USA Coastal Waters, 29 deg 14' N, 92 deg 24' W
At some point over the last three years I lost something.
Exactly what is hard to put into words, perhaps because no word exists for it.. This thing that I have lost was an ability, a way of looking at the world, perhaps a blind spot of some kind - whatever, it had, I suspect, no independent existence of its own, but was rather defined by the place where other, more "concrete", psychological and emotional entities intersect.
It had something to do with: mental and emotional flexibility; curiosity about the world around me; a set of precious memories that served to glow with significance and a kind of holiness and provided an anchor when times were hard; many other things, some or all of which may be referred to subsequently.
As I said above, the lost thing partakes of all the above qualities and more, but had a flavour of its own. It manifested as a kind of clear-sighted and realistic optimism - a deep and icy conviction that whatever the world may have thrown at me, I possessed the inner resources to not only deal with it, but turn it to my advantage.
Perhaps I was delusional to feel that way, and my current mental state is a more realistic reflection of the way I fit into the world. Whether I was or not, that way of seeing the world is no longer available to me. It is gone. Somewhere - on some plane or boat or rig; in some office or waiting room or motel; during some one-sided argument or when lying sleepless in bed or sitting outside with tears blurring the stars above into vast clouds of chilly white light - it went.
[and I thought things were bad then - I really didn't have a clue!]