'Will' and 'I' - musings on the plane back from Singapore.
This story arises from an understanding of the impact of early trauma, what it means to have a confused 'I' without access to 'will'.
Will is helpless without the clear-sighted purpose of a healthy I. She (or he) flails around, looking for guidance and purpose; she tries this and that without success or meaning. She is energy without direction, fuel without a match, hope without a plan.
A confused and entangled I squanders Will on hopeless endeavours, on bullets and barbs, petty quarrels and castles in the air, momentary amusements and endless disappointments, pointless protestations that achieve nothing. The confused I wants the unattainable, believes the impossible and expends precious energy pursuing nonsense rhymes. Like the Red Queen of Alice’s Looking Glass World, the confused I runs as fast as she can, only to remain on precisely the same spot, breathless and exhausted, piling confusion on confusion. And Will looks helplessly on, praying that one day I will take a hold of herself, use Will and ask the question: who exactly am I?
The confused I doesn’t see Will as her own, as the child of herself, patiently waiting direction and purpose. In her confusion I assumes Will is the enemy, either lacking sufficient power to rescue I from her confusion, or as a perpetrator always wanting something from I. She may even grow to hate Will, not seeing her patience and fortitude, but confusing her as belonging to another, as the cause of I’s confusion and pain. Like a helpless child I waits for rescue as Will watches from the grey shadows. And nothing changes. Will can change nothing without I.
And perhaps one day I spies Will as she sits patiently to the side. Perhaps, for once, I looks at Will and catches Will’s eye, and in that moment something new is born; a connection happens, a light fires, a moment of poignant clarity occurs, something is recognised. Will catches her breath; she flushes and almost drops her eyes down; she hardly dares to hope. Her pointless life hovers around her as she struggles to hold the moment. She sits very still... and waits. I looks away, of course. For in that moment a truth is seen, a truth that endangers everything she knows, because if that truth is allowed, if I lingers a moment longer her world will turn upside down and everything will change. Too much for I just now. But for a fraction of a fraction of a second the world stilled and opened, and light flooded I’s eyes, and really, yes, things have changed... and such a moment cannot be forgotten.
A question arises in I’s confused mind: “what is that sitting over there... that silent wretched looking thing, so quiet and still? Is that me, or some nasty demon waiting to jump out at me? I think I have seen her before in the shadows of my mind, but always took her to be a mischief maker just out to cause me more trouble. But something happened when I caught her eye; a lightness and colour I haven’t seen before, a spark of fire, a note of pearl blue. It seemed like magic; an intensity that frightened me... and yet... and yet... and yet...”
And yet... what?
Such a moment cannot be forgotten... but it can be ignored.
This story has two endings:
to look again.
I dares not... and hope fades into pointless and repetitive age; Will gets used to being ignored and retires into hopeless oblivion, resigned to ill use and loneliness, and Want is never born.