Monday, January 31, 2011
Here's a letter I wrote to a friend of mine. I'm still waiting on the response. While writing it, it came to me that I hadn't updated this blog for a while, and the content of the message pretty much summed up some of the things going on with me.
"I'm sorry for the dead-end conversation this weekend. I seem to be in a phase of pushing people away right now, it seems I have been doing it to many people. It's not a great thing I want to admit, because it makes people feel dejected, and really, that's not what I'm about. Or am I? Maybe it's my function to go around getting people's hopes up and then dashing them to disappointment. I seem to be pretty good at that. Mmm, I wonder if there's a way to incorporate that into my career? Promises Unfulfilled, Inc. is the business plan I seek.
"I have long had a problem with commitment. Not just in relationships, but in other areas as well. Solve a problem? well, let's take it apart bit by bit, and see if we can diagnose what the issue is.. thing is, one is supposed to learn things by how they are dismantled, of how it goes together, of how the parts interact with each other, etc; and once one figures out how is comes apart, one can presumably restore and put it back together again. Pretty standard tinkerer's thinking, there. But what if you're not learning anything by taking it apart? What if you disassemble for the sake of disassembly? What if one misjudges the resources available, and perhaps doesn't have time to put the pieces back together? What if someone just loses focus and interest in keeping it all together? Downward spiral. The value of the project is reduced to "just another thing I'm doing"
"Things change when one is relied upon, though, in a dramatic and spectacular way. When one has children to care for, one would put aside his/her own level of contentment to embrace the children's. I found that o be true, while raising my kids. I did things I would never in a million million years do on my own volition, and I loved doing it. Still hate Chuck E Cheese, but I'm glad I took my kids there, because they loved it. In your message, you mentioned your daughter needing care from you for the rest of her life. That's a hell of a greater commitment then taking the girls to a pizzeria. I hesitate to say anything, because in comparison, my problems are a breeze. I think. I don't know. my problems seem pretty heavy to me but I do think that they are temporary. How temporary? I don't know. I know you love her and that love will give you the strength to achieve greatness with her. I really respect that.
"I use communication in a marginly biased way. I only want to report the good news. I want to crow about how great things are going and to share my happiness. I don't want to talk about (perceived) failures, or depressions or funks, or how much I might hurt because of something I did, or how much I think I've hurt someone... I would rather tell you about a cool technology or sculpture, or something hilariously funny or whatever. I know that's unfair to me, but it is a habit I've picked up somewhere, and habits... you know... they're hard to break. They're easier to alter, I've found. and so changing one aspect of a habit can keep the habit, but bring about positive outcomes. On paper that looks good.
"I spend most of my time in shock, though, really. Shocked that I'm here, and not where i feel I should be, though to be honest, I didn't have a very good strategy to begin with. I'm shocked that I'm not near my kids. I'm shocked that I destroyed a woman's perception of reality (my wife's, which I'm hoping you got without me saying so). I'm shocked that my own concepts of happiness and bliss were WAY more in the realm of unicorns and bubbly streams than I previously thought. (I'm discovering that my naivete knows no bounds) And the most discouraging thing of all, maybe, is that I can't seem to work anything to my advantage. I can't seem to "get it together" long enough to produce satisfying results. That on top of I still don't know what I want to be when I grow up, as well as my inability to learn from my own mistakes, I can look forward to a lifetime of taking blind leaps of faith.
"That garbage above, that's the stuff I don't want to communicate. And there's way more eating at my heart, and I don't want to burden anyone with my own problems. and This is the reason I didn't feel comfortable talking the other night. Because I know that talking out my problems will brand me a "loser" (which is admittedly a perception held by others and shouldn't affect me in the slighest, Mr. Rugged Individualist.) But I also have very little faith in my own abilities to see me out of this one. Poor poor me. Another pity party for me.
"Not many specifics in this message. I've moved. Living with a friend. He likes you. You'd dig him, too. you guys should go on a date, it'd be a natural. heh. Ok, that's my thought on that, and I said it, so there you go. I still have no idea what the next few months will bring, the last four weren't so great. Though they were significant, I'll admit that. Working hard on honing myself, I think, maybe. The tinkerer's habit. "
So, what can I say here to validate this entry as something more than a correspondence? Well, the first thing that I thought of is a Tarot card, The Fool. And I think in this case, reversed. New pathways opening up, the Fool epitomizes blind faith in allowing "the universe" to take care of him. And such is that. But how many times can the Fool jump? infinitesimal numbers, it would seem. and the purpose of the jump? Enlightenment and fulfillment. That is the purpose behind the lifestyle purported by the Tarot. To grow, and to thrive. Knowing this is not enough though. Knowing it leads to the moral of the Frog Doctor "Physician, Heal thyself".
I've had a problem with that fable, since I was little. It's one of Aesop's Fables, about a frog who claimed he could heal all the animals if only they would listen to his prescription. One fable critter (a fow, maybe? for sake of clarity, let's just say a fox) who was tired of hearing Frog boast of his prowess, snapped back, "oh ugly frog, why should we listen to you when you yourself have ugly, warty skin? Heal thyself, ugly frog, before tending to others." I don't have an issue with the idea of health being mirrored by perfect skin, mind you. I can place myself in the universe where the frog doctor actually needs medical attention for his skin condition. Fine. What i have a problem with is the presumption the fox bears that the frog IS ABLE to heal himself. The barber doesn't cut his own hair, now does he? The frog offers his wisdom to help and is quite Hippocratic about it, as I see, and he gets trounced by the fox, who, as I see it, is only undermining the frog's efforts and philanthropy.
At any rate. I am the Fool on this adventure, and I have already made my leap. I just worry that my faith is a strong enough parachute.