It is easy for me to become overwhelmed with a strong sense of needing to strive for utter purity in all that I do. The harder I strive, the harder I fall. The process begins with a question of: what matters? What will really matter at the end of this life? Should I focus on spending more time in prayer to and worship of God? Should I spend more quality time with my son? Should I be trying to write as much as I possibly can, letting the words pop out until something interesting starts to flow?
No matter what the thing is, I inevitably get caught up in the minutae of the day. If I don’t, then acedia sets in, and I begin to surf the internet and poke through many various books in search of something to latch onto. As much as part of me longs to be more pure in how I live, another part of me very badly wants to escape any sort of singular activity in favor of doing as many various things as possible. There is no great revelation here, but I don’t seem to learn my lesson every time I set out to focus on one single thing alone.
When someone dares review my life comprehensively after it has ended, they will see that the one thing I did the most (that I left some record of doing) and most consistently was write down my thoughts. I always came back to doing this because it was the only thing that made sense as a compromise between being so spiritually pure that only prayers and contemplation were needed and being so humanly pure that only my activities spent in relationships with others were needed.
God probably doesn’t care much for most of what I’ve written, and neither do most people. In fact, this is probably a terrible compromise in terms of it being something of genuine quality. But, it is all that I have left at the end of the day as my body and mind slow down and I can no longer accomplish as much physically or mentally as I used to. I have all but given up on the notion of having the kinds of human relationships I’d hoped to have one day. I am happy with my family, but I still need much time in relationship with someone or something else. In lieu of real friends or a God who talks to me like a person talks to me, I have my writing in which sometimes I do get into a groove and feel like someone bigger than me is talking to me and the words aren’t just my own head thoughts.
When I spend a brief moment around an especially charismatic or happy person, I can have my entire day thrown off kilter. I spend the rest of the day thinking about what it would be like to actually be that person’s friend. Back before I was married, that person would become my number one crush for months if she was female. I am not an especially charismatic person, and neither are most of the people who have ended up being my friends and lovers. There is something about me that inevitably scares away those attractive people who are attractive by virtue of something more than simply their looks.