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Mental Health

Bloom Vol. 28: More Than One

This month, musician and mental health advocate Alex Wagner discusses the notion of attachment to past states and not respecting the many selves within a self.

Two people stood facing one another.

Longingly, they gazed into one another’s eyes.

Between them was a hammock – radiant in its red, purple, and orange hues, tinged with the sun’s warmth and the remnants of their bodies and embrace.

Falling into love, they would rock back and forth, comfortable and safe.

They wove the hammock together – made by a snapshot of similarities.

They tightened the fabric until it could hold their weight, solidifying a bond.

The thread was trust, needle action.

As the days go on, months, the two begin to see their differences. One enjoys drifting, foraging, hunting, and roaming the fields alone for hours and even days on end, but the other does not.

As they began to explore themselves and the world around them as individuals, they made a pact to never stray from one another.

Clouds passed overhead, occluding the sun, while underneath the hammock grew a divide, a hole. Things looked different under diffused light, the shadow.

When the two met before one another, passion encased a moment in time in which they were unfavorable in their love for one another.

Yet, they chalked it up to something outside of themselves – blame, an invisible foe. They blamed the change of the climate, all things uncontrollable outside of themselves.

When one would be off foraging, the other began to have most fond interactions with animals passing by—harmonizing with the birds while they plotted a garden all of their own.

A spectrum of difference began to sparkle on the horizon.
Hastily, they created a rope system to enable them to lower themselves down to the hammock, adjust it, and formulate safe transportation. They were savoring a single instance in the past.

Ignorantly turning an eye to the defiant abrasive rumble of tectonics shifting and pulling them from one another.

Resentment fixed itself to the pullies and levers and scaffolding teetering below.

A spider’s web, an iridescent gleam, the beauty of their craft marred and covered.

One learned how to sing, dance, garden, and create something from nothing. The other discovered synchronicity with the dynamism of the Earth, realizing the impact of seasons, studying its cadence with the wild, and uncovering unknown lands.

Yet there were things they did not know. Despite their strides, there were knowledge gaps they could not fill.

The space between was dramatic and pronounced.

Could there be another way?

Miles apart.

The distance between them had stretched beyond the imagination.

There was a crater where previously there had been a passion, for they invested so much time in desperate attempts to stay connected.

They lost themselves because they thought their pairing had to be perpetuated.

Who are these two people to you?

What story are they telling?

These two people are the same person.

Instead of embracing the many paths life can go, its non-permanence, its variety, a person fixated on a singular, polarized perception of life, path, purpose, and relation.

They thought things could only be one way.
They wanted the other to remain the same.

Past created a home at the moment in which it was developed. It is a memory, a series of thoughts, that found shelter as core memory, a moment of inflection, a teaching guide.

This point could be nicknamed Trauma for some; this point could be why they started in a career they’ve been in for ten years.

This point could be the inner child, where attachment styles blossomed.

The past was the hammock.

The past is an inspiration. The past is love, the steward of the lands and shaper of now.

A life defined by one historical occurrence is not a liberated life.

Near the hammock could have been a bridge to the other side; a sleeper car cruising through midnight.

New constructions are recontextualization respecting an ever-changing life.

The obstacles become a path.

Trials through our trauma.

Freeways from fear.

Imagine, if you will, those two people are different parts of you, and the hammock was the moment of one’s inception.

Perhaps it is a past friend.

Maybe it was a commitment to a particular career track.

Impermanence is a femme fatale in the winter of New York strolling between skyscrapers.

With idyllic dated perspectives upon connection, be it to others of past versions of ourselves, we fall into danger of not allowing existence to play out as it ought to. We stifle the advancement we strive to accelerate with every dream of ours when we withhold awareness and acceptance of perhaps the only promise that rings true on this Earth – Change is Assured.

So if we then recognize these different selves and this potentiality for change, what’s to say something isn’t possible where not only does the hammock exist, but you can engage and be enamored within its bosom at the snap of a finger?

Pin-point access to a memory gathered through control of the mind.

Letting new versions of us come to bear is only in our favor.

Plasticity of everything.

Ultimately, the ground, the hammock, whisps of hair, hopes, and fears, are all the same.

Tiny atoms.

Maybe that person will be part of your life forever, in some way, shape or form.

They are part of you.

Others shape our existence.

That past person, pursuit, or thing, will always be.

We fear letting go when letting go could very well be a release to fortune and not an unwanted vacancy.

Abundance is very real.

Let go. Embrace many.

Embrace You.

For you can be anything, be with anyone, be many things.
About the Author

Photo: Sumit Dhungel

A dance music producer, singer, and songwriter, Alex Wagner’s production career includes releases on Atlantic Records, Big Beat Records, and more.

As a crisis counselor for Crisis Text Line and certified peer counselor with the state of Washington, he has organized multiple mental health awareness events called “Grooving for Good” leveraging the power of music and the arts. He currently resides in Seattle, Washington. You can follow him on Instagram at @asinglewave.