I wrote that book, embarrassing as it may be, as a way to reinforce a young person, to help them identify insecurities, so that young people wouldn't have to go through the kind of pains I went through in the phenomenon of young love. I wrote that book to help young people feel that it was okay to be themselves, shy, awkward, ineffective, frustrated as they try to grow, to show that being overly thoughtful and idealistic are growing conditions and pains normal to the process. I wrote that book to show what the young animal is like at that stage.
The book ends as it does, characters leaving the town, to leave silent the space they will inhabit. The book leaves out the years of wandering and lack of happiness and any sort of lasting satisfaction. That's how life is sometimes. One moment you're at a great school, and the next you're struggling to get by. I would hope it is of some service to humanity to raise a note of caution, a way to avoid making the mistakes of youth and indirection, the mistakes that happen when a young person is trying to find himself.
The first day off I do yoga, and then a slow walk up Massachusetts Avenue and past the mosque and over the bridge to where there is a pasture that slopes down to the eastward side. Today there are the stalks of dandelions in seeding stage, the grass richly green in the late afternoon sun. I reach it. The ground is soft as I walk over it, and there is a quiet away from the road. I walk down very slowly, robins hopping about, and down to the stream, by a dirt deer path, and out on the park trail along the creek that will lead me along a nice stretch and to the bridge I stop and look down from, the small fish, alewives, slipping around each other like eels in groups of ten and twenty.
No, I'm not that much of a tough guy. That act can only get you into trouble, and here in this patch of nature I can be the idiot I am, able to think freer than the sidewalk along the embassies can allow.
Happy are the insecure, for they will find security when they wake up and realize it's okay to be insecure, less the need to hide from it with varying strategies. The strategies will one day not work, and one day you'll find yourself facing that. On the good side is the work you've done, glossing insecurity over less than is generally done.
I would sit somewhere and look over the stream and the woods, or even lay down in the grass, but I will have to make my walk back and by the time I do get back I will be hungry, having skipped breakfast to do yoga. And the yoga was worth it.
One can get the sense sometimes that you can try to fit in, but that it's either not all that worth it or that it cannot honestly be done. One does it for monetary reasons, sure, but...
After all the insecurities and all the pains of not belonging, of existing around edges, of not seeming able to really get what you are supposed to do, the way you're supposed to live your life, indeed, you do find a feeling of being welcomed by the quiet things of God and prayer and Buddhas. And that's what gets you through, while allowing you to still be honest with yourself.
And that's a lesson hidden within all of us, encoding us so that one day we might come to see that. Thus the seeming strange ways of our earlier paths, the strictness of them, the way we can only be detached from our own fond wishes some times. The mind that knows deeper wisdom leads us even then in happy days of youth. As the Buddha says somewhere, it matters not what path one take, I am there to meet him or her.
Well, I suppose I've been at fault, treating the world as a place of scarcity rather than abundance. Hiding out from life. Letting nights slip away into the ego's own wishes, enduring, not trusting the wisdom of Atman self. Afraid to make the moves I needed to make, say good bye to bad habit. Thinking that's all there was. Hiding out. Feeling guilty. It was my own attitude. Not trusting.