Every once and a while, I lose myself. It can be beautiful, to disappear, to fade into the grandeur of the world and become almost nothing. More than once I have found freedom in being such a small piece of the game. More than once I have reveled in such insignificance.
But at other times, my life has felt too large. Pieces of it have been too heavy and the weight has been unbearable. I have been afraid to hold on. I have feared my weaknesses and my strengths. I have run away from them. I have hid. I have forgotten how to seek. I have been lost.
As a young child I believed that if I shut my eyes tight enough, no one could see me. When my parents pressed peek-a-boo hands to their faces, they disappeared. I have pushed my palms into my closed eyes so hard that I have seen stars. But when I have opened them, everything has always been the same.
If I have learned anything about running away, it is that it’s impossible. You can disappear for a little while, but nothing gets changed. Everything you leave behind is always there, waiting for you to come back and find it. We never stop playing hide-and-seek.
I know how to hide and I know how to seek. I know how to lose and to find. I know how to be lost and be found, and stay silent until I’m ready to speak. It is all part of the game.
We can’t stay hidden forever. People find us. Ideas find us. Love finds us. Sometimes, if we’re lucky, we find ourselves, and we shout with mighty voices “I am here!” and come running out of the darkness in joy. And we find the rest of the world waiting for us, smiling at our triumphant return.
When I lose myself, I try to remember that it won’t last forever. Eventually I will find and be found. A new round will begin. Sometimes I am the hider. Sometimes I am the seeker. More often than not, I am both.
All over this world I have searched for friends and knowledge and kindness. I have found it in obvious places and places that are unlikely. I have changed my perspective, over and over, from large to small and back again. I have been too large and too small. I have been a great many things.
Sometimes I am heavy. Sometimes I am weightless. Sometimes I am scared. Sometimes I am brave. Sometimes I feel important. Sometimes I feel insignificant. Sometimes I run fast and far. Sometimes I slip away and hide.
Sometimes I hope that if I stay quiet enough, if I close my eyes long enough, the world will disappear. But it never does. It’s always waiting for my triumphant return. It’s always waiting for me to find it. I always do.
And what else is there to do be done? But to open my eyes to the life before me. To emerge from my hiding place and shout “I am here!” To begin a new round, and then another. To never forget how to play.