Sometimes I find myself out of harmony with the world around me, as well as that world within me. This seems to happen more frequently than I would prefer. I know these occasions allow me to build character, whether I am prepared to be worked on or not. I may pull myself together, find my peace once again, while alone and tapping at my keyboard, but that activity can also fail me. Sometimes I just need to take a long walk on the beach and let the pulse of the crashing surf re-energize my thoughts and emotions. Then come days when nothing seems to work, where my inner peace feels as if shattered by exterior forces that I cannot easily describe or discern, as if a wave of negative energy has struck me, as if someone has come into my garden and ripped out all my flowers while I am sleeping. I don’t have any magic formula, a place to go, a way to think, a voice soft enough to pierce through my anxiety and quell it. I struggle to get back to where I know I should be. It’s not despair or depression that I suffer from when I have such misgivings, but more like a sense of alienation, of not belonging, which gives arise to slight attacks of anxiety. My uncle in Missouri says that he feels pixelated.

My voice is developing an occasional quavering. I’ve stopped drinking so much coffee. I like to blame the quavering on aging. That sounds like me. If I ever tripped over my own feet and broke an arm I would prefer to blame it on the wind. The amount of natural energy flowing through me has dwindled. I have attempted to compensate by just pretending that everything is working well for me, that all the wonderful motion of the sea is washing me free. I can put on this smiling mask for others so that they will not apprehend the uneasiness that I feel with my surroundings, the alienation I sometimes feel in my soul. Such a people pleaser, me, thinking it’s important to make others feel good about me, when most do not much give a hoot anyhow about how I feel. In my younger days my rebelliousness caused me to be the same way, to disregard the thoughts and feelings of others, to not be at all concerned if I disturbed the composure of those around me. I’m not sure that growing more sensitive is a good survival skill in a world that seems to be growing in insensitivity, but that is the trend I observe in this town.

Fixating on myself, my shortcomings, my disappointments, my weaknesses, is perhaps the wrong thing to do. I feel some sense of edification in examining my experience and recording it. My religious sense tells me not to dwell on my own insignificance, but on the magnificence of heavenly and angelic powers. It seems so abstract and elusive, this concept that my problems and my struggling, wobbling life are only a tiny piece of the bigger reality. When I first started using computers, the internet as we now know it had not yet been invented, so the idea that my computer was part of something much bigger and unidentifiable did not seem possible. Now of course I see my computer as a mere portal to the bigger cybersphere. I should see my connections with what is beyond me in the same manner–incredible, but quite true. When I adopt and align with that fundamental understanding of reality, I suddenly find the possibility of finding a peace within that defies my comprehension.

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