The High Water Mark

“What can I know? What ought I to do? What can I hope?”

Immanuel Kant

We all have moments that seem like we’re grasping for a rope that dangles right above our heads. Those moments that feel like the boat that you’re rowing is succumbing to the current that is pulling in the opposite direction. The gut feeling that even though you know what you’re supposed to be doing, what you know is right, and what you want to happen, isn’t actually going to happen. It’s a feeling like a sucker punch in the stomach and a left jab to the chin.

The only thing that you can grasp onto, even when things are getting a bit dark, deep, and heavy is the notion that you know what you’re supposed to do. You know what the outcome that you need is withing your grasp….all it takes is for you to make the proper decision, to make the right movements, and to not only “hope”, but plan on success.

I’ll be the first one to say that I’ve sat there and made poor decisions and had “hope” for the best. I’ve lost lots of things that I loved because I made really bad decisions and “hoped” that things were going to turn out okay. End of story, they didn’t turn out “okay” and I ended up losing lots of things that were important to me. I threw it away on a whim, I guess it was more of an ignorance as to what I should have been doing. I always wondered why I could be lead askew so much, but it beamed me on the head like a cabinet that you weren’t expecting while perking up to answer a telephone call.

“Polish Holiday”

That’s what my parents called it when I was a kid and I just flat out didn’t want to go to school. I would gripe, moan and groan and instead of telling me “no, you have to go to school” most of the time I’d get  “polish holiday”, in which I would get called in as being under the weather. This habit has followed me into adult hood, and although I know better….it’s also what I know. I ought to be out of, well, whatever obligation I have. I used to also hope that everything would work out.

“The notion that A in the past caused B in the present, which will cause C in the future, when actually A, B, and C are all part of a pattern that can be truly understood only by opening the doors of perception and experiencing it.”

-Tom Wolfe
Things didn’t work out, they were all a mess, and it was a matter of me not understanding the fact that A+B=C. For the number of times that I had read the book by Tom Wolfe (the Electric Kool-Aid Acid Test), I always respected the fact that they were of an enlightened matter. They really “dug” what was going on, and well, I only wished that I knew what was “going on”. I reflected on preliminary Psychology courses that I had taken and about the imagery of sticking your hand in a fire and learning that it hurt, and the mental progression that occurs because of it. It wasn’t clicking, for some reason, it was like an empty sewing machine bobbin, trying to click along, but being empty at the same time.

“There are times, however, and this is one of them, when even being right feels wrong. What do you say, for instance, about a generation that has been taught that rain is poison and sex is death? If making love might be fatal and if a cool spring breeze on any summer afternoon can turn a crystal blue lake into a puddle of black poison right in front of your eyes, there is not much left except TV and relentless masturbation. It’s a strange world. Some people get rich and others eat shit and die.”
Hunter S. Thompson

I realized that I was living on he coattails of the rest of the world, trying to be what I thought the world wanted me to be, and in the end it was an equation of A+B=Not me. Trying to live a life that wasn’t really “me” caused my equation to be all off. I was doing things that I didn’t fully understand, and at the same time, worrying about puddle of black that didn’t exist and a fatal rain storm. I call it an eating disorder.

I think there might be a lot of us that have our equations a little off, perhaps our A plus B is equating to a poison rain, but in all actuality it’s more of a dance in the rain. Our A plus B is more of dip in a cool pool as opposed to a black poison. Certain times in our lives the mental poison that soaks in isn’t easy to overcome.

Maybe, just maybe, you don’t get it, perhaps your A+B always adds up, but for some it doesn’t. Sometimes the sum doesn’t add up quite right and we suffer in silence, unsure how to elaborate. I had an experience today that reminds me that life is fragile, and sometimes A+B doesn’t equal anything, it just adds up to giving up. Life is hard, without help, and without support, anyone, even those that seem strong and powerful could still need a boost up.

“with the right kind of eyes you can almost see the high-water mark—that place where the wave finally broke and rolled back.”
Hunter S Thompson

We’ve all had our wave broke, but there are many that aren’t able to struggle above the wave and keep our heads above water. When the wave rolls back, where will you be?


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