Somewhere from my reserves of strength I must pull forth something new and yet unknown. I must traverse a new sea to arrive at a new land.
There is the ever-present gap between the way the future is expected to look and feel and the way that it does look and feel. The utterly familiar is overlooked. The strange is met with gnashing of teeth. The charmingly novel is held in intense scrutiny until it withers. The worst is expected and all signs of the worst being made manifest are met with sheer terror. The final state becomes one of anxious, listless boredom, or acedia, or a full-on desire to perennially escape into fantastic realms.
The same goes for the will toward companionship. No relationship is quite right, and neither is being alone.
The answer should be one of learning to be content with what I have, not worrying for the morrow, accepting change when it comes, and being strong enough to get up and act when I am called upon to act. There is the terror of showing up and being told I wasn’t called to do anything at all–in fact, my life was meant to be one of complete ease, where I merely passed on my DNA. I don’t do an especially better job of thinking about these things, I merely insist on seeing my thoughts appear as words here.
If I knew that today was going to be the last day I would have the luxury of reflecting and writing like this, I might spend it lost in prayer, burying my head in deep anguish for all of my sins. If I knew that I still had more of my life to live than what I’ve already lived, I might take the time to watch a movie on Netflix or read a novel purely for entertainment.
I am suspended in a state where I know that I could die at any minute, for any number of natural or accidental reasons. But, if the course of world history and my own particular arc through it manage to remain somewhat stable, I might live for another eighty years or more.
The level of corruption and incompetence that is headed our way in the form of the U.S. President + Congress is so utterly stunning and overwhelming, that I am inclined to think that my death will be sooner than later. The global environment simply can’t sustain this kind of government, and it will surely reach a tipping point and begin to fail on so many systemic levels that the planet will become largely uninhabitable.
This leads me to desire focusing more on spending high quality time with my son, so that he will pass into whatever adulthood he can knowing that he was loved by his father. This leads me to feeling like I need a lot more faith than I do–as the only world that can bring me a sense of hope is one to come that isn’t manmade. But, I am not quite ready to throw in the towell and become one of those people who sit and wait expectantly for the end of days, so that God and Jesus can come in and clean up all of the mess we humans have made.
I am still compelled to sit here and write, and publish my thoughts. I have no explanation for this. I have abandoned such activity more times than I can count, and yet I always end up feeling like something is pushing me to get back into posting my thoughts online.
What I am really trying to communicate is how I, like every other human being, lived on this earth once upon a time as a fully-conscious being aware of his existence and inner and outer worlds. The essential nature of myself, that which makes me fully human with all of the accompanying delights and flaws, is a nature that I sincerely hope is shared by every single other human being. This is sometimes easier to declare than actually stomach. It’s all fine and good to think that I am just as human as the poorest of the poor and the utterly marginalized humans of the world, but is my “global human self” place that I am speaking from just as comfortable realizing that Donald Trump and Charles Manson share it with me?
I would never deny that I have written more than a little that is uniquely me, and therefore coming from a particular place of white, male privilege. However, I rarely, if ever, sit down with the objective of writing from the place of anyone other than me, a singular individual or me, a global human. My flaws and sins are my own, but surely they are shared by others. My sense of being a human, in a human’s body, in a civilization of other human beings, is surely similar to that which is shared by any number of men, women and children, old and young, rich and poor, black and white. If not, then are the walls between me and you so high that it isn’t even worth the attempt to tear them down?