Carousel, photo by Sreejith K, used under cc license, with attribution.
[In looking through my files for a poem I had written a year ago, I came across this in a draft form, instead. It seemed both timely and relevant, so today I share it with you.]
There was a time when I remember looking at the adult world that I had thought was going to be so wonderful and asking, is this all there is?
The disappointment was crushing.
Grown ups were as ignorant/cruel/thoughtless as the kids I didn't understand and who didn't understand me. I wasn't sure when I became a grown up - perhaps it was when I turned 18 or 21; when I graduated with my masters degree; when I was a working adult; when I got married - but no matter when the demarcation occurred, I didn't suddenly develop a sense of competence or confidence.
It felt like nothing changed; not me, not the world around me.
Now, in my most mindful moments, I look and I say, all there is is this. And I say that with a sense of wonder, of constant amazement at the beauty and terror in the world around me.
I am learning to say 'this, too'. Even to the feelings of fear, of insecurity, of impatience, of envy. I know I am flawed. The world is flawed, everyone in it, flawed.
We are spinning in orbit anyway, all of us dizzy with mortality on this merry-go-round. We don't get to know when the music will change or stop. We don't get to pick our animal. We didn't even buy the ticket to the carousel.
One day, we were just there.
What I understand is that so many of my fellow travelers don't or can't realize this. They grip the reigns and whip their horses believing they can get to the finish line and win.
Win what? They don't even know.
But they try anyway.
I think I want to slip from my horse and walk around the platform. I want to talk to the other riders, admire the unicorn, the griffin, the dragon, watch the blur of colors at the edge of the moving circle, listen to the rise and fall of the music. I want to laugh.
I want to laugh at the riders who hunch over their brightly colored creatures, seeing only the rump of the horse in front. Not laugh at them in mockery, but in delight, with a sense of possibility and hope.
Look around. The platform is spinning, spinning, spinning beneath us all. Look, I want to say, see how the rider in front of you is desperate to reach the one in front of them?