I never gave it much thought until recently when I found myself searching for something only to discover that I already had it, or at least a passable version of the sought-after item. This could be a silver fork in a certain pattern (“past and present”) or when declaiming about my efforts to write a book when writing posts on this blog has become what one reader calls my “metier,” one that feels like a good fit for me.
I guess the antipode to utopia being in my own backyard is “the grass is always greener.” That is, whatever you have is (always) not quite enough. And somewhere, perhaps over the internet, or at the local drugstore will you run into something better than something you already have. This may be nonsense. Or it could be true. What this belief system does, though, is make sure that you’re not ever content because you’re tempted by the thought that something way better, or a little better is just around the corner.
So, let’s go back to the backyard concept again. It may not be as green as you’d like it to be. But it’s what you’ve got. With the economic situation the way it is throughout the world, many of us find ourselves taking our sights off the future and looking at what we actually have. I guess the real question might be: what do we really need? And do we already have it? And is what we need close to what we think we still want?
I hope you don’t think that this sounds like gibberish. For myself, I have been realizing that I have every important thing I ever wanted even if I didn’t know that was what I wanted at the time. It also happens to include what I needed. Growing up, I often felt neglected or rejected in some ways by people who were important to me. In the Murakami novel I mentioned previously, there’s a very wise quote about this state of mind:
“When you get used to that kind of life–of never having anything you want–then you stop knowing what it is you want.”
Do we know what we want? If not, that seems to be a good place to start.