For the most part we humans live with the false impression of security and a feeling of being at home in a seemingly trustworthy physical and human environment. But when the expected course of everyday life is interrupted, we are like shipwrecked people on a miserable plank in the open sea, having forgotten where they came from and not knowing whither they are drifting.
— Albert Einstein
Capricious though I may be, like most I enjoy the comfort of the everyday routine and the security of the familiar. Never has that been truer than when I arrived home this weekend after more than two weeks away.
The literal road home passed quickly enough. The metaphorical road home remains a path to be traveled in the future. For now a kaleidoscope of gray swirls over the trail ahead, a deluge of confetti enveloped in eternal susurrus. Like fog at the roadside, tendrils of confusion seek to obscure the lines and hide the way.
I am not myself and I am not certain when a return to normalcy will occur. Perhaps the scale must be reset for a new normal. Or perhaps patience is all that is required. Unfortunately no one can say which to expect.
Repeating things to myself over and over again has helped me find some measure of light in the perpetual shadow. A line from Henry David Thoreau’s journal most especially echoed in my clouded mind: “The hangman whom I have seen cannot bury me.”
And while I continue repeating that to myself each day, it rests coupled with an admission that, while I refuse to let the hangman bury me, I cannot stop him from irrevocably changing me. Again—and how sick I am of being told this truth—only time will tell.
When I wrote the bridge to nowhere series, it came as preemptive for what I knew would follow, albeit preemptive only insofar as I knew something would happen even if I did not know what would happen. Now with the gift of hindsight, I have decided to go ahead with that series, although I will redact it with the new reality of things.
I will also endeavor to step back into engagement both here on my blog and in the greater online world, though I say now that absence remains your surest bet, at least for the time being. For the road home begins only where the bridge to nowhere ends.
Roads go ever ever on
Under cloud and under star,
Yet feet that wandering have gone
Turn at last to home afar.
Eyes that fire and sword have seen
And horror in the halls of stone
Look at last on meadows green
And trees and hills they long have known.
— J. R. R. Tolkien