Insecure. Not secure. I’ve often wondered about what we think is secure. There are structures and machines and implements we use every day, trusting that they will work. For the most part they do, until something happens. A failure from within or a failure from without or a lapse in judgement by the user or a glitch that occurs with the person themselves like passing out at the wheel.
I think about it when I drive over an old bridge. I remember when the bridge in West Virginia collapsed so many years ago. Inspectors were sent out and bridges of the same age were inspected. On some TV show the subject was our crumbling road system. All of us depend on it and it is hard to keep in adequate repair. Earthquake proof it, shore it up, protect it from the wind, strengthen it. Still inevitably it is not 100% secure. It is not.
Now we choose each day to just go along trusting that things will work like they are supposed to. We age and our body plays dirty tricks on us. Our mind does too. As much as we want everything to stay status quo it does not. Over the course of a few days, a few months things gradually change. Sometimes in a matter of minutes something occurs that changes our life. Those events wipe out a sense of security very quickly.
Our son’s birthday was this past Monday. I didn’t write that day. There was nothing new I could say.
His dad and I along with his sister feel the weight of the insecurity that hovers like a cloud over our life. I question things I never thought I would question.
We go through the motions a lot of the time. Everything, absolutely everything has been dulled down, has a little less flavor, is not quite so funny, not nearly as sweet. Maybe part of this perception is self preservation. We all bear a deep deep wound and don’t want that to happen again. Avoidance perhaps. Insecurity.
What anchors us here? What carefully crafted ideas and assumptions were built to bridge our days from youth to old age? It was easier when I didn’t think about these questions.
I really want to talk to my son about all this. He was one of the person’s whose insights, though so different from my own shed light on so many things. I want to share a quiet moment with him too. Just the two of us, like before. The anchoring moments of time spent quietly in each other’s company -comfortable in the silence.
“So!” he would say and punctuate the moment. “So, mom . . . “
I am exhausted. I have wrestled daily with the horrible insecurity I feel. I have wrestled with God and most days now I just ignore Him. I find so little comfort there. I feel insecure in the tradition I grew up in. I quite honestly don’t know what to believe . It seems like another man-made construct at times manipulated to suit whatever fits the individual best. It breaks my heart because it is tied up in the death of my son.
I wish I were still blissfully ignorant. I wish I could go back, reboot, back up a date somewhere else in my timeline.
Today I am going to have to work on my mask. I have an interview with a person who will be featuring me and my art in a local publication. I have to put on a good face. I have to pretend that I am secure in what I am doing and why.
The series of paintings I have been working on is called “in a different light”. It is how I think about the world now. It is the same place, but in a different light that changes everything. Things once hidden are revealed, colors change like moods, shadows are not the same. No going back. No standing still. Just moving for the sake of moving regardless of how insecure we feel.