Changing Ambitions


“What do you want from life?” a friend asked me once: we were both twenty- one: two adventurers on the road to glory: two comrades with stories to discover. I looked up, squinting at my glass of cut-price wine and said, “Truth, some kind of closure: to be present at that moment when conscious life first moved onto dry land” and they smiled and I said, “What about you?”

“I want to be a solicitor” they said and we both laughed, because that was us: the practical and the dreamer, the strategist and the mad man searching for the definition of a timeless present which I later discovered is a form of alienation. You became a solicitor surrounded by family and bathed in comfort while I remained the proverbial wolf howling in darkness, but we still have our friendship and our wonder at the shape of life.

Truth we felt back then was a destination and place of mystery hidden in ambiguities. The works of art we liked offered no solution but were full, we thought, of unsentimental observations painted on canvas, incanted in verse, written in music or the novels of the great. We promised we would not spare ourselves in the search for some definition or profound insight. We did not understand our promise.

Only years later did I realise that in deep space any noise you hear is not one that living creature’s make: there is only darkness which devours your context or a blinding light impervious to human feeling.

At last, after years of hurling myself at the unknowable I realised I did not wish to understand, so much as to be understood: to value others and be valued and discover harmony in another’s spirit. After years in the wilderness I discovered what I most wanted was to be loved.

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About Peter Wells aka Countingducks

Trying to remember what my future is
This entry was posted in character, creative writing, Fiction, Humanity, Life, Peter Wells, Relationships, Romance, Understanding and tagged , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

18 Responses to Changing Ambitions

  1. There is a very sobering truth to this piece, Peter, particularly the realisation that our youthful hopes and dreams are often built on sand. At times altruist thought is replaced by the practicalities of ‘living’: do we suffer for it? Perhaps, but then one cannot compare two futures when one has never occurred.
    Sorry, you got me on a train of thought here!

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  2. mikesteeden says:

    A truly splendid cameo of life

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  3. Al says:

    Beautifully stated, Peter. We never stop seeking acceptance, from our first childhood friendships to our late in life endeavors, it’s all about acceptance of our place in it all.

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  4. restlessjo says:

    If we all did a little more ,accepting. it would be a very much better world, Peter.
    I hope you won’t be alienated this festive season. They’re not always as much fun as everyone makes out. Best wishes for 2016 🙂

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  5. This is extraordinary! Thank you! I actually burst into tears – albeit briefly!

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  6. ksbeth says:

    it’s what we are born longing for and die longing for. the in between is when we often lose sight of that for a while. great piece, peter.

    Liked by 1 person

  7. nelle says:

    We human have a variety of interests and motivations, the buttons that work with one fail on another. Some are drawn to acceptance, and some by different paths. Thank you for taking me on a walk down this road.

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  8. olganm says:

    Thanks, Peter. I guess if we ever come to accepting ourselves we’ll be halfway there.

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  9. What a great line: We did not understand our promise. How true–what we dream of as the key to happiness in youth so often proves impossible in the fullness of knowledge. Well written, Peter.

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  10. WOW.
    You are brilliant and beautiful, Peter. xxxxxx

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  11. Wow… I am left a bit just breathless reading this. Just wow Peter I mean wow. Sorry I need to go catch my words now.

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  12. davidjrogersftw says:

    Beautifully written, Peter

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  13. And thus was it ever. By the time we old enough to forget everything, we’re pretty darned wise, eh?

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  14. kutukamus says:

    Having continuing revelations is what life is all about, I guess 🙂

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  15. Therein lies a tale – the pursuit of happiness or the pursuit of dreams and their consequences. Perhaps the truth of life really lies in one stroke of a butterfly’s wing? Do we really shape our futures at all?

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