From Issue 17: most of my life has consisted of longing

E.J. Evans

 

Most of my life has consisted of longing and probably most lives are like this I suppose it to be the fundamental human substance well why not one’s life has to consist of something the mind is just a big empty space and must needs be filled with something and so longing is the most readily available filler I can tell you I’ve clung to longing like a shipwrecked man clinging to a piece of floating wreckage it has given my life and by extension my identity what little structure and coherence it has had so I ended up clinging even to my own clinging and mostly it’s been a vague though desperate longing to somehow elevate myself to some kind of barely-imagined higher life and I struggled hard for many years in pursuit of this my personal Valhalla there came a point when in my late 50s I became thoroughly weary of this struggle and finally discovered I felt much better if I simply stopped struggling and tried to make myself at home in my own life whatever it happened to be at any given time and it was about this time I met someone and it was as if a door had quietly and unexpectedly opened in my life and I went through it and found everything changed I am living this very different life in the very center of it feeling as if everything is available to me but wanting very little I lack for nothing though the content of my life is agreeably sparse and my old self is gone I am no longer that one whose mind was given shape and substance by longing I am someone else now things are quiet here and I am not afraid so the question is what do you do when you finally realize that you have everything you want well I can tell you what I do everyday I just pick a direction in my mind and go

 

E. J. Evans has contributed poetry and prose-poetry to many literary journals including Poetry East, Confrontation, Rattle, RHINO, and The Midwest Quarterly. His chapbook First Snow Coming was published by Kattywompus Press.