It is my birthday on Friday. I will be 43 years old. I get sort of introspective when my birthday comes around and here I am reading this book, The Elegance of the Hedgehog, which is all about finding the meaning of life and beauty and so on. So I am bit over engrossed with it this year.
The Elegance of the Hedgehog also has steady theme of building. Building the world and the individual and building the universal and the independent parts. Typically an author would present a juxtaposition of contemplation with the physicality of creating something tangent, but in this book they are quite connected and their coexistence is elegantly described.
I try telling myself that it is only the present that matters and I should use all my strength to build something that matters, that I have to surpass myself every day. But what I really want to do is go backwards, to knock the blocks down. I want to be a teen who doesn’t have to think about anything really, plan anything or be anything because the future is so far away.
I am constantly rebuilding my identity as an adult on top of the one I had as a child, and on the way I view (viewed) other adults. I continually change my mind about what I want to be when I grow up. But then, feeling like I am suspended on a steel beam, (or, depending on the day, feeling perched on a thin branch) I realize I will never be any of those things, I am what I am.
What am I? Preoccupied. Dependable. Distractable. Pragmatic. Creative. Curious. Grateful. Happy.
I try not to look in the mirror. When I look in the mirror I don’t see myself. I see my mother. I see a young girl. In my head, I know what I am. In my imagination I know what I can be.
“If you dread tomorrow, it’s because you don’t know how to build the present, and when you don’t know how to build the present, you tell yourself you can deal with it tomorrow, and it’s lost because tomorrow always ends up becoming today.” The Elegance of the Hedgehog p. 128
The Photo above is from an Etsy Shop called Subject2Change.