I'm tired. I've been on a treadmill seemingly forever. Walking. Always walking. But never getting anywhere. The view doesn't change... I never pass into the shade... or into the sun. But I remain, instead, in the greenish glow of flickering fluorescents. I never get away from what is behind me... and I never seem to reach that next crest. There are no surprises along the path. The walls are the same here as they were an hour ago. Or last week. Or last month.
I don't want to be jaded. Really. I want to be positive. I want to feel that childlike surprise that went missing somewhere around puberty. Is that the way it is? I say this... and I can see you nodding your heads. Because even if you think you have it figured out how to manufacture surprise... it is man-made. It isn't as real as it once was. Maybe at points we catch a glimpse of it... and handful of water that falls through our grasp before we can fully catch it. Maybe that is why we love watching children because we recognize the realness of their awe.
The others on the treadmills all around me don't change either. They react in predictable ways... saying predictable things... at predictable times. There is such disappointment in this. The knowing. When we pass over that point when people we love are able to surprise us. We know before their mouths even open. We cringe and turn away and feel ourselves sink just a little lower. Surprise replaced by disappointment, again.
Your comments will extol me to get off the treadmill and take a walk in the woods. They will tell me just to sit and be quiet. But you know as well as I, that this is easier said than done. And that I'm not really talking about walking anyway.
You fight the sameness by change. But eventually even the change becomes the same. And we become nomads with no real home, and a long trail of pasts that all look the same.
The trick isn't to change, of course... the trick is simply to accept. In the sameness is a comfort that we fail to appreciate while we are busy walking away. We picked to walk on this treadmill surrounded by these people because at one time we liked the place... and we liked the people. The words that disappoint us now, are the same words that once resonated with us.
Accepting is a choice. So is walking away. Neither are easy. Each hold consequences. They say that change is inevitable. I think the biggest change that we have to make is moving from a life of nomad to the life of a farmer. Accepting that we will see the same treeline... plow the same fields... and milk the same cows... for the rest of our time here. Acceptance means letting go of the jadedness. And, perhaps, the biggest surprise in all of this is that the predictable becomes less predicable... less disappointing.
Or so I keep telling myself.
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