I had a strange whimsical fancy the yesterday as I hovered in the indeterminate trance state between sleep and wakefulness.
I felt like I was walking through a beach, going towards, unsure and hesitant about my destination and as I progressed, my steps faltered, my heart felt leaden and it became more difficult to stay focused and keep going on.
And then I paused as something cut my foot, struggling like a swimmer battling the current, against some unseen force inexorably thrusting me forward, and I turned to look back and I saw the beach littered with the debris of broken hopes, of unfulfilled dreams and of sharp-edged slivers of a thousand disappointments.
And I asked myself, at this stage in life, nearing the end of my youth, within knocking distance of middle age that if I was to live my life again, would I do so differently? Would I have made other choices? Would I do it again in another way?
And I look back at the crossroads I have traversed, and I know, if I had to decide once more, given the same set of circumstances, I would have chosen the exact same road, I opted for so long ago.
Then why does my soul feel haunted with this constant sense of wistfulness? Of being cheated of something so fleeting and magical, that can never be recalled again?
I wish I had been freer, I wish my hopes had stayed younger, and yes, I wish I had had more whole-hearted, carefree happiness. But how could I have had it? How would I have done it? Life thrust the mantle of adulthood on me, and the choice was to either don it or disintegrate under its weight? And where and how would I get happiness on call? After all, it isn’t a ready-to-consume two minute packet which one can pick up from the supermarket.
Why do I feel like I am desperately clawing and grasping and reaching for something which is always tantalizingly elusive, just out of my reach?
Why am I weighed down by a sense of apprehension, not anticipation? Of helplessness, not hope? Of being rudderless and being swept along. A mute witness as life passes me by.