me all my life. I listen to people talk about concepts like home, relationships, connections, soul mates, and the like, and none of it rings true or familiar for me. I see fathers giving up their time with their daughters when still in their fragile formative years, and I wonder if they have any idea what they’re taking for granted.
I never had a chance to build on the bond of fatherhood with either of my daughters. Both were snatched away at an early age, for similar but also entirely different reasons. There’s a strangeness that sets in under such circumstances. The natural bond that should have been formed is somehow replaced by an awkwardness of never fully accepting anything about the dynamics of it all that led to that moment when you’re standing face-to-face with your child. A moment when you’re torn between despising the behavioural traits that remind you of the betrayal you contended with from her mother, and the gut churn of wanting to express how much you understand that it isn’t their fault, while knowing that doing so will cause more harm than good.
Sometimes I’m convinced that the principles I stand for are entrenched in a sound foundation, but there are other times when I wonder if it’s not just the façade I need to avoid embracing the full cold reality of me. Principles are great to earn scornful respect, but not so great to earn affection. The irony is that a principled life creates harmony, even if that harmony is manifested as predictability and dependability. Yet it’s those same principles that lead to the isolation of emotion when upholding what is right compels me to act against those that I know would rather have me embrace them in their wrongs.
I look at the people around me and admire in a strange way their belief in tomorrow. In a life beyond the present moment. I smile at times when I see them investing in their future, all the while seeing myself as the speck in the eye of the beholder, causing that blink to brush away the speck, and realising that that blink is more representative of my life than any investment in any future I could ever make. I wonder if such an investment, if beneficial to those that will be left behind, will create a comfort for them that will draw them closer or further away from their spiritual calling. I wonder if making it easier than comfortable will be a disservice or a gift.
I continue to contemplate these matters in isolation, because if even the simple troubles appear too complex for others to grasp, what chance do I have of having the deeper tribulations understood? Peace appears not to have been intended for acquisition in this lifetime. I mock myself with thoughts and aspirations of changing the world, while realising that it requires more than a lifetime to achieve. Handing down a legacy for another to take up needs the presence of one that embraces the struggles for purpose of my own soul. In its absence, the reality of life’s ephemeral touch bears down without pause or respite. The pendulum of time brushes ever so lightly against the arc of eternity, and in that very finite moment of its contact, an entire lifetime is lived.
The truth about being human is not that we are capable of being great, but rather that we are arrogant in the face of such insignificance. Moments of reflection can be torturous at times. It etches into our consciousness the reality of death, and the finality and futility of life, but my innate nature for which I can take no credit continues to drive me to improve, aspire, and inspire, despite knowing that not much of my efforts will survive beyond my last gasp.
Elusive. Even in the midst of the celebration of me I am reminded of the all that I have failed to be. With this thought in mind, I continue to pursue that which I know is unattainable, yet almost within reach. Life is an illusion, and death sets you free. I look forward to my liberation, and pray it does not overtake me at a moment of distraction.