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©January 2003

Carol Jane Remsburg




The Hope for Enlightenment






I awoke a few days ago with a nagging sense of urgency.  Dreams, nightmares, and wispy tendrils of the innocuous haunt us during our waking hours as we wake to face another day of routine chores of the living.  I knew instantly when the buzzer buzzed that while this day would be no different from all the rest but on this morn I was to be hounded by the taunting of my sleep. 


I felt somehow if the world stopped for an hour or two and I had all my energies to bear without the fuzziness leftover from slumber that I would be able to put my finger on an enormous discovery.  Life's epiphanies are often hard to come by and they always arrive upon our doorstep at inopportune times.  I sat and wasted fifteen productive minutes waiting for that magic answer.  It didn't come.


Going through the ritual of brushing, showering, clothing, makeup—along with dire entreaties to my daughter to awake and get ready for school . . . the scent of hubby's coffee drifted throughout the house and I promised myself I'd be able to grab a cup before I ran out of the house with our child to deliver to school and show up at work.


That's how most of each of our mornings begin.  The buzzer sounds and another day, another race against the clock starts.  Everything is a rush.  Lunches are packed or money given over.  The newspaper gets a perfunctory glance—grabbing a half-smile over the comics which is why we buy the damned paper anyway.  Out the door and into the world we rush.  And that's just it, we rush! 


Still that nagging sense of something I'd missed haunted me.  This 'something' was of the important kind, the sort we wait our whole lives to discover.  And I'd missed it again.


I don't know about you but there have been many times when I've felt I was on the verge of true wisdom, a discovery of such enormous magnitude that if I gained that glimmer of knowledge then I'd have all the answers in life I ever wanted.  It's a frustrating situation at best.  At its worst, I feel frantic over another missed opportunity.


I've always had questions that needed answers and never got much satisfaction to those questions for most people cannot answer the most basic yet ethereal questions I have.


Often we wonder if we are doing right in our lives, if what we are doing is enough for our children, and if striving to be 'perfect' is really the answer after all. 


We wonder if we ought to reach for the 'golden' ring of monetary success or reach for our dreams that in the cold light of dawn will not feed us or our children. 


Then comes the query to just why we are here anyway; is our purpose supposed to be divine or is it just about survival?  What 'rates' and what 'ranks?'  Or does living really come down to a Junior High School level over who has what and how much?


What about that old man who can barely feed himself yet dotes upon a myriad of dogs and cats and any stray that wanders his way?  He's considered weird and strange.  But he has a purpose and isn't worried about what others think. 


What about that corporate CEO who has millions at his disposal and the power to hire and fire thousands?  He'll work 15 hours a day and come home to a family he never really knew and imbibe either a few drinks or pills and escape.


What IS living and life truly about?  From the tall to the small the same REAL question is always there if we stop long enough to recognize it.


If you had asked me last week ago on that very cold morning—IF I had 'stopped the world' for another hour, well then I might have an answer for you.  I couldn't do that so I didn't and now I don't—not yet.


When that morning comes again that the fuzziness of my dreams still pull on a morning I don't have to go somewhere or rush to do something within the next few moments I WILL stop and hope that the epiphany I've waited for decades will finally find it's shape in the reality of the morning light.  If I latch on to it, trust me, you'll be the first to know.


This is always a something 'just out of our reach' and foggy but so real.  Like Scarlett running through the mist, she knows where she is headed yet cannot find her way.  How I know that feeling and realize I'm not the only one.  This is just a part of life we don't address too often for there are either diapers, laundry, work, dinner, home chores, or other diversions that take our attention so we avoid knowing how we could be centered.


I'm still awaiting my time of enlightenment.  I hope you have found yours and if not, I hope you encounter it soon.



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