I open the kitchen cabinet and take a wine glass out of it as I begin the end of this day. Then, I walk to the fridge and take the bottle of wine out of it. The label has a purple blot—perhaps a stray drop from the last time. Then, I pour the wine and begin walking to the fridge again, stopping in my tracks, I take the bottle and the glass, both, to the desk. There could always be the need for another glass of cabernet. We should not underestimate a moment where it all begins to end—a day, an affair, a career, a life. There could always be the need for another glass.
And like that, there must also be a need for change in life—no matter how good it seems. No matter our blessings, the human soul needs things to shake a little lest our survival instinct kicks in and the world transforms into a nightmare. There are many words for it—sabbatical, vacation, recess, holiday—but it is all just for survival. We live in boxes and stare at boxes; the world often calls us back, saying: have you looked around lately?
To live with content eventually becomes suffocating, too. The dreariness of repetition eats you alive. The banal may be something I advocate for, but even the best lawyers often represent the worst clients, and I am not a lawyer. I am just a man who tries to make sense of things, and when I cannot make much sense of it all, I drink—whether it is coffee or booze depends solely on what I am trying to make sense of. Today, I am trying to make sense of contentment. Now that I am happy, I am waiting for the shoe to drop. Something has to go wrong right about now. The only thing to be concerned with is what, and it is a fear most think about but seldom talk about.
A good life has its fears. To have what you want, even momentarily, does not make life devoid of trouble. I’d argue that, in some way, a troubled life is easier: you know what ails you. A content life, on the other hand, keeps you guessing. A part of me is perpetually scared.
How funny is it? We make fences around our homes and lives, hoping to keep it all safe, but then, we check the fences over and over again for marks and breaches, all the while worried: what if something got through the gaps?