In what is turning out to be another instance of self-imposed governance we have decided to limit our sphere of travel this summer to our environs. This latest asceticism is primarily an austerity measure though pointedly neither of us is despondent about circumscribing our plans. In fact after spending a comparatively indulgent winter on Hilton Head Island we are quite prepared to restrain ourselves and to wile away the Dog Days (diēs caniculārēs) of summer in our own back yard. We cannot unabashedly urge upon ourselves an oceanic visit when we have had the privilege to relish spectacular maritime views for four months in the past year.
We also wish to implement our own protestation; namely, that when landing somewhere one mustn’t straightaway abandon it under the guise of adventure. Aside from neglecting what is under one’s nose, there is the more grievous hazard of having lots going on and nothing happening. Besides one has to wonder what there is to run from? Speaking of which I have lately been tormented by recurring apprehension about certain of my relationships. Whether I am imaging it or not I cannot be certain, but to my thinking the ties I have to some people are dissolving. I am encouraged in this conjecture by remarks from one close to me that there is indeed foundation for the sentiment; and further the assurance that the loss is one I am able to bear without deprivation. Admittedly I am frequently the last person to see the proverbial writing on the wall. My instinctive first reaction – apart from resiling from the offending situation – is to lay blame at my own door for what has seemingly transpired. With fermentation and the benefit of fresh air on an afternoon cycle, I am willing to concede that a.) What’s the big deal?; and, b.) Since when am I expected to behave according to an unwritten and unspoken code purportedly set by others? Certainly there are boundaries upon acceptable human conduct but whatever I may have done or failed to do it hardly qualifies as a transgression of minimum standards. More likely than not, the friction (if any) is the result of something grating the Party of the Second Part and I am for some reason caught in the middle. As I say there is the very real possibility that I am manufacturing differences between us which do not exist. Either way temperance is in order. One can’t be forever in party mode. What however lingers is the question why I should be doubting the relationships in the first place? It is not as though the dilemma is an isolated instance; rather it is almost pervasive. Surely I can’t be the only soldier in step while all the others are not?
Having said that, the fact remains that all relationships are at times tenuous. The disintegration of bonds is seldom precipitous. Normally distance between people develops incrementally until at last the thread is broken or at least stretched so infinitely as to disappear. There is the further possibility that given the opportunity every particle of one’s being eventually comes under scrutiny and a host of quandaries may arise from the intense examination. The hours can be long when not occupied upon the business of other people’s affairs. Perhaps the introversion is producing unmerited results. If nothing else it is worthwhile to remove oneself from the fracas and to avoid unnecessary demarcation which may later prove regrettable. The many adages concerning the value of friends and friendship spring to mind in this regard and to rebut them wholesale may be irresponsible and ultimately regrettable.
Meanwhile the focus mustn’t continue to be upon such dreary matters. Suffering as I do from an uncommon appetite for approbation it requires some effort for me to disengage without the prospect of its reward. It quite astounds me how driven I have been historically to please others, whether by casual behaviour, formal acquaintance or professional service. As I reflect upon the logic of human interaction my absorption in the pleasure and endorsement of others is correspondingly diminished. It is therefore only natural that the quality of relationships is thus altered. No longer do the same things matter; and a fortiori new things now matter. It is emancipating to liberate oneself from habitual conditioning to give way to novel and sometimes unanticipated allures. I’m not talking about anything kinky, just different, usually less contrived and more naturally connected, springing from genuine motivations, heartfelt as it were. It wouldn’t be the first time I’ve discovered that my uninhibited personality involves me in discoveries which far surpass the scope of measured and strictly pragmatic behaviour (a conclusion which may be strikingly obvious but nonetheless illuminating). It speaks to my recent taciturn bearing that I have been consumed by the resolution of this latest mishmash of apprehensions. There have been some understandable contributors to this state of affairs, minor things relating to what are no more than everyday troubles, but the overriding angst relates to human relationships which as usual are seldom resolved by little more than the effluxion of time. Apart from that, it is mere guesswork, yet another reason to stand fast upon one’s own sentiments.