Reflecting On Circumstances


Do you know how often you were loved? I do; once, though not by my own mother, As children, and as a family, we lived in a sea of wreckage, trying to make sense of our own experiences, and at a loss for feelings or words. Love was not on the menu, but in time, under her direction, I left my childhood home.

Later, during one of those brief periods when I enjoyed something like perspective, a girl’s eyes fell on me, polite, shy in the company of strangers, yet gradually filling with interest, then warmth ,and finally love, as she saw in me all that a girl could wish for in a man or so she thought. I married her, because not to do so would  have been unkind or so I thought: I was wrong!

As what I called “Awareness” returned to me, I looked at what I thought of as being her prosaic ambitions; including a home, children, and an address of suitable anonymity and I became restless until I said, “Life must offer more than this: more than suburban correctitude, church attendance, politeness to neighbours and a sublimation of all desire for adventure,”and so I left her, fuelled by desperation and a determination to tread the unexplored, whatever the cost, because in my youth my brothers in arms were Leonardo de Vinci, Shackleton and John Steinbeck, and to settle for average seemed a despairing comment on the possibilities of life!

Now, after some decades, I have discovered the cost of the vanity which drove me to that action. I have discovered that life really can be both prosaic and beautiful;  wonderful and challenging in a single breath, but now I have no one left with which to share that message.

 I have discovered the price of being “An attendant lord” in the ante-chamber of a hundred noble lives, but I am not yet ready to accept the average day. I will “Rage against the dying of the light,” and refuse to sit on a park bench smiling at the antics of some infant child as if they were endearing.

I will walk on into the darkness seeking an observation worthy of the pain spent in living honestly.  I will not go softly, maturely or with dignity towards my demise. My life has been wild, drunken, joyous, alien and powerfully present, and until I fall into a grave, I hope I can say, “I lived, and happiness or composure, or the correct dress of the hour were never my concern. Somewhere out in this fog bound wilderness we called “Experience,”  is a space named “Profundity” and I am determined to connect with it, though I have yet to do so.”

Emotion is not polite, life is not polite, but, regardless of the cost, I won’t be bound by the conventional. I have become that man, either drunken or mad, who staggers up to you in the Mall, unshaven and possibly un-showered, and says, “Is this it?” and you back away from me because, of course, you are still living a  “Real life,” an ordered life which is something I have failed to maintain for some decades!  I will remain, unless I find myself at last, that most disregarded of individuals: the missed opportunity: a child of the alternative universe, a Sphinx in the corner of your imagination.

About Peter Wells aka Countingducks

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

11 Responses to Reflecting On Circumstances

  1. I really enjoyed reading this, Peter (as I always do) and I appreciated its slightly darker, more ‘serious’ tone. I guess, in the end, we all reach the same conclusion, and does it really matter how we get there? Probably not, but you’ve got to find the way that works for you.
    Excellent.

    Liked by 2 people

  2. beth says:

    I especially love the first paragraph. and we all seem to stumble into who we’ll be in life

    Liked by 2 people

  3. Scarlet says:

    I was always a dreamer – introspective, and living it large in my head – but living this way doesn’t make an exterior mess!
    Thought provoking post, Mr Ducks.
    Sx

    Liked by 2 people

  4. Robin says:

    “I refuse to sit on a park bench smiling at the antics of some infant child as if they were endearing”…so good. Amazing writing as always and always reaches deep.

    Liked by 1 person

  5. Chris Hall says:

    Throw convention out the window! Life is too short. But what really struck a chord here with me was that ‘Is this it?’ was what I (thought I) heard my mother-in-law say at the moment of her passing when I was tucked up in bed 100 miles away.

    Liked by 2 people

  6. So… it was you what’s been hiding in my wardrobe.

    Liked by 1 person

  7. judithhb says:

    As always Peter, thought-provoking! I immediately thought of the Don McLaine song, Castles in the Air – For I will not be part of the cocktail generation…But in truth that song has been playing in my head for some time.

    Liked by 1 person

  8. Al says:

    In this dangerous day and age, going out of the house unarmored and unarmed is all the adventure many of us can handle. Would that it were not so.

    Like

  9. nelle says:

    Very clever… some of us have wandered wrong turns.

    Like

  10. Jack Eason says:

    Reblogged this on Have We Had Help? and commented:
    More from Peter…

    Like

  11. usfman says:

    I imagine some hard living person like Ernest Hemingway might be your hero.

    Like

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