Sunday, June 22, 2008
One day while rocking errands at school I walked into an elevator and hit the button for some floor above me. Its doors slowly closed and I felt the slight increase in my own weight as the box in which I stood moved upward. Then I felt nothing. The door, however, did not open to let me out onto a new level. There was no button I could press to set me loose, so I opened the panel in the wall behind which a phone should have been. I discovered only loose telephone wires. A cell phone check revealed that, inside this metal tomb, Verizon could not quite hear me now. After some beating and yelling, I tried my phone one more time. I made the best use ever of a single bar and got through to some assistance. Then I waited.
While I was in that elevator, all of my projects were suspended. Unless thoughts are also actions, I could do nothing. The moments of panic that accompanied the discovery of my stuck-ness fell away, and in their place I discovered perhaps the deepest peace that I have ever felt. Suspended between floors, I was free from all responsibility. The range of my movement was nothing. I felt no pressure for tasks undone. I felt no guilt for ill-made moves that I needed to correct. I was encased in box that had forgotten its purpose and because of this I could forget mine. It was quiet. I was quiet.
Even now, before I have even finished packing, I can feel this strange feeling of peace encroaching upon me. The frustrating weight of my projects is already lightening. I can feel the possibility of a free thought. This must be what is meant by escape. Perhaps daily life presents a tether that holds just as fast to those who love it as to those who wish they could realize something greater. For better or worse, I can feel this tether loosen. I wish I could get every last affair in order before I rock this exit. I wish I could hang out with every friend, get clear on every idea and make good on every promise. But I can’t quite manage this even when I have nothing but time in town. So I will settle for hearing my life fade as I give myself over to a new project. In Uganda, my tomb, my encasement, will be that strange esoteric border that exists from the moment I press record and hold a microphone out to the world.
at 1:43 AM