Meditations on a Walk at Midstream

It’s a beautiful day. Can’t be much above 60. :checks phone: 54. Yeah, cold but a dry cold. No real breeze. I’m wearing a coat anyway. Sky is a deep blue. We associate blue with the cold but we never think about the sky in winter. I do.

Gotta stop myself from being too poetic. I’m not walking through the woods. I’m going to the X-Mart to grab a Sprite. This is not Thoreau, though I’m full of shit just like him. Walden was hysterical. I prefer Ayn Rand’s philosophies since I can practice those. No, I’m walking through the city.

Proof: that beautiful stretch of forest over there. It’s incredibly lovely of course. So quiet and peaceful. There’s even a small bamboo grove, a reminder of how well the panda eaten plant grows here. Then you look and see you’re not looking at a forest. You’re looking at the front yard of some people.

I’m 30. I’m officially an adult. Most likely a bit over 1/3 into my life. The Shinns and the Sweetsers are long lived. For Dante, this would’ve been approaching midway through my life’s journey. It still is. That’s a depressing thought.

Was I ever young? I stop to ponder this. Most likely not. College was not a time of revelry for me. I rarely had more than two bottles of Mike’s Hard Lemonade and only then off campus on a non-school night. Even into my 20s, I rarely partied too hard. The number of nights I’ve been truly intoxicated number well under 5 and were always at home. I’ve lived a clean life by most standards.

I’m not sure I’m ok with this. I admit that. Not the clean life, which means I actually have memories. The fact that my youth was spent so intensely on avoiding it. I was so focused on my scholarship and then getting a job. Becoming an adult was my goal and I’m not sure I appreciated the cost it took.

There is a profound discontent within me that I didn’t seize every opportunity. I think that’s the lament of every man my age. So many ghastly screenplays written about it. No, I’m stopping here with this entry. You do think of it though. That you had chances and didn’t take them. I traveled a lot. Should I have traveled more?

None of this has to do with her. Quite the opposite. She is the one reason I’m not feeling this more intensely. I am happy to be with her. She gives me peace. I am beyond in love with her. I need her in my life.

It’s me I’m not sure of. I think of how fruitless this anxiety has been as I stroll through Pine Valley. An inaccurate name by the way. More oak than anything else. I worried so much in the prime of my life. Now that I’m walking past it, has it been worth it? There was so much I could’ve done and didn’t.

Not that I haven’t done a lot. As I walk, the driveways are literally littered with my work. The Sunday paper alights every driveway and stoop. I designed five pages within it. Tonight I’ll work on six more. I am anonymous but I am there. Everybody in the city sees something I’ve done but they don’t know me. Still, that bear photo that made you laugh? I chose it.

But do I want more? As I reach my destination I concede the point. It’s been a busy few weeks and I honestly enjoyed the increased workload. I’ve believed the myth of my own laziness but I’m forced to admit in this moment it is but a myth. I have so much more energy within me than suspected. I’m eager to prove that.

I obtain my Sprite and talk with the clerk for a good 10 minutes. I like this guy a lot. He’s a very nice guy, recognizes my wife and I. We chat about the neighborhood. He loves it. So do I. I reminisce about when it was even better. Still, his shop with everything you could want including a great beer/cider/wine selection is far from a blight. I’ve stopped before. I will stop here countless times yet.

I walk outside and crack open my cold, fizzy sugar water. I’m adding calories to my total, not subtracting them by walking. Still that’s not the point.

I look at the church as I walk. There are two I will pass. I’m not very religious but I would never call myself atheistic. Agnostic doesn’t even fit. I know I believe in something undefinable. I love the ideas of Christianity at least. I wish I could be more conventionally of faith sometimes. It seems to be a comfort.

As I walk, I’m still thinking. I’m a man cursed to live in an age that doesn’t need my best skill. I’m a gifted reviewer. So are most of my friends though. Most are even better. I think about the two stalled reviews I’ve worked on and the one limp thing I passed off as one last week. This is what I was born to do but I will never make a penny off of my film writing.

I will never make much if any money as a writer either. I’m not that damn good. I love doing it but I’m not going to be a pro. It’s a shame.

For a second I pause to check my twitter feed, the ultimate indulgence of a man in the modern day. It’s funny though. It doesn’t feel like I’m disconnecting from the world. Instead, I’m so connected in this moment I just want to reach out to the rest of the world. So I do. I don’t fear technology. I love it.

I stop by the stream. Yes, there is a literal stream in my metaphor. In fact this is a literal walk I’ve taken. The stream is natural but now encased by the city. Yet it still flows. Now there’s a perfect, obvious metaphor. It;s lovely to see.

I’m at peace. That might not come through but on this walk I am at peace, As I near my home, the bubbles flaring in my mouth, I have some measure of peace because I know I am alive. I think of life as a struggle and I miss the point.

I’ve let my fears control me. But that’s not the point of life.

I come home but it’s just a stop. As they all are. A pause, There is much to be done yet today.

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