Thursday, August 13, 2009

Let Us Raise a Glass

Welcome, beautiful traveler. I greet you from those strange borderlands that lie between happiness and discontent.

It is human and natural to yearn for an improvement in our lot -- to want more of what we have that is good, and less of what troubles us. I've experienced some exceptionally good things this week, and yet I find myself chafing at the fact that these have been irregularities and exceptions, not dependable parts of my everyday existence. I wish for a life that consists more of such high points. I wish for a way to keep them near at hand, accessible upon demand -- comfortable and familiar instead of surprising and rare.

My everyday existence is perfectly fine. It mixes a considerable amount of physical, emotional and financial comfort with only a modest dash of stress and aggravation.

Why, then, does the exceptional moment so make me pine for a more exceptional life?

In part, I suppose, it is because I desire the fulfillment of dreams. I write my novels and dream of publishing them and earning a living at it. I listen to music and watch movies and dream of existing in a constant state of aesthetic satisfaction. A great deal of my life is lived inside my head, and because there are so few limits in there, I find myself constricted whenever I return to the confines of the real world.

But in part, it is also simple greed: a failure to be satisfied with the riches within my grasp.

And what does it really take to overturn that greed? I think that it can be done with just six words, if they are taken and held to and believed.

"Look at all that I have."

It's not merely a question of whether the glass is half-empty or half-full. If you think about it, all glasses are always full. It just happens that sometimes they're partly full of air. And no, you can't drink air -- but you need it to live, and it's all around us.

Do I have a full glass of sweet and blissful nectar? No. But the portion of my glass that holds no nectar is not empty. It overflows with the stuff of the world. It is filled by an atmosphere that I need to live.

Even if people occasionally pollute that air with their smoke.

"Look at all that I have."

Thank you, goddess, for a world and a life that are always full -- and for drinks that may not hold all the volume I would like, but sustain me and bless my tongue with flavor nonetheless.

Lovingly yours,

A devotee