It's that time of year for me, that time when my unquiet heart and melancholy spirit join up and take bets on which one can drive me nearest if not over the edge first.
I spend much of my life really quite lonely. I've good friends and family who love me and whom I love very much, but still I seem to live the lonely side of life. Even when I'm amongst friends and laughing I quite often feel the most alone. And truly, the saddest.
It's an interesting mix to live with to be sure, and not one I always want to live with. I've gone for more years than I can remember, probably since ages 13 or 14, with a single thought that has, without fail, crossed my mind at least once if not more than once a day as a companion on a life long journey that just doesn't quite know how to shut tha frakk up or pick their moments better. The professionals call it "suicidal ideation", a delightfully clinical term that basically means that at least once a day I think to myself, "wouldn't it be nice to stop now?"
In reading a story from someone whom I admire a great deal and who has the same general shadow following his life as well, made a rather brilliant and educated connection that has eluded me until now. Shakespeare really was a brilliant soul with understanding beyond the ages for someone of his time.
I had read Hamlet in school, and after a few times also, but until recently I'd not made the connection of one of the soliloquies to my own life. I can't remember when, probably at some point in the last 2 or 3 years I made that connection. And it still stands true to me now.
That "shadow thought, companion" of mine for all these years as simply been a conversation I've been having with myself on repeat... To be, or not to be....
"To be, or not to be--that is the question:
Whether 'tis nobler in the mind to suffer
The slings and arrows of outrageous fortune
Or to take arms against a sea of troubles
And by opposing end them. To die, to sleep--No more--and by a sleep to say we end
The heartache, and the thousand natural shocks
That flesh is heir to. 'Tis a consummation, Devoutly to be wished. To die, to sleep--To sleep--perchance to dream: ay, there's the rub,
For in that sleep of death what dreams may come
When we have shuffled off this mortal coil, Must give us pause.
There's the respect
That makes calamity of so long life.
For who would bear the whips and scorns of time,
Th' oppressor's wrong, the proud man's contumely
The pangs of despised love, the law's delay,
The insolence of office, and the spurns
That patient merit of th' unworthy takes,
When he himself might his quietus make
With a bare bodkin?
Who would fardels bear,
To grunt and sweat under a weary life,
But that the dread of something after death,
The undiscovered country, from whose bourn.
No traveller returns, puzzles the will,
And makes us rather bear those ills we have Than fly to others that we know not of?
Thus conscience does make cowards of us all,
And thus the native hue of resolution
Is sicklied o'er with the pale cast of thought,
And enterprise of great pitch and moment
With this regard their currents turn awry
And lose the name of action."
Something to read very closely and ponder. I suspect it will reach more than it bewilders. And if so I simply say I thank you for your love and for your kindness, for your patience and your peace, for your caring and your time.