Nothing was harder than this: those quicksilver changes of mood and meaning that contain your past and your future. It has all been a prelude, each moment urging you on to this inevitable encounter. Not the struggle it used to be. No , now the gears mesh easily and you give it no thought at all. Given half a chance, you would take responsibility, but no one has asked, and you hesitate to volunteer. Overhead, in the apartment upstairs, strangers argue fine points of global politics that have always eluded you. Except now it is more serious. The balances are more delicate, the stakes higher. You reflect on the precarious state of things.
Much of what we are talking about here has to do with coming home, finding a place inside yourself and then extending that place to the larger world, until finally you move into that utterly still, atomic center of things. In the course of your journey, that which is not essential tends to fall away, to dissolve even as vapor trails across the sky at sunset dissolve into the fading light. You have always known it would be like this, although the exact configuration of it eluded you. Now there is time to look back, and see how each step was necessary, how each disaster contained a seed of truth. Those seeds, which you planted and cared for, provided the grain that now sustains you. Did you ever think of it this way? What was it that you knew? Only that which your intelligence yearned toward, however undefined and distant the ideal was then. The ideal, of course, is complete within itse lf, and carries whatever is required.