The Mirage

P1040661It’s hard to receive what you really want.

Truly, it is. The disappointment. The panic that comes upon realizing that gratification doesn’t necessarily equal satisfaction. The shame that floods the nervous system whenever the wanting continues past the receiving. If only I could have something else on top of what I’ve been given or – wretched me! – in place of what I’ve been given.

For example, I can count on my hands the times the chocolate cake actually tasted as good as I anticipated. Usually, within seconds of swallowing the last bite, I can’t even recall how it tasted.

How easily the quilt hanger – the one which I have been obsessing about, the one I have been itching to have my husband hang in our guest bedroom – how easily it fades from my mind once the task of hanging it is complete.

A few years ago, I was certain I needed the Rosetta Stone program to help refresh my waning German vocabulary, but I am embarrassed by how few times I have used it since the purchase. What felt so necessary before I owned it is now unnecessarily pushed aside for this and that. All of the urgency faded the moment the unavailable became available, the second the unreachable came within reach.

I suspect it would be the same with a child. Perhaps my disgusting, covetous heart would move on to some other intangible once I received the gift of an arrow in my quiver. I wonder if all of this agony I feel for that which I do not have is just another gymnastics trick of my senses, a symptom of my nature, an illusion of Satan.

I know a child is not the same as a quilt hanger, but still. The allusive glows and shimmers all the more because I do not and, seemingly, cannot have it.