Sunday, January 24, 2010

An Astronaut's Swimming Lessons

The only line that is true is the line you're from.

I didn't want to be this guy. I didn't want to be that daily blog updater. Well, it is past midnight so I suppose technically this isn't a daily thing. Like I said: I don't want to be that guy, and like I implied in the previous entry: I don't like blogs. I feel like I'm tossing another coin into this glass-walled fountain. "Look at me everyone, I'm contributing again!" This is an awkward self-gratification. I'm not a fan, but it is moderately addicting to have a place to compose prose and not have it clog the arteries of my computer.

So where are we now?

Kara is asleep in her hotel room in Boston recuperating from a bug of some sort while I am posted up at home in Connecticut feeling my nasal passage slowly start to congest. Twenty-two hours now until our departure. Do I still feel calm? No. Am I nervous? No. I am more aware. I'm certain this comparison is way off, but at the moment it's the only thing I can think of: An astronaut sits in the darkness of his bedroom scanning the night sky. It is his last night on Earth for a while and he knows he should be sleeping and enjoying the comfort of his home, but instead he gazes outward. He spies the big dipper, then the moon. It hits him. That rolling rock, that spinning sphere of iron, sulfur, nickel, oxygen, magnesium, calcium, will all soon be closer than he is used to. What up to this point was only represented by words on the hundreds of papers he signed his name to is now very real and very soon.

I consider myself a fairly stable individual, but on the rare occasion Old Lady Life has a tendency to edge her cane around my ankles and give a sharp tug. I stumbled and couldn't catch my fall this time. This evening as I attempted to pack my existence into two pieces of luggage, my breathing pattern suddenly halted and I grew dizzy. Everything around me froze. Forcing down a gulp of air, I experienced that familiar defibrillating charge of anxiety as reality punched me in the gut shouting "Life is live!" In this instant, time shot forward like one of those spaceships in sci-fi movies bursting into hyperdrive. The present and future became one.

Until now I had grown so used to filling out forms dealing with my semester in Italy, it had not truly set in that I was actually going to Florence. As I hyperventilated, trembled, and whimpered I grew overwhelmed. To contribute this panic attack to the next four months is a misjudgment. I have never been one succumb to homesickness. I do, however, get nervous when entering new situations. The situation--my moon--I was envisioning was not Italy, but the future as a whole.

Today was my birthday. Well, that's a lie, I was born on January 31st. Today my father, mother, and younger sister celebrated my upcoming birthday. I celebrated the future. I celebrated the ocean through which I swim and the inevitable: uncertainty. Who ever claimed you can change the future is looking at it all wrong. You can change the present as it comes, but the future will always be one step ahead and--pardon my Italian--that scares the shit out of me. Knowing this I have no choice but to embrace the unknown. I can't stop swimming so I exhale and keep going.

- Brendan

For more information, give this a listen: Blind Pilot - "One Red Thread"

No comments:

Post a Comment