How Small A World

We know what we are, but not what we may be.
— William Shakespeare

I had realized quite some time ago that the worse my mood, the smaller my world. Or perhaps the smaller the world felt, the worse my mood. I’d go with the latter if in some odd ways the two sentiments, if not reflexive, at least bleed back into one another.

The above quote is perhaps the shortest quote of Shakespeare’s that isn’t just some silly idiom still in common use today, but it says everything.

At least these days.

Most who would read the quote might find comfort in the first part. After all, knowing one’s self carries power, and power appoints itself a measure of comfort.

But for me, it’s the last part. The most comfort to be had for me is living in a large and open-ended world where all futures may not be lived, but nonetheless any future is possible. And not yet known.

There’s a joy in knowing there are as-yet-unencountered experiences, people, ideas, loves, even losses. There’s art in the possible, no matter the medium used to convey it.

But now? Now I’m stuck. One cannot live without income, cannot have income without work when the safety net removes itself from under you, cannot work when the required faculties fail. In being stuck, there is no future because there is no forward motion. In being stuck because of chronic pain, there is only pain and no possible.

The world is smaller than it’s ever been. Care to guess at my mood and well-being?

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