by: J Rourke
I used to dream of having superpowers. And winning the lottery. And marrying someone super rich and beautiful. And finding out I had a rare condition that made me smarter than everyone else. Only a few elite scientists could see it in me. Every once in a while I even dared to consider that the world around me was of my own construction, and if I focused hard enough, I could manipulate everything in my life to be what I wanted.
I really, really wanted out of my boring life. Honestly, I still want it. Maybe we all do. The problem is that we know – whatever we dream up – it can’t free us.
There is no grand solution, no quick fix. That’s why our illusions of finding an out aren’t really solutions; they’re distractions. Winning the lottery is just as complicating as it is liberating. My problems might change, but they wouldn’t go away. And if I’m honest, that’s the real allure – that I could be in something different.
Now is hard. And now isn’t going to change on its own. Worst of all, now is all I get, even if I spend most of my life distracted. Pretending.
The things I run from are the things that I carry.
There’s no way out. But there is a way. In fact, there might be several. Alongside all the pressures of now are flowers and trees, singers and speakers, God and the animals; there’s me. I am surrounded by a chorus of light, and the more I listen, the easier it is to hear. These moments of beauty are quiet, and the things I carry seem so overwhelming, so loud. But listen on, my friends, and now may begin to feel different.
Now is all we get. But look at what we get! A meal shared with friends. Sitting down with a book. The seasons, welcoming us into a string of new days, inviting us to notice the beauty of now (a beauty we’ve gotten too good at overlooking).
So I’ve never won the lottery. I don’t have superpowers. I’m not married. And there is no group of elite scientists studying my rare condition of unnatural and amazing smartness. But my life is rich and beautiful. I need not escape. There is something rare and precious in me. And I think it may also be in you.