In a World of Opposites...
In a world of opposites where one entity is void of meaning without another, we find ourselves at a crossroads of stillness and urgency existing all at once.
Where fear is present because its counterpart is gone. Where emptiness exists as fullness recedes.
We find ourselves amidst empty shelves wafting in the scent of Purell and uncertainty.
We find ourselves in a world where "social" and "distancing" are not only found in the same sentence but side by side - as the exemplar of the aforementioned point relating to entities having meaning only when considered next to their counterpart.
Day gives meaning to the night and light gives meaning to the dark.
We understand what it means to be social because we understand what it means to be distant. Socializing being the absence of distancing oneself from others.
To be social is to "need companionship" and to live amongst other social beings while being "distant" quite literally means the opposite.
I've always believed that moments in life occur in equal and opposite directions of one another - meaning when we feel we've hit the bottom, our lives are preparing to catapult us into an equal yet opposite direction until we feel we're back on top.
After all, when you thrust a ball onto the earth, the amount of force used to throw the ball downwards dictates the amount of upward motion the ball will experience as it bounces off of a surface and back into the air. Though most days we surely don't feel as resilient as the hollow, neon woolen ball stamped with the word "PRINCE" as we watch it soar towards the sky.
The better part of me wishes that the rules of this game only apply to bad things getting better and not to good things turning sour. I often push away the idea that "what goes up, must come down" because unless we're riding bikes, "going downhill" isn't generally a phrase that's used when things are smooth sailing.
I've victimized myself to some of the greatest moments in my life when the pull of temptation lures me to think that good things can't last.
I've lost myself to mulling through memories during times when my present moment was more picturesque and perfect than any moment I had imagined up until then.
I've held people, things, and places so tightly that I broke them and in the process, probably broke part of myself too.
The moments I hold now, I hold lightly but with a present sense of appreciation because the opposite of this is one I know all too well. The opposite of this has given these moments more meaning.
When I observe moments now, they feel like steady streams of effervescent bubbles trickling their way to the top of a flute; moving too quickly to catch them so in turn, I choose to observe them. I choose to witness them, dance with them and enjoy them while they last.
When we feel present and embodied, these moments are countless and ever-present, constantly rising and breaking the surface, catching our attention and sometimes even spritzing our nose.
Porous surfaces produce the most steady stream of bubbles because they're covered in irregularities which create sites for oxygen to continuously attach onto and create this stream of bubbles.
The connection here isn't to stretch this metaphor towards saying that I'm a "bubbly" person.
The connection here is that porous surfaces produce more bubbles. We, in part, are porous souls; shaped by the dents, chips, scratches, and marks of all the moments before us. We show up each day as the perfect breeding ground to witness and experience a steady stream of microcosmic happiness.
The other night I found myself swimming in one of these moments when I realized how much I loved the mundanity of closing the bathroom door at a restaurant.
It's a strange sentence to write and not one I ever thought I'd record but what bubbled up and caught my attention was the way the steady hum and chatter of a restaurant becomes softly dampened and in its place is the sound of the song that has since been drowned out by the tables of conversation and clinking cutlery.
The moment when the door closes is the moment you realize The Rolling Stones had been keeping the cadence of your conversation and all of a sudden you're in the center of four walls rebounding the words "you can't always get what you want" off of a dimly lit sconce and patinated mirror through your ears and into your soul.
You wash your hands to the hollow strum of a guitar plucking a chord in C minor that finds its way into your heart as you turn off the sink. You experience the warmth from your wine swirling through your body and warming your heart down into your stomach. You catch yourself with a slight smirk and a squint of the eyes, smiling internally at the moment you're in.
You don't stay there but you savor it and know that regardless of whether the moment is remembered or not, to have experienced it is what matters the most. To have witnessed a bubble bursting at the surface and spritzing your nose is what matters the most. These are the moments that happen "right under your nose" if you will.
These are the moments I notice and appreciate because experiencing a moment through numbness, through the opposite of embodiment, has lent me the eyes to see what I've been missing right under my nose.
My fascination with opposites has swarmed my thinking for years and I find it poetically dilapidating the way my mind tries to find sameness in sheer opposition. Even if the sameness is that two things, two opposite things, rely on one another to exist and that is all they share.
Many of us can share at least that... that we live in a world of opposites where "social" and "distancing" exists simultaneously. Where adoration stems from deprivation, where a moment once experienced subliminally is now experienced whole-heartedly only because the veil of numbness has lifted and we now see with fresh eyes.
I wish I could make more sense of it all; the paradoxes, the opposites, the confusion. Nonetheless, through it all, you can't always get what you want.
I didn't want to experience the teaching nature of numbness to awaken my senses to the beauty in mundanity. I didn't want to intimately understand the solidarity of distancing in order to appreciate quality social exchanges. And I don't usually want a sense of confusion in order to gauge when I've moved beyond it and found clarity.
"You can't always get what you want, but if you try sometimes, you just might find, you get what you need."