The demand to “Go”

I have never understood where or how the driving need to “Go” rises up and makes itself known to me.

When I say “Go”, I mean go away at the same time that I am here. My mind and feelings are far, but I am right here next to everything, doing the same crap I do all the time. Going is a feeling or a thought or some other thing of the human condition — but the urgency to Go sometimes consumes me with the same intensity as hunger or thirst. It is instinctual and rises out of the middle of my body and I can’t think of anything else. I can’t do anything else. I am powerless in the face of it and I know I will be damaged somehow deep in my soul if I do not Go. It is like nothing else. And it will not be denied.

This is a source of tension and conflict for me. Because of the obligations. Accomplished people like me have many obligations, and people relying on them. Some obligations bring me comfort and joy — for the most part. Except when the need to Go comes to consume me. Then, those obligations cause me to become angry and resentful. I push them away, sometimes with violent force. I get crabby. I ignore the phone. I blow off my friends. I don’t rehearse the choreography. I become terse and sarcastic when interrupted. I eat crap and I don’t go to the gym — because I will die inside if I am not left alone to deal with the elusive thing that is calling me like a siren. I isolate myself from everyone and even become self destructive in an effort to escape the demands of obligation, routine, boredom and predictable mediocrity — and I Go to examine the thing that dances there on the periphery. I have no choice.

I can be difficult, arrogant and aloof. I know I disappoint people and I know I make them angry, too — that is a price I pay, and I pay it often. But I cannot lay down and die inside to meet the needs of somebody else when it is time to Go. I’ve learned not to make an effort to keep casual friends because I know it takes an unusually strong person to stick with me and I can’t bear dealing with disappointed people when they discover that I am there and then not there with equal intensity. Sometimes they stay, sometimes not.

The up side is that the few who hang with me through the tempest will be rewarded when I come back from following the siren song. I will be there for them stronger and better than ever,  because I had to Go to keep my soul alive. In the meantime, I am sorry for the lack of emails and phone calls, dirty laundry, blown deadlines, cat hair on the stairs, weeds in the garden, forgotten appointments, unpaid bills, empty pantry, lack of kibble and crappy dinner. I don’t really care about those things right now, but I promise I will be back again soon.

Please wait for me, because I had to Go.


About Helen Driggs

Metalsmith, Teaching Artist, Writer, Maker of things. Former Senior Editor of Lapidary Jewelry Artist Magazine View all posts by Helen Driggs

3 responses to “The demand to “Go”

  • austinoconnor013

    Ms Driggs,

    I find many of your posts informative, interesting and entertaining. I’m afraid this one made no sense at all. The demand to Go? Your definition didn’t explain things any better than the long ramblings of this fairly disjointed post. At times, I found myself wondering if you needed to desperately find a restroom.

    While I enjoy your writings a great deal….this one did not speak to me at all. I hope you return to your normal writing style in future posts.

    Best regards,
    Austin O’Connor

  • Judith Landvatter

    On the other hand, I found this very introspective and could relate to the feelings you so aptly expressed. I even forwarded it to a friend. Self preservation is a GOOD thing!!

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