Wednesday, February 18, 2009

Always Adrift

"Your vision will become clear only when you can look into your own heart. Who looks outside, dreams; who looks inside, awakes." – Carl Gustave Jung

I find compelling that what is done authentically on the outside must come from within. This kind of philosophy embraced by the transcendentalists among others, such as the psychoanalyst, Carl Jung, gives me hope along this way of most always feeling adrift.

All that beneath-the-surface stuff left me very unsure about my existence and my place in the world, as if I were missing what is essential. And, like so many in my generation, I did seek answers from the outside even though this split existed within me – that I felt drawn inside.

It feels like it’s pretty much remained thus with me – not that there haven’t been moments when I did feel I had the essential, and that life was promising, and adventure awaited me.

I’m always searching, questioning and wondering about the what-ifs of life. It’s often difficult to just be.

Never-the-less and not without some measure of angst, I managed to climb Hedgehog Mountain, a swollen hill in Mapleton, Maine where a woman I befriended years ago invited me to climb it with her. She lived rather primitively with no running water and only the bare bones of a house where she and her mother resided. Ella worked with me at W. T. Grant Company in Presque Isle, my first official full-time job as a young adult. I was eighteen. I would work there two years. The women I worked with were like so many mothers to me. With them, I was made to feel special and free. Among them, there was camaraderie with teasing and laughter that gave me a sense of wellbeing.

Not without angst, I managed a real hike up a mountain when I was twenty-four with David and some of his fellow students and professors from MIT. Together, we climbed Mt. Lafayette at the northern end of the Franconia Range in the White Mountains of New Hampshire, part of the famous Appalachian Trail.

Not without angst, in my early to mid-thirties, I hiked and climbed mountain trails in southwestern Maine and once again in the White Mountains of New Hampshire with sisters from my community; and in summers spent studying theology at St. Michaels I managed to hike in northern Vermont.

And now, not without a modicum of angst, and it growing less, I happily climb the sidewalks of New York City from the East Village to Central Park and sometimes beyond.

Except in rare moments, I feel too restless to allow nature to be the inspiration it used to be when I was too young to know a lot of things; and just a little later, even when it seemed – even to me – on the surface of things that I could have relaxed enough to allow nature in, I remained unable to do so.

DeAnn Louise Daigle 12/10/07

No comments: