Living in the gap between past and future…

I am sure you have heard people, or even you yourself do, refer to life as a “path”.  I am certain each person envisions their “path” differently.  Some people see a vast desert that stretches for miles in every direction.  Some, a lovely forest “path” with the metaphorical tree occasionally blocking the way.  I was the latter, imagining my “path” looked like one of the trails out by Cuyamaca. Regardless of how we see the “path”, it is always moving out ahead of us – leading us “somewhere”.  Well, my “path” has changed it’s topography on me.  No longer do I see the lovely forest all around me, leading me forward – always forward.  No.  Now, there is no clear direction. I am surrounded by branches and leaves so thick I cannot tell if it’s day or night, and I have no idea which direction I am even going or where I have been, and I am without a machete or guide.  There is no road, no “path”.  There is only my searing wish to end up SOMEWHERE.  ANYWHERE.

It always seemed so clear to me.  Artist, writer, musician,… and on and on.  It just made sense that, by now, I would be SOME kind of successful artistic type.  Living the dream and making the world a better place.  Not so much.  I am good at SO many things, but none of them make me any money. So, what do I do?  These elements of me are, at this point, as important to me as oxygen.  Yet, I am a single father who is injured and ill with no hope or promise. Do I abandon all the things that make up who I believe I am out of responsibility? If so, then what? What the hell am i supposed to do now? I have lost the (quite possibly) love of my life due to my own actions, and some of my oldest and dearest friends are angry with me because of a complete communication breakdown. I’ll tell you what I DON’T need to do.  I don’t need to watch Leaving Las Vegas any time soon, that’s for certain.

I wish this were one of those movies where I could walk up a mountain trail, reach the top, see a bird flying against the sunset and figure it all out.  Wouldn’t that be swell? Alas, things don’t work that way – ever.  It takes work, determination, drive, want, energy, willingness and heart. None of which I seem to posses at the moment.  I see each tick of the clock and I do nothing to seize them. I do not exercise. I do not eat well.  I do not read like I used to, or even play guitar when I should.  I… do… nothing.

Why in the hell am I telling you this?

I guess, the truth (which I tout over and over as something so very important to me) is that I am lost.  I am a man adrift.  I can no longer tell if my actions are good or bad.  I can no longer tell what I am feeling when I am feeling it.  The only moments that feel in any way human to me are the moments I have with Jakob and when I am listening to music. Other than that, I am in constant question mode.  “Wondering, always wondering.  Am I enough?  Am I too much?”

Perhaps Holmes had it right to cut emotions from the human equation. Perhaps all those wacky philosophers and Avatars had it right when they spoke of attachment and it’s effect on enlightenment. Perhaps The Spongebob Squarepants Movie is the greatest comedy of all time. Perhaps, perhaps, perhaps.

There is not a single molecule in my body that believes I have it any worse than any one else on this planet.  I can’t possibly.  Along with that, it isn’t a contest. All I have, all any of us have, is our own unique experience with life.  Our “path”. I want to believe, more than anything, that I am heading someplace beautiful.  I want that more than I could ever explain in words. (Maybe interpretive dance?) But, right now, all seems dark and sad.

Perhaps this is as simple as mid-life crisis.  Perhaps is it my brain deteriorating at an accelerated rate.  Who knows?  Who cares?  What matters is… F*ck, I don’t know.

And knowing is half the battle.


About "Mike"

"We only become what we are by the radical and deep-seated refusal of that which others have made of us." - Jean-Paul Sartre "Change and growth take place when a person has risked himself and dares to become involved with experimenting with his own life." - Herbert Otto "Heed the still small voice that so seldom leads us wrong, and never into folly." - Marquise du Deffand "Your real influence is measured by your treatment of yourself." - A. Bronson Alcott "Energy and persistence conquer all things." - Benjamin Franklin "If we all did the things we are capable of, we would astound ourselves." - Thomas Edison "A man who finds no satisfaction in himself will seek for it in vain elsewhere." - La Rochefoucauld
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7 Responses to Living in the gap between past and future…

  1. rozenblumic says:

    I thought the movie reference was especially powerful. Just imagine those film masterpieces where they are on a long, arduous journey. They get to that thick, hard to manage forest, covered with sweat, cuts upon their arms and legs and their heads hang with the overwhelming feeling as if it will never end. When they look as if they are about to give up, perhaps pushed all the way to their knees to manage the terrain, they break through the imposing surroundings upon an oasis of green, easy to traverse landscape flush with water fountains, a bouquet of unique flowers, and clear, sweet air. It’s there that they make their home and build a life, but they never just stay there, they seek out the challenges of the harsher landscapes that surround them, knowing they can always come back to a safe, comfortable home.

    Fighting through that entangled forest (o.o or the thorn valley in sleeping beauty) is hard, it seems like a trail of trials. It takes fortitude, and their are times when you need to make camp and fortify your spirit, inside and out. One of the roughest challenges is not settling for the easy to find cave, but instead push forward to the fulfilling clearing. You never know when you will finally push through the thick vines to reveal the garden, but once you get there, you will be proud that you did.

    <> my friend and safe travels.


    • kafkamike71 says:

      This is, without a doubt, one of the kindest and most inspirational things someone has said to me in a very long time. What you have written here is absolutely amazing, and I truly love you all the more for who you are. Thank you, thank you, thank you.

      Favorite part: (o.o or the thorn valley in sleeping beauty)

      You are such a kind and loving soul, and I am so friggin’ lucky that you are in my life.

      I’m blown away.


  2. sheldon says:

    that last sentence completely derailed my train of thought….. oh yea, i dunno i f you can find it, but listen to mango story and mango (the song) by mike rayburn. if you can’t find this song and it’s story, lemme know and i will make you a copy. hope you know how good a dude you really are, man.


    • kafkamike71 says:

      Yo Joe! (grin)

      Thanks burtha. I will take a look for that.

      And, thank you man. I am grateful.

      I hope you are doing okay, man. It may not sound like it, but I am here if you need.



  3. “If you can see your path laid out in front of you step by step, you know it’s not your path. Your own path you make with every step you take. That’s why it’s your path.”

    ~ Joseph Campbell


    • P.S. – Only in the movies does everything seem awesome (and happy music plays) when you are on the right path. In real life, being on the right path is still fraught with discouragement, angst, paralysis and terror.

      Sorry if that doesn’t sound terribly encouraging. I have just spent my whole life wondering when all of the wonderful feelings are going to indicate that I’m doing the right thing. Happiness is fleeting, and not a stage of life. May we all be present for it as it happens!


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