I’m two weeks away from my 28th birthday, and this final stretch of being 27 has got me in a saturn return, Janis Joplin, Jimi Hendrix, Jim Morrison et. al. stranglehold. Proof of suggestion–this email I wrote to Beth last night:
Dear Beth—So filled with existential dread tonight. Up at 4:13am lying here dreaming of a life without borders, no guidelines, the absurdity of how we conduct our daily selves. I’ve glimpsed the real, we’ve tasted the truth….nights in Mexico walking on beaches with dark-skinned boys, days in Tahoe inhaling the wind, the pine sap so potent it makes you giddy….so what are we doing here in this dirty city, thinking these dark thoughts? L.A. was our destination from Tahoe home, to be it make it become it….but what if we already did it and were it? What if we fucked up by coming here, compromising our fiery voices, our unique points of view? All I want to do is look at oversized art books, read Pablo Neruda and make little movies with you. I do none of these things. Instead I drive in my metal machine around this town, speaking stories but not writing them down. Can we go to the beach, to the mountains, to the moon? Can you grab your long shawl and that funky black hat and I’ll pack my new moccasins and your beaded earrings I haven’t given back yet and we’ll drive away from this noise, from all this unnatural electricity, and we’ll get back to that moment on my loveseat in Reno, watching the clouds roll in, drinking beer in the afternoon? Love—Erin
This morning I picked up my copy of The Power of Now, which I haven’t looked at since I was 23 and living in New Zealand and feeling similarly humbled and hopeless in the face of the weight of existence. This helped:
“Does is matter whether we achieve our outer purpose, whether we succeed or fail in the world?
It will matter to you as long as you haven’t realized your inner purpose. After that, the outer purpose is just a game that you may continue to play simply because you enjoy it. It is also possible to fail completely in your outer purpose and at the same time succeed totally in your inner purpose. Or the other way around, which is more common: outer riches and inner poverty. Or to “gain the world but lose your soul.” Ultimately, of course, every outer purpose is doomed to “fail” sooner or later, simply because it is subject to the law of impermanence of all things. When you have seen the limitations of your outer purpose, you give up your unrealistic expectation that it should make you happy, and you make it subservient to your inner purpose.”
So what’s my inner purpose? To make art, be a warrior of love, be a good daughter, sister, friend. Those I know of sure. But there’s more. What is it? Where are you? Help me figure you out.
Here’s a depressing poem I wrote, trying to describe these feelings:
The lonely artist, the lonely gaze
Can't see my truth, fighting through the haze
Jobs for pretty,
but none for words
Want to make beauty, describe the light on birds
Need to slow down
Forced to rev up
Already wanting more, than's given in my cup
The disease of the mind
The sick of the soul
How can I be so young,
and feel so fucking old?
Thank you, Garth Brooks, for inspiring that last line. An image: