Monday, October 15, 2007

when you were young

It’s not really the time to be thinking backwards and reflecting, but I realized today that this here blog turned 3 without me noticing. It’s strange to look back on what was going through my head back then. In some ways, many things have remained similar- I still get wrapped up in a good song or a frothy nothing of a television show or a beautiful foggy San Francisco day. But I don’t live in San Francisco, and the number of uncertainties in my life has certainly been reduced. And I haven’t been anywhere near as dedicated to writing as I was back then. But I don’t really want to think about that today.

There’s this concept called degrees of freedom in molecules. Because we all have infinite possibilities. And then we constrain ourselves. Every time you pin yourself down on a certain point, you lose a little energy. Because you’re at your most dynamic when you are unreliable and random. You're unsteady and insatiable and that's when something, inevitably, happens or you make it happen.

I used to worry. I went from being someone who had imagined shackles locking her to the mud to someone who was uncomfortably teetering, suspended on a hot air balloon that could pop at any moment. Having gone from one extreme to the other, I really worried that it was just a matter of wanting. I used to think that maybe once I got what I wanted, I’d want something else altogether.

It’s an important question, I think, the question of whether you want something because you want it or because it keeps you from standing still. Some of us are afraid to stand still. Some of us are afraid to be constantly on the move. And some of us are in between.

I had all my degrees of freedom three years ago. I had no idea where I was heading, and whether it would end in triumph or a spectacular disaster. But thinking of it today, three years later, with a lot more pinned down, there’s still a lot of freedom. I still feel very much like there is much that is unknown in the future. I still could be headed for a fall. But I never thought it would all turn out this way, and I mean that in the best possible way. And therefore, I am temporarily at peace with the notion that there are still a lot of surprises ahead, even as I am also at peace with the notion that my feet have been planted, somewhat, in the ground now. I’m on a path now, even if I’m not sure where it is heading.

An explanation for this week’s song will accompany tomorrow’s post. Maybe. Or you could just listen to it and enjoy.

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