I have never been good at lukewarm. My life is either skyborne or in the underworld, neither of which are middling. But, the lukewarm of life is where we mostly live, all of us. We have exciting tips at the sky and dreadful plunges into the dark but where we seem to level out is in the middle, in between the rise and the fall. We live lukewarm, neither full of joy, nor lost in despair. We spend money, time and effort maintaining lukewarm. It is our safe place, however dull it may sometimes appear. Routines belong in lukewarm, things like breakfast at 8, school runs, trains or buses to work, how we dress during the week, how we cook sausages on Tuesdays, how we this and how we that.
Sometimes, we can arrive at a weekend in a state of euphoria, imagining that this weekend will be different, that lukewarm will sleep in the corner till Monday and that something wonderful will happen. I have heard so may folk say to me ‘I just want my life to start,’ no matter how old they are. I have said it myself. So what do I think my life should look like? Should it be all sky borne? I doubt that is even possible. The last person I read about who reached for the sun saw his wings melt in the embrace of gravity. We are not fashioned for endless highs; how could we sustain such? And yet we long for exactly that.
The times we fly are the times we fly. End of. And there is always an end to flight. The key, I believe, is to learn to thrill – to thrill at those times of new love, of passion, of seeing the sky close up, of feeling that the full moon is an arm’s length away and of saying this. It is enough. I was there. I saw this, I felt this, I know this. And then (and isn’t there always one of those?) to hug that marvellous unexplainable secret to a beating and faithful human heart and to walk into the lukewarm for another while or two. Or three. It is the same for a dive into the underworld. Nobody wants to go there but those of us who have spent time in Hades will tell out that the light inside us is too bright for that place. Somehow we find our way back (even when our light is so flickery and weak that we can barely see) into……yes….lukewarm, that lukewarm that sent us there in the first place. Or so we thought.
The lies we tell ourselves are a whole university degree. We think we are the product of our parents, our broken lives, our bloody lashings from the whips of Fate. We are not. Changing our thinking is not something that just happens. It requires work, reading from those with experiential learning, questing, like all those questers who have gone before, refusing to believe in inevitability.
I do not plan to live a life thinking that I am the product of inevitable. I know that lukewarm is a passive friend, a stable companion in the craziness of life, like a warm bosomed mother who just may get so in my face about all my wildness that I consider pushing her over a cliff…….and, yet, she is my warmth, my level peg, my comfort, my rock. She, who asks me to cook 3 times a day for decades; she who asks that I keep to the routine, get to the bus on time to work at the same thing until I am rising a tsunami of rage at what seems to be such an ordinary life. She soothes me and I hate her/love her. She is always there. She is waiting when I get home, reminding me to buy cabbage and tissues; she insists that I walk the dog and that I change the sheets over and over and over again.
She is Sanity. She is Lukewarm.