I wrap up a conversation with a friend. A person I knew well once. The conversation is banter, devoid of deeper questions and answers. I close the window and melancholy sets in. I wish I had tarried. I wished I had probed into repartees that I knew begged for more questions. I look at the baby monitor that is lighting up from noises above. I feel hard pressed for time.
In some sense I can predict how this conversation would have gone in another time and plane. We would have lingered, laying bare uncertainties, exploring paths not taken. We would have signed off knowing we were heard and validated.
Just off the peak of the roller coaster ride that has been this life, I feel myself gaining momentum and falling headlong into family life. Family as defined by children and their needs first. In the rare instant I can lift my head long enough to take in the panorama and register other people and events, I see everything that is flying past. I grasp, only able to claw the air and understand with clarity that a time will come when I am back on level ground.
I may not be able to find the same things I reached out for but there will be others like me dizzy from the ride and unable to find their bearings. We will take unsteady steps towards each other bound by the experiences on the way down.
All that will remain are vestiges of the self from before the ride. And that will have to do.