The smudged living room window is in desperate need of cleaning, but I ignore that and squint through a haze of thick smoke at a seemingly endless expanse of blue. I can not see a hint of my beloved mountain which I know lies just beyond the fog, my hand restlessly reaching for my iPhone, as I consider what cleaning supplies I want to order.
This wanting is a strange animal especially during times of isolation and uncertainty. It’s as if I could tame that which feels feral, captive, and inescapable within me with cleaning products?
If it’s not cleaning supplies, it’s a book, or blender, a hydrating facial mask, or that new Instant Pot everyone’s clamoring about.
I also want these ridiculously adorable Kate Spade sunglasses, an aromatherapy candle that smells like gardenias, and this totally bitchin dish rack that will be the defining element in my kitchen. I’m serious, it will elucidate the kitchen, and I’m lucid enough to know that’s what I secretly desire. Clarity.
With a click of a callused finger the coveted items land in my heavily laden cart, and for some reason this makes me giddy with excitement, it’s the “table runneth over” mentality. My finger has taken on a life of its own and her entire objective is to move so stealthy that I fail to notice how it’s changing the way I manage life.
The couch potato in me has emerged with a new ferocity as if she’s been validated in some way and now she brags to anyone who will listen, “I told you from the couch everything is within reach.” She’s right and oh so wrong.
Let me just add giddiness is as fickle as the estimated shipping dates. I’m giddy right up to the moment of delivery when this heady emotion is replaced by new wants as callous as my finger.
“What is so wrong? So much of what I’ve wanted, once gotten, has been replaced by other wantings. And thus no wanting has ever been a final getting.” Peggy Freydberg
What is it that I really want?
Oh that is such a leathery question, something I’ve been chewing on since I opened my first savings account.
I think all of us want to be good at what we do whether you’re a teacher, journalist, paralegal, painter, in sales, finance, or engineering. The odd thing about professional development is that it never ends. I can always be better, the training is infinite, and the actual bar levitates which is just annoying.
Do you ever wonder what would happen if you actually caught the bar, you’d arrive at your destiny, fame and fortune laid out before you as if a red carpet. Would that too be fleeting? The satisfaction I mean, as if my contentment is as fragile as the child blowing bubbles, and popping them with her pudgy finger.
When I consider my keen desire for education, to be a critical thinker, observant, and obedient to my proclivity to share. It reminds me that I never actually finish. There is more to learn, to observe, to write. The minute I post my thoughts I move on to the next one, a succession of never ending stories, and I have no idea for what I’ll go in search of next?
I was invited to dinner the other night at a neighbors, I’m up at the lake, alone, so by day three company seemed appealing. I ran a brush through my hair, managed to fit into my jeans, threw together a simple charcuterie tray, and headed over to their house (it’s only two blocks away but I drove because the couch potato in me was insistent).
As we sipped wine and snacked on cheese we discussed many things but one topic I distinctly remember wrestling with was this strange sense of wanting, both now and for the future, but as we dove deeper into the subject, we realized our most potent desires are really about sustaining hope, hope for a future that we are always in the process of creating.
If that seems grotesquely obvious that’s because it is true.
What is so wrong? Why is it that the more I get, the more I want? And that no getting satisfies, but is, instead, surrounded with a nimbus of bright gold, to glorify disappointment? Peggy Freydberg
It’s true, the more I get, the more I want. I’m never satisfied, look around, I’m surrounded by books that disappointed, candles that burnout, blenders that get dull. It as if I am the definition of insanity, doing that same thing over and over again, expecting a different result.
But not so fast buckaroo, what if we repurposed our insatiable desires? No I did not bump my head, I found a reason for my calloused finger, my laden cart, my “table runneth over” mentality.
But this is where it gets good, while I’m sheltering at the lake, searching my soul for what it actually desires, it’s as if someone cleaned the window, and I can finally see the majestic mountain waiting to be conquered.
Peggy Freydberg says (and this is why I love her), “find the part of wanting that is every person’s recognition of the endless possibilities of himself (used inclusively). We shape the world toward joy, with our dreams of it.”
We shape the world towards joy with our dreams of it,” she had me at “what is so wrong?” She says we are to find the part of wanting that is hoping and dare to give it praise.
I’m Living in the Gap, curious, what’s in your cart?
- “Sometimes I think the difference between what we want and what we’re afraid of is about the width of an eyelash.” Jay McInerney
- “I’ve come to know that what we want in life is the greatest indication of who we really are.” Richard Paul Evans
- “Wanting something is one thing, but believing you could attain it is another. But in the game of success, nothing tangible ever happens without one believing in its possibility.” Edmond Mbiaka