I have often wondered what the big picture is.
When the boyfriend broke up with me, he said I ought to take a step back and look at the big picture. That maybe this wasn't meant to be. That maybe destiny has other, better things in store for us, he said among other such vague assurances.
When at work I was passed over for a promotion, the manager promised it would be my turn next year but said that for now I ought to look at the big picture and keep working hard, or better still, harder.
When I ask my friend why she had to die at such a young age, she does not give me an unambiguous answer but instead says that in asking questions such as these, I keep missing the forest for the trees and that it will all make sense in retrospect.
And so I decided to set out in search of the big picture. Something that would help make sense of it all. And I looked all over, rummaging through maps and time, history and almanacs, mountain tops and ocean floors, birthdays and obituaries, yesteryears and hereafters. I kept looking until I reached the end of my tether, my nerves frayed, my mind unhinged from the constant wandering from one place and time to another.
It was only when I mounted the swing on the top of the world that I found my answer. The big picture. The city lay sprawled below me, brickworks and glass facades jostling for space. Clouds littered above, interlaced in a fluid clasp. And me in between. There in mid-air, legs dangling, no ground beneath me, no roof over my head, I saw everything around me, as far as the eye could see.
The big picture.
Always lying in between the lines.
Not in the breakups nor in newfound loves.
But in the heartaches and soul-searching quests in between.
Not in this tale nor in the next.
But in the musings in the interim.
Not to be found in yesterdays nor in tomorrows.
But in the here and now.
Like being in a very beautiful dream.
Neither asleep nor awake, but being the most alive.