A New Perspective

 “What do you want from life?” a friend asked me once: we were both twenty- one at the time: 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 of unsentimental observations painted on canvas, incanted in verse, written in music or in 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. The further you go into the unknown, the more you discover your insignificance: there is no companionship, no church bells here, or children playing in the snow: only a darkness that devours your context or 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 accepted. 

About Peter Wells aka Countingducks

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

13 Responses to A New Perspective

  1. I relate. Some of us question life as a whole most days and risk falling in the hole because of that. I’m with you, now 67 years old: Acceptance is key, in all ways – what else can we do?


  2. beth says:

    accepting ourselves first, than offering the opportunity to others is key


  3. The penultimate paragraph is brilliant.


  4. syreal17 says:

    there is good company in the void of deep space, but we are all too scattered to know each other, much less hear each other. I too have made my way home from the hostile extremes of star and void and found the Earth that much greener than when i left


  5. Michael Graeme says:

    Good one!


  6. tiostib says:

    A message of simple yet profound truth, one of a series I’ve been given lately to remind me to be humble. Thank you.


  7. Robin says:

    That last paragraph. YES.


  8. I was having a bad day until I read this! Fantastic.


  9. Beautiful! This really resonated.


  10. nelle says:

    A common goal of all, but so elusive.


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