I go about life being the way I am always already being: I am always already being Niland.

I am Niland-ing the moment I wake up and when I close my eyes in bed at night. There’s no moral judgment implied. Niland-ing is neither good nor bad. It’s what is, as the way I am always already being.

The idea here for me is to recognize Niland-ing for what it is, to accept it, and also to accept there may be another way of being that creates a future that isn’t predicated on being this always already Niland; isn’t predicated on the way I wound up being.

This opens up a world of possibility.

Internalizing the act of Niland-ing means recognizing, and accepting, that everyone else is going about their lives being the way they always already are being.

What if everyone could drop their always already way of being, and open up to the possibility that their way of being might be a limitation, a barrier to the actualization of potential? Of being truly free to be, free to act?

Being Niland for sixty-eight years has been a comfort, and a burden. Carrying the weight of Niland has been a heavy load. Time to give it up.

Being Niland didn’t work with my wife being herself. (Of course I would go here.)

She was always already herself. She couldn’t be anyone other than the woman she wound up being. She couldn’t imagine a way of being that wasn’t always already who she was. And that woman was a totalitarian state: rigid, inflexible, unbending in what she called her clarity of vision.

Time to give THAT up, too. She’s on her own, as she wanted to be.

The wide open opportunity, the mystery, is discovering who the Niland is who isn’t the Niland who wound up being Niland: the already always Niland. We know that guy. The man we don’t know, yet, is the Niland who’s free to be, free to act. That Niland can’t be figured out from the Niland who’s typing these words now. There’s no future here.

It’s late in the day to be creating a future that hasn’t existed. Better late than never. The future is always possible.

Against my wishes, against my desires, my wife has given me this opportunity to create a future that hasn’t existed before. I don’t thank her for it, but I recognize its occurrence in my life. It’s what’s happened.

It seems I will have to see her in December. I will not sacrifice my own pleasures, my last commitments, because of some Niland-ing emotions causing me to be fearful of seeing her. She is just herself, being herself.

A person I once knew.


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