Once, while visiting a friend in California, a stranger saw me. Not just me…but me. I was sitting alone in the lobby, waiting for aforementioned friend to return from his room so we could go get some dinner, and the stranger pushed open the double glass doors and walked by. He nodded and smiled at me, and I returned the unspoken sentiment. Then he proceeded out into the oblivion that all chance passings wander into. I found out later that this stranger had seen into my soul and found a disconcerting ocean of pain that I was unconscious of. He was so struck by its magnitude that he went to find someone who knew me…to help me.
I know it’s there now. It’s a well of sadness which springs from somewhere I can’t fathom. Most of the time, it just sits silently, observing me as I dance and spin my way through the day. But then there are the times that it slips over its normal boundaries and floods over into the plain of my everyday reality. It will take only a small, random event. A comment. A small broken promise with shattered wings unable to fly to me. A stumble on a tiny pebble of failure. And the streams of dark water come from that well, wrapping me tenderly in a blanket of pain, confusion, and helplessness; from my head to toe. The restless spirit and cry for something more will echo slowly into a scream inside of me…that I’ll probably never verbally release. This isn’t right, this life. This isn’t what’s supposed to happen, and I ache with every molecule for something more fulfilling. And for some reason, it feels wrong and unnatural…but I don’t mind it at all. I used to call it depression, until I learned to love it. I used to call it introspection until I learned that often times it’s not an intellectual process.
C.S. Lewis calls this ache “joy”.
Oh, there you are…I’ve been searching for you so long...