I Had Fulfilled All My Desires, So Why So Empty

Nova Scotia
June ’77

The morning started out fine, no rain, and around 11 a.m., lots of
sunshine. Biking was excellent, but for some reason I couldn’t get
into it. The road was mine. The sun was warm, and the forests were
extremely friendly. Everything was saying to me, “Come on, and appreciate
this day!” But I couldn’t do it. At first I thought I might be bored,
but then I realized it was my loneliness that was disturbing me. It
was not just my separation from friends and family that made me
miserable; it was a loss of “value” also. I felt like I had lost sight
of my goals. That wasn’t altogether true. I was doing really well on
the material side of things. I was working. I had money. I had time to
bicycle. Actually, I had fulfilled all my desires, so why so empty?
Maybe that was the problem. I was too successful. There was nothing to
look forward to anymore, and quite frankly, maybe I was beginning to
have second thoughts concerning my own success. Was it really what I
wanted, — what I expected? I was confused and lonely, really lonely.

I knew depression, serious depression, was just around the corner.
That happened when I let myself get too serious. I didn’t need that,
so I decided to pull over and set up camp. It was hard to get
depressed while sitting around a campfire. When I came to a spot, I
pulled a soda from my bike pack. Nova Scotia wasn’t that
commercialized. Sometimes, you had to think ahead. Unfortunately, at
the spot where I had planned to camp, I was greeted by some of
Canada’s finest. I found myself in the middle of a no–seeum hatch.
There was no stopping the little critters.

They were in my eyes, under my clothes, and, every time I got bit, it
was like a needle poking me. I wrapped rubber bands around my ankles
and wrists to keep them from getting under my clothes. I set up my
tent and crawled inside. I felt safe until the flies came through the
tent screen. They were that small. I held my own against mosquitoes,
wind, and rain, but there was no defense against no–seeums. I packed
my gear and hit the highway.

The woods had become out of bounds for camping. What was I to do?
Maybe the flies would settle down after sunset? The ocean beach was
always a refuge from bugs. The constant wind was a savior. But I
hadn’t seen a beach since I arrived in Nova Scotia. The beach wasn’t
good in the rain, however. I was running out of alternatives. If it
came down to it, there was always a train heading for home somewhere,
but not here. Bike till I dropped, that was my only available option.
It was after 8 p.m. when I finally came to a sign that read, “Picnic
area.” I had reached the ocean, and there was even a beautiful
two-foot high surf breaking off shore.

I’m writing at a picnic table, just on the other side of the dunes,
which separate me from the beach—a perfect place to camp. The sun has
set somewhere behind the trees. I’m safe from the flies for now, but
still itching all over. It’s getting a bit chilly, so I think I’ll put
on my jacket. I want to read a couple more paragraphs in my book
before I go to bed.


About bwinwnbwi

About me: Marvin Gaye’s song, "What’s Going On" was playing on the jukebox when I went up to the counter and bought another cup of coffee. When I got back, the painting on the wall next to where I was sitting jumped out at me, the same way it had done many times before. On it was written a diatribe on creativity. It was the quote at the bottom, though, that brought me back to this seat time after time. The quote had to do with infinity; it went something like this: Think of yourself as being in that place where infinity comes together in a point; where the infinite past and the infinite future meet, where you are at right now. The quote was attributed to Hermann Hesse, but I didn’t remember reading it in any of the books that I had read by him, so I went out and bought Hesse’s last novel, Magister Ludi. I haven’t found the quote yet, but I haven't tired of looking for it either.
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8 Responses to I Had Fulfilled All My Desires, So Why So Empty

  1. I like the part that said, “Maybe that was the problem. I was too successful. There was nothing to
    look forward to anymore, and quite frankly, maybe I was beginning to
    have second thoughts concerning my own success.”

    It is amazing how sometimes when we have everything that we want, it turns out that it is not everything we actually need to fulfill ourselves. Thank you for sharing.


  2. There is even a name for those who get driven to suicide because they have everything that is supposed to make one happy and remain despareately unhappy “Class A Suicides.” You don’t have everything, because you are lonely, but I think part of life is loneliness, sometimes even when surrounded by love. Life has to have meaning in my book and when one set of goals has been met, we need to find others, I think we also need to be part of larger goals, goals that might never be met, but benefit all. I really don’t think peace on earth is possible, but I do what I can to create peace where I am as well as to speak for peace for all.

    Without goals we get bored and when bored we feel useless and empty. You are meeting goals and in doing that you will find other goals. Stay strong,

  3. Mèo Lười Việt says:

    Realizing the problem is the 1st step to solve it. Don’t worry, be happy. I’m always here beside you. 😀

  4. bwinwnbwi says:

    Thanks for all these comments! So meaningful, each comment, so meaningful, I don’t know how to respond, I’m not used to this. Thanks!

  5. hugmamma says:

    Would it make a difference if I told you that you’ve accomplished more in your journey than I, at 62, could ever hope to match. Of course we all journey down paths unique to our own lives. Nonetheless…you should credit yourself with what you’ve achieved…small and big. And try not to beat yourself up…or regret what you’ve done…or not done. Live in your moments…they’re pretty exciting in my estimation! 🙂

    • bwinwnbwi says:

      Thanks for the encouragement. I’m 63 now and, yes, I do feel good about what I’ve accomplished. However, my journals are a record of the learning experiences where, perhaps, “I have beaten myself up.” Even now, perhaps, I still “beat myself up,” but that doesn’t keep me from my feeling good about what I have accomplished. Self-criticism can be healthy if not taken too far. In the end (hopefully, I’ll get all these learning experiences posted), I’ve come to realize that my whole life has been and is just one “lived moment.” Take care.

  6. eof737 says:

    You’ve done so much over a period of time and your body craves the challenge; even the unpleasant ones… So always an adventurer, you’d need new mountains to scale. 🙂

    • bwinwnbwi says:

      In my younger years, I sought out adventure and answers to questions that I could not answer. But I’m not young anymore, and I’ve climbed my share of mountains. Thanks for the comment. Take care.

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