I remember walking in the grey west coast winter, trudging like a man on the way to the guillotine, the only consolation that soon I would be able to have a drink. I was suffused with anguish and fear like a sponge soaked in poison.

And I remember, quite distinctly, and with an echo of the words in the dark cellar of my mind, the feeling of a fist closing around my heart.

We act as if a given moment is defined by certain emotional content: whatever it is we happen to be feeling. “I feel sad = I am sad = this is a sad time = the world is sad.”

None of these statements is completely true.

Well, you might argue that “I feel sad” is necessarily true, and it depends how precise you want to be. I won’t argue with you if you say you feel sad.

Hey, man – feel however you want to feel!

It gets counter-productive when we identify with the emotion. “There is sadness” becomes “I feel sadness” becomes “I am sad.” Once you’ve identified with the emotion, once you call yourself that, your mind closes down to everything else that’s happening.

And what else is happening?

Every other thing in the Universe is happening. Birds are being born, sharks are eating little fish, plants are sprouting, someone is being kissed, a revolution is being planned, someone has locked their keys in the car, a star is exploding, a dog is chasing a ball.

And all along the Universe within you goes down just as far as it goes out. And it goes out so far that the light from the edge hasn’t reached us because the Universe isn’t old enough.

And the Universe is really fucking old.

Why, then, fixate on the ephemeral wisp of energy that makes you say you are sad? When you could just as easily say, “I am Everything. Everything is me.”

Happy baby