Peak Experience

I am no longer a passive recipient of my emotions. I have keys to all the locked boxes and my fingers rove through their contents with vigor and curiosity. You know, it gets awfully boring being afraid of yourself. I suppose it’s like the difference between wanting to live in Florida and needing seasons. Fear is like Florida, always the same, dulling your senses with perpetual brightness and heat, numbing you with the mosquito hum, armoring you in suntans and lotion, filling your mouth with soft, sweet things until you can’t move anymore and you just lie there convincing yourself that you’ve never been so comfortable. That there’s nothing the sun can’t teach you.

If more people decided to look into themselves without fear, to take the tour, snap a few pictures, marvel at the complexity and balance of the inner museum, I think there would be a lot less jumping out of airplanes and car chases and extreme this and just do that. My most memorable peak experiences have nothing to do with the thrill of the hunt or the grimace of physical limits. They are glimpses of my own beauty. They are bolts of internal lightning that reveal briefly and in stunning relief the strange, dew-specked web that binds me to my lover, to the world, to time and water and air. They are moments dense with pleasure, made forever clear by my complete involvement in them, moments when I smile before I know the reason.

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It’s obvious that when the apocalypse comes, I will be one of the weak people. I will have no spin kicks with which to defend myself. I will have only the magic of my words and my understanding to protect me. I will be meat for the beast. (Unless I can engage him in conversation.) And I am fine with that. If my death at monstrous hands becomes imminent, I hope I can meet it in a lounge chair, sipping on a gin martini.

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