Sometimes you can think too big (my parents would have said so).
Ever since childhood I’ve wanted something ‘more’, something ‘different’, something ‘special’, something ‘beyond the ordinary’. Probably because of my parents’ attitude, I came to believe that only special people did special things. ‘Ordinary’ people like me didn’t become great opera stars, for instance (they do, of course, but I didn’t know that then). My mother even told me that a friend’s daughter was an opera singer, and that it was a ‘terrible life’.
My parents only ambition for their children was for the two girls to get married and have children, and the two boys to get good ‘safe’ jobs. I suppose that’s not uncommon for people who had been through a world war and a depression. ‘Adventure’ didn’t come into the picture.
My siblings and I, in today’s education world, would have been put in the ‘gifted and talented’ category, yet nobody encouraged us in childhood to consider being artists, writers, scientists, travellers, university professors. Wanting to be anything but ordinary, to my parents’ minds, was ‘having tickets on yourself.’
So I grew up with a yearning that my conditioning told me could never be fulfilled.
Fast forward fifty+ years …
Mine is not a long-living family. My father died at 67, my mother at 71, my sister at 68. Then came my cancer diagnosis. OK, so, for the time being at least, I’ve survived that. But even if I live another 20 years, it’s not long is it. Twenty years is nothing.
Having faced my mortality, I find that I don’t want to die before I do that ‘special something’. Trouble is, I don’t know what that is. Before the cancer thing, I would have said I wanted to be the best artist I could be, but now that doesn’t seem to matter … especially as I haven’t developed any area of the arts to any great extent. There’s a feeling that the ‘something more’ I yearn for is something I haven’t yet discovered.
Or is that just another side-effect of medication!
I’ve had a lot of time to reflect on all this over the last year, and in the absence of any answers, I thought I’d better push on with the stones project, even though the impetus had slackened.
Back to wrapping stones.
I explored online, and found lots of people doing lovely things with stones. Then I came upon a Japanese tradition of stone-wrapping.
I rather liked this idea of tome ishi, or Sekimori ishi, and made my version as a present for a friend on her birthday. She thought it too nice to put out in the garden and has it on display inside her house.
I think I’ve just had an enlightenment! The paths I’ve really wanted to follow in life have all had ‘stop stones’ on them.
Perhaps my life purpose is to identify and remove them.
(Or could it be that one’s life purpose is to discover one’s life purpose.)