It is said that birth, the coming out of an infinite world and into this finite one, is painful — not only for the one ‘giving birth’ but for the one experiencing it.
In most situations, such a description refers to a mother from whose womb a babe arrives. One way or the other — via birth canal or surgery — there is pain, shock, and loss for both mother and child.
Is it not so for other types of birth? Most assuredly.
But what has been given in birth? Think of it: cocooned in space and time, dreaming of the universe. Who would want to leave? Yes, leaving is what happens at birth, rather than giving, because there was already life and most abundantly.
The steep decline of emotion and desire begins with a first breath of whatever substance it is outside that womb, that love encasement of life and sustenance.
With each passing moment, each passing year, we grow farther away yet closer to that infinity.
Can you feel it? The pull of desire. It calls out, quietly screaming our names, one at a time.
It may be better to succumb, to fall into that embrace, more tender than any experienced since it let us go.
My birthday was this weekend.
I think I’ve been depressed since.
Oh, I am grateful to see another year, but there has been so much. So, so much that is heavy and unyielding.
Despite my gratefulness, I feel greed rearing in my gut. There, a burning to have lives. It wants beyond what I am capable of giving and yet, I am saddened by those words, that thought: What I cannot attain! What has not been my lot to have! Why? Why not me? I try to shush it, the voice that hungers for more, yet it will not silence and yowls more incessantly with my attempts.
I grow older, yet no closer to the comfort already in the hands of many who have more miles to grind to reach this place, this worn pinnacle, this numeric on a page: hands that have toiled far less. Or far more, it matters not to the burning.
I plaster the smile upon my face and smooth the furrowed brow to claw forward, up, out, in hopes of one day finding that comfort, whatever it looks like for me. Inexorably, the burn wears me down, until I whisper to myself I can’t go on, there is no use, the prize shall never be mine — toil is my lot and I cannot take joy in it!
There is truth in pain, just as there is truth in birth, pain in birth.
There is a feeling of being forgotten, save the bleating of social media reminders that cause some to leave quick afterthought notes, meant to appease their sense of connection but lend no comfort to me, the receiver.
I feel it all again and still as I press on and into another year.