Thursday, August 25, 2005

Post-Holiday Blues 

Two weeks, and not a new word written, hardly a new thought thought. It would be easy to dismiss this loss of attention with a shrug and say that life got in the way, but that’s not altogether true and in any case it misses the point; a glib remark like that can mask something altogether more significant going on under the surface.

Of course, I should have seen it coming, and been prepared. But instead of spotting the brambles on the path ahead and sidestepping, them I blundered straight on and got entangled. After the release, the reawakening of The Shock of the New comes the entrapment that could be dubbed the amnesia (or is it anaesthesia?) of the old – back at work, instead of experiencing the familiar surroundings in the light of newly-expanded awareness, the very familiarity of these surroundings triggers old associations, and force of habit leads thought patterns dutifully back to the tired old paths of same old treadmill.

I could just label this as post holiday blues, tell myself to snap out of it and get on with living: yes, of course we’d all like the freedom to roam at will, to explore and experience, or simply to sit still and be, but real life doesn’t work like that, does it? Real life is a grind and these occasional moments of freedom when the chains are loosened for a while are nothing more than a morsel thrown to a starving soul to keep it alive in its prison just a little longer.

[Aside: I haven’t got it yet, have I? Freedom or slavery; life or death; joy or sorrow - I haven’t figured out how to see both-and instead of either-or. Even that last sentence ironically illustrates itself…]

There is a ray of hope though. I can see two messages in all of this:

This contrast reinforces yet again (as if any more should be needed) the degree to which I don’t fit in my role in the organisation for which I work; for the sake of my own health, I must find an alternative way of making a living.

The second lesson is more encouraging: taken out of the toxic environment in which I feel so stifled, and given a few breaths of clean, pure oxygen, life returns to the soul.

Last Wednesday, whilst still enjoying the holiday after-glow, I made the comment at counselling that whereas before I’d felt trapped in a box, now I felt bigger than the box, almost overflowing it. The immediacy of that feeling may have gone now, but an echo of it still remains, if I listen for it. Maybe that’s the key which unlocks the box, the means to break that inside-outside dichotomy. Overflowing is being both inside AND outside.

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