I’m taking this week off from a few things — most notably, as much as possible, forward motion — because a few things have occurred to me recently (as recently as the past thirty minutes, in fact).
I was listening to a Porcupine Tree compilation disc that I made myself not too long ago, and Stop Swimming came on. I’ve always read the lyrics to be about suicide (and let’s ignore for a moment that you can infer a lot from the interpretations that listeners make about lyrics, etc.), and listening to the song as a whole doesn’t stop me from coming to that same conclusion. But my favorite bit comes right in the middle of the song, and tonight’s frame of mind put the words in a new context for me:
Maybe it’s time to stop swimming
Maybe it’s time to find out where I’m at
What I should do and where I should be
But no one will give me a map
And then, reading over a few of my favorite blogs, I was struck by how few stories I feel like I have to tell. Which is weird; I’m thirty four, and I genuinely feel like I’ve lived more life than most people ten years my senior. It’s not that I have nothing to say (although the validity and importance of which can easily be argued amongst yourselves). It’s not that I’m intimidated by other writers, or have no voice of my own. It’s not that I’m not experienced in plenty of areas — hell, right now, I’m a designer, a computer nerd, a bartender, a musician, a filmmaker, and a writer. A single guy. A Southerner. I’m many, many things, giving me many, many perspectives on life.
And it hits me: I’m too busy living to appreciate any of it, to enjoy any of it, or even make notes of any of it. Head down, shoulders squared, I charge through each day just trying to make it to the next one lately. I’m passing a hundred stories a day without hearing or seeing or living any of them on any more than a cursory level.
Maybe it’s time to stop swimming. Just for a bit. No map required; just a little reconsideration…