My Mental Mire

On my fifth birthday, riding on the swinging garage doors, I wondered about life. I wondered about the essence of awareness of conscious existence. Why was there no connection between my awareness and that of others?  What did existing entail?  My first five years had only served to confuse.

I saw two sets of worlds: the world of myself as against all others, and the world of children as against adults.  I never believed I would grow up. Not really.  One thing worried me especially: would I essentially change as I grew up, or would the me of myself remain constant?

That afternoon by the garage on my fifth birthday I resolved to keep in contact with myself. From birthday to birthday. I promised myself on my fifth birthday. I promised myself to keep in touch with myself on every proceeding birthday.  More times than not, I keep the faith. I re-familiarize myself with the five year old and touch base.

Not long ago I came across a letter written five years after that fifth birthday. It was addressed to the me of the future.  It read:

Hello, How are you?  What do you think?  Have you changed? 

Of course I’ve changed, and for the worse, as do all people growing up. Childhood is the age of innocence and wonder and faith in the infallibility of adults.  Since my childhood my innocence has been tainted by knowledge,  my wonder has been dulled by complacency, and my faith in mankind has been demoralized by observation.  I can still remember the  jarring shock I received when I saw an adult act in childish temper.

I feel somehow guilty  that I have changed. It seems I should have kept the girl of five alive to a greater extent than I have.  I make compensation to some degree on my birthdays, when I remember.

 

 

About Nan Mykel

I used to think I would be a child prodigy, but then I got old. Formerly I had fantasies of rubbing elbows with cultural and academic leaders but that did not come to pass because I did not become a cultural or academic leader or any other kind of leader, for that matter. I am not even an "Alpha Dog," a term learned from a friend who had to become "Alpha Dog" in order to influence her own pet. (When gazes lock, she never looks away.) For years I expected to become a published author, but in passing I could not avoid the fact that I had little to contribute to the world's bulging dumpsters. I'm embarrassed to report that I also considered my primary process artistic productions powerful, rather than mildly neurotic. Which is not to say that I disrespect myself, only that I am beginning to doubt my potential for making a mark on the world. If I focus on strict self discipline I may be able to keep my garbage removed on a weekly basis, to keep the kitty box changed, the clothes cleaned, the dog watered, fed and walked, but that just catches me up to the starting mark again. When writing I physically grapple with words, wrestling them from their indifference into attempted chunks of awareness. I sit heavily on my chair; I breathe in artificially cooled air; my ear drums note the tap tap of the keyboard and the steady uninterrupted sound of the air conditioner, What is that sound? The roar of the ocean from 30 yards away...Inside, my thoughts are are balls in an electronic game machine, bouncing hither and yon from lever to lever. I am a little grim and intent until I recall a dream related by a black man in the prison where I once worked. He said that when he was a small boy, back home, he dreamed he was standing on his front porch pissing, and that he suddenly found himself pissing stars...
This entry was posted in A mixed bag, age, Consciousness and tagged . Bookmark the permalink.

8 Responses to My Mental Mire

  1. She’s still alive. She’s the one we all love and respond to on the Comments page.

    Liked by 1 person

  2. Bob Shepherd says:

    Oh my Lord, Nan. This is wonderful!

    Like

  3. Utterly beautiful!! I’m taking this with me as advice for my own inner child.

    Like

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