Nothing Much But Too Much

Here I sit with that same itching. Undirected anger. Like a sound coming from somewhere in the house. And I sit with the faith that this will too pass without the world falling apart.

What is it they say? Will this matter in three years? As though that is a measure of what is really important. I’d like to see a Venn diagram of the people who say that and the people who say to stay in the moment, that the present is all there is. I guess we do that, though: imagine a future to comfort ourselves in the present. I wonder if this is the origin of storytelling: At least it’s not as bad as that, and It will be better when. But this only works when there was a better time. Or there is legitimate hope for a three-years-from-now.

It’s interesting that the research says that after three years someone who won the lottery, or someone who became wheelchair dependent have the same measure of life satisfaction as before their “life-changing” event.

I am still wondering what all this actually means in praxis. Maybe the advice to ask yourself if this will matter in three-years is more an application of storytelling than logic. We can’t possibly know the butterfly effect of any incident.

And what if the answer is: Yes, it will matter in three years. It will matter in thirty, if we get another thirty.

In that case we push it away. In my case in a very grand gesture like swiping my arm across a desk of papers and whatnots. And the house fills with unidentifiable groaning, and every cell in my body begins to itch. We have our personal stories. And we have our collective fears. I wonder some days if this is what is wrong with the world. All the itching. “Itching for a fight.” There’s a powerful image neutered by cliche.

An email pops in my inbox and asks me if I have measured my carbon footprint. I haven’t. And I am probably not going to. And my arm begins to itch, and there are sounds coming from downstairs, or upstairs – I’m not sure. And what if the world actually does fall apart?

tiny worries swirl
and settle like the sand
into dunes that slip
and smother the pale, greening
tendrils trying to take hold


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