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Apr. 2nd, 2017 @ 06:28 pm Blogs
How I feel: thoughtfulthoughtful

I went to my blog today. Boy was that depressing.
And not because one of my last posts was about Kara and the 20 year anniversary of her death, either.

It's because all the rest of my latest posts were about my honeymoon, and gardening, and rabbit training. Simple, happy little posts. I'm not even jealous of the past me that WAS so happy, because I appreciated it properly. The feel of hands in rich soil that was mine to steward and protect, the appreciation of a very simple, outwardly boring life. I thought about it constantly. I'd think "I'm so very fortunate" and take daily stock of the ways it was true. Pressing plants into the ground, pressing my hand against my partners, pressing myself to be better, pressing my staff to grow into productive members of society. It was like a warm blanket to snuggle in against the chill. I never took any of it for granted. Why? Because I know enough about the alternative.

I still take to the Taoist concept that if you can't find happiness in doing simple things you'll never find it. Once my Maslovian Needs were met - safety, stability, health, shelter, good realtionships, I reveled in my simplicity. I stopped being consumed with my own complicated emotional triggers, trying desperately to untangle a car-sized knot with thousands of threads feeding into it just so I could function. I was able, in a way, to stop existing in such a profound way and to give myself over to a new kind of producitivity and contribution beyond myself.
Not that I'd call myself selfish, per-say.  I don't think anybody else that knows me would label me as such either, probably reflecting on my 13+ years in nonprofit service. But there is a certain self-centeredness to the dedication of SO MUCH TIME to exploring oneself. I can justify it by saying that monks do it, and science-fiction writers do it (after all, one of the great things about science fiction is that it acts as a way for us to puzzle out humanity's place in the universe), so I'm justified in doing it. Justifying to whom? Myself. See? Self-centered. Even in conversation when somebody opens up to me, I try to give people delicate space by reflecting on my own experiences in hopes thaty they can gain something from that. It's a tricky space because then I wonder how I ended up telling my own story (which I already know) rather than listening to the story I actually want to hear.

The productivity that came from not being tied up in all that thread was astonishing. So this is what healthy people can do? Jesus, the energy. It was a very similar feeling to that of escaping crushing poverty into simply being low-income. Potential, the middle-class luxury, was something I hadn't previously considered. So with this extra energy I created an unpaid part-time job for myself because I felt like such a terrible waste sitting about watching mindless TV shows complaining and worrying about the state of a dying planet, the death of what, if anything, I consider to be God.

When I first started going to therapy I was afraid that being "cured" of all of my problems would make me vapid. Happiness, after all, is pretty dull. Are happy people creative? The best art comes from misery. The best music, from pain. The best poetry, from loss. Happy art is... advertising.

I wish I were just being cynical. But even the times when beauty has moved me... like the sculpture of Psyche and Cupid about to tenderly kiss almost brought me to tears it's because it reminded me of the pain of love. There's always an element of pain to it feeling deeply. Beauty, love, joy, nostalgia... they all hurt. And if it DOESN'T hurt then it doesn't really do anything.
I've been happy for other people. Truly truly happy. But that happiness comes from a person emerging, again, from a period of pain. They overcame something. They were devastated and have put themselves back together again, they were meloncholy and have finally found delight, they were heartbroken and once again found love, unemployed and found a dream job. These are the times I feel real joy at another person's happiness.
But if they've always been happy? They can go fuck themselves.

After half a life of being so emotional repressed I have to admit I was surprised at how much I had locked away in there. It reminds me very much of the time I watched my dad cut open a golf ball in the parking lot. Once the tight shell was removed, it unwound like a giant wild rubber band. I couldn't believe how much was in there. Once it got going there was no stopping it until it was done. Exhausted.

I think a lot of my self-centeredness (because I'm just going with that) comes from long periods of isolation. As I've spent many long hours contemplating the true impact of a childhood and adolescence ripe with emotional neglect combined with substantial restrictions on my every move, I am relatively confident that I've got a handle on the most basic pillars of that edifice. I don't like to rely on others to meet my needs - financially or emotionally. I know it's impossible, as I'm human and human beings are social creatures. I'm part of a complex ecological web, and Independence is a false God worshipped by our country the same way the myth of the Meritocracy is more sacred than the Automobile. Yet there I am, reluctant to give shits about those around me beyond what I think I am morally obligated to provide unless I bond with them. Then evidently I'm bonded for fucking life.I'm still connected to Kara and she's been dead for over 20 years. As a result I'm careful with whom I form a close attachment, and give the rest up as beings I do not care much about. I don't contemplate other people anymore. I'm always left disappointed with society in general, as I think humanity is weak, selfish, short-sighted, instant-gratification-driven parasites. While in college I was at least able to keep a kind of scientific distance while studying society, but that has been replaced largely with disgust.
But I digress.

Emotionally speaking I have limited my concern to myself and a small group of close significant others, to whom I am distressingly attached. I think this is normal. I am also distressingly attached to the planet, for lack of a better way to phrase it, as it is the closest I come to spirituality. The part of the human psyche that has to revere and love something larger than itself has the potential to be our greatest strength, but often, thanks to the manipulation of other human parasites, leaves us stuck in the trenches of religion and outdated tradition. That part of me, the most selfless part of me I suppose, simply despairs in grief at all that's lost daily. The most beautiful things I've ever witnessed in my life have been in nature. The times I've been moved the most out of beauty, or awe, or joy, has been around the things mankind has not yet managed to destroy. And it is in that daily destruction where I feel the pain that may be what really moves me. It's what makes me cry at watching Planet Earth. The times it brings me to a spiritual place is when I feel my connection in something so large that I am nothing at all. Simply sets of cells and molecules, living and dying along with everything else. But then I think of deepening my connection, purposefully, to something I'm a part of destroying and the line between pleasure and pain is crossed... I'm holding a live electrical wire. I can't REALLY let go of it, my muscles won't let me, but I want to sometimes.
But I can't.
And I shouldn't, anyway. There's something about having such a tiny little world that's repugnant and cowardly to me, so I remind myself to deal with reality of a tender heart that's exposed to the things, and people, who I've chosen to share it with. My vulnerability isn't some great honor. But it's all I have to give.

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Sep. 29th, 2005 @ 05:53 pm Password Protection
How I feel: disappointeddisappointed
Current Sounds: Interpol - Evil
I didn't want to do this.

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