One Embedded Yearn

Shan Wardell
One Embedded Yearn
Ask me what I yearn for and I could talk for hours.
I would differentiate with orderly efficacy between 5, 10 and 20 year projects, personal aspirations, professional goals, impossible-yet-worthy dreams, sexy short-term desires and faithful long-term visions. I could spend weeks outlining such plans with loving attention to detail. In fact, I have already spent years doing this.
At some point, I might even realize that projects, aspirations, goals, dreams, desires, and visions are not the same thing as a fundamental yearn that throbs in my heart. I rarely notice this yearn in itself, rather it makes itself known through these particular manifestations which it inspires.
But it is so difficult to look closely at this embedded yearn in my heart. I feel its throb, yet it elusively avoids close examination.

Sometimes, I feel an aching throb. Usually this follows an activity that is a complete waste of time and energy. A failed project can be a necessary, worthwhile learning experience. Repeating a dopey mistake is a negligent waste of time and energy. Sometimes, this aching throb hurts; it can make me want to cry out in the middle of the night, bury my head in my pillow and wish for a new life. This ache can last for days or weeks; the longer it lasts, the more I turn to stone on the inside. I become hardened and unresponsive to all joys in life which I usually distract myself from by immersing myself in work. I become obsessed with productive labor and curse everything that impedes my way: tools that jam; sluggish computers; stuck zippers; idiot drivers; stupidly timed traffic lights; sloppy work from co-workers; people who enjoy themselves before 5:00 pm without a grim, tight-lipped expression on their face.
This aching throb focuses my sight upon how other people waste time and energy doing unproductive tasks during the work day like begging, playing games, playing bad music, making art, pleasure reading, chatting, beautifying chaotically cluttered homes, watching TV.
This aching throb concentrates my attention on the urgency of strict familial, communal, state-wide and national budgetary reforms as well as increased personal surveillance. Why should I labor all day turning every available minute into an efficient unit of profitable production while others sit around in the sun? They do not need a social safety net, they need a hefty arsekick to remind them of their personal responsibility to engage in productive work. Those precious individuals who are too sensitive for menial jobs should put their smart asses to work as entrepreneurs until they recognize the difficulty of creating jobs within our existent economic system. And if they then cannot afford the smartphone of their choice, let them be reminded of the difference between human rights and privileges. And it is not a right of those who consume more than they produce to let their unsustainable way of life be financially maintained by those who produce more than they consume.

It is so difficult to look closely at the embedded yearn in my heart. I feel it there, its throb. Sometimes, I feel it radiating a permeating field of warm energy with each pulse. Usually, this follows an activity that has in some way, however small, enriched the life of me and someone else like noticing a gratuitous joy of daily life such as the sun breaking over the horizon, a spider web heavy with dew glistening in morning light, a lazy dog’s uplifted eyebrows, children’s laughter, birdsong, a stranger’s smile, the whishing of wind through tree branches, the desire for my attention from a loved one.
In that hidden pocket of my heart from which emanates that mysterious throb of my deepest yearn, there is a picture of myself as I wish I could be, of myself without any of those dreary wrinkles of character, muffy odors of ill-decision or dorky expressions of incongruence. It is a picture of my self at my best when I shine as a glorious, yet humble hero who strides confidently through life meeting each new obstacle and challenge with imperturbable composure. The physical needs of me and my loved ones are healthily placated. I am resiliently protected from sickness, disease, digital viruses, poverty, homelessness and dependency. I have a broad contact of close friends within communities of unified interests. I am respected by others for who I am, and for the expert manner in which I fulfill high-ranking professional responsibilities. I enjoy confronting new tasks that challenge my abilities, especially those for which there are no tested plans of action, tasks which require inventive reassessments of problems, tasks which drive me beyond my former boundaries of ability and knowledge, tasks through which by their mastery I continue to see myself come closer to that imperturbable hero in the picture buried in that hidden pocket of my heart from which emanates that mysterious throb.
When I feel this radiating throb, I achieve a samurai awareness of everything around me. I pick up instantly on the inner disposition of people and always the right expression drops into my mouth that can help them in some motivating, empowering way. I become attuned to the stumbling blocks all around and deftly avoid them. I foresee complications early enough to prevent them from even happening.
This radiating throb lets me see all the more clearly how other people spend moments of time, often privately, engaged in activities through which they seek to break out of the limitations of identity imposed upon them by their jobs or family, intuitively knowing that life is more than a job title, is more than material possessions owned, is more than a good reputation, is more than power and influence over others.
This radiating throb clarifies my sight regarding the recent boom in alternative lifestyles, creative industries, indie music awareness, art appreciation, esoteric beliefs. While some may be odd if not definitely wacky, all are reflective of a deep yearn within the heart of our post-Grapes of Wrath western society for self-realization. While some individuals may be truly egocentric, I suspect that even they realize in a hidden pocket of their heart that when they fulfill their own inner potential, they feel a voluntary urge to give back to the world something of worth. This gift is their moment of glory, their payback for all of the time and energy they have ever used in the past. This gift, being a natural resource with infinite quantity and enduring quality, carries a return on investment that makes hedge fund wizards sputter with disbelief. This gift enriches your life in that way that burns your throat, waters your eyes and makes you feel again that throb in your heart which you cannot ignore.

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