I long for things. Financial freedom. A house in Tuscany. Chocolate. Ok, maybe that last one is just a simple want if I could go get my ass to the cupboard. Wanting is a pleasant enough state if it's immediately coupled with the anticipation and the likelihood of getting what you want. An emptiness in the shape of what you want appears and if you can plug up that hole, you're all set. Nevermind, of course, how frustrating it can be if you can't get what you want or even worse, can't identify what you want.
But longing is a nearly unbearable state. Inherently coupled with longing, it seems, is that the object of desire is forever out of reach or truly impossible to attain. Longing is such a romantic, aching word. Impossible love. It crosses the threshold from the a common, ordinary state of being to an almost otherworldly state and drags our desperate souls with it.
I've noticed that my longings are almost always for something grandiose. Not just out of reach, but literally or figuratively big (except my obsession with owning a tiny home someday. That's pretty tiny, necessarily). I want to live in Paris for a year or two or three, growing intimately familiar with what it's really like to live there, not just visit as a stranger. I want to explore ancient ruins. I want to 'be great'. Not just famous, but great. The biggest things I long for aren't usually stuff. They are experiences.
"But you can achieve those things if you really commit and really want it," I hear you say. Yeah. I can wrestle my inner-wandering-impatient-Gemini-south-node-child into applying itself, and I have here and there. But, wait; I'm not done yet.
It happens a similar way every time. I'll see something beautiful. An internet image of a cabin tucked away in the woods or the sunlight on the blossoming blackberry bushes in my backyard. And (here's my fatal mistake) I'll let it in. And if I don't distract myself immediately, it plants itself in my consciousness and grows. Now I'd like to say I do this next part to set about making a dream a reality like some Oprah-show-success-story but really to it's to reroute or counter the growing pain of longing before it can turn me into a puddle on the floor. I set my earth-sign brain to the task. "How can I make that happen?" Well, perhaps if I sell everything I own, leave my husband because he doesn't want that thing I want, and so on, I can probably have this experience. It's a life-changer, but it is doable. And I don't want to pay that price. So I go back to whatever boring thing I was in the middle of, satisfied that it is entirely within my control to have it but I'm choosing something else. I'm in control.
Yes, I can have things and experiences. But it really comes down to the fact that I can't be everything, have every experience, live every life, all at once in the same body in the same moment. I can open any door but I can't open all of them, and if I try, I won't actually go anywhere since my body can't be everywhere. Occasionally I open one door, but most of the time, I let the longing crush me and I don't open any doors under the weight of it all. It's not the yearning for the end product of a difficult task. It's the yearning for endlessness, limitlessness, wholeness - and not new-age philosophy wholeness, I mean totality of being. An all-being. An everything. Something actually impossible while in an earthly state.
It occurred to me this morning that I have a t-square between Venus, Neptune and Jupiter.
I took some mental inventory of my astrological ingredient cards in my particular recipe:
- Venus in Virgo: attraction and one's relationship to the object of one's desire. In my case, desire being something of beauty that embodies earthy simplicity done to perfection.
- Jupiter in Pisces: expanding beyond what's known and safe via methods of spirit.
- Neptune in Sagittarius: the longing for otherworldly experiences in faraway lands or ideas.
- Mix together in inappropriate amounts until you have an unpalatable stew.
I think sometimes the pain of not having can be motivation to bring it about. Sometimes you need inconvenience and unhappiness to challenge yourself to commit to what you want when it's almost too hard. You need that push to overcome the resistance. I am used to that kind of challenge. Endure and you'll have a reward in the end (hmm... sound familiar? But I won't go there now). But I wonder if this impossible longing is the purpose and to bear it the only goal. I long to have a bigger spirit but the pain of containing it in this small, mortal body overwhelms me. I feel like that might be the point. I think I'm on to something...
I long for things. You probably do too. Tell me about it.