I was standing there at Terminal 5 yesterday, listening to Alt-J performing their 2012 Mercury Prize winning album An Awesome Wave live, cheering with the rest of the audience at the first notes of each song in recognition of their sublime quality. And once again a familiar notion formed inside my head. It happens to me every time I experience something that momentarily separates my being from all the negative garbage in my life. I think, "If I didn't keep on, I wouldn't have received this gift, I wouldn't have come to know these songs, I wouldn't be bobbing in rhythm right now."
I claw my way through the long stretches of hard life, full of frustration and disappointments, from one moment like this to another. This is what forces me to continue - the hope that there is another wonder ahead. And when they come, I use them as my self-therapy: I imprint the intimacy of the experience in my memory and let it carry me over the next hurdle.
It's like mantra: If I didn't endure I wouldn't have exited the Bullet train onto the platform of Shuzenji station and felt my rusty armor melting away; I wouldn't have seen that astonishing photo my daughter took a few months ago; I wouldn't have watched Radiohead, The Mars Volta, Tool do their on-stage magic; I wouldn't have heard Andrew Bird's heavenly sounds in the Guggenheim and in the Riverside Church; I wouldn't have read new Egan, Carson, Cunningham; I wouldn't have stood in the middle of the Red Forest breathing the ancient clarity... And I wouldn't have been at Terminal 5 yesterday.
So, here is my personal tip for everyone who, like me, is overwhelmed with frustration and prone to desperation: find something powerful that can make you forget about the dread, look for opportunities to experience it whenever you can, and hold on to the sensory memory of each occasion for as long as the shittiness of this life allows you. And let's hope that the gaps between the moments of joy will not get any longer then they already are.
I would like to thank my daughter for treating her mother as an equal and sharing all kinds of awesomeness. And thank you very much, the dude from Bumblefuck, IL.