Quite a burden was lifted while I was writing the three part series. At the time, I wasn’t sure I could do it. Thus it both felt challenging and was a source of security not having to find news topics for each article.
Two methods arose for finding a new topic for today. The first and most attractive was that I could sit down and write as if I knew what I were doing. The second was to admit that I was hopeless and write about that. I chose the second method. I’m not a machine, and this blog is not about trying to create a perfect persona when I’m not perfect myself. The machine was fine for three entries, the Life Is Hard series.
I could even have extended that series with more detail and more subjects, but the three topics were developed spontaneously, unlike the artificial additions I would have to tack on in order to avoid precisely what I have faced for the last three days.
But as I said, I chose to admit I was hopeless and write about that. This approach is genuine, and that’s good, but it runs the risk of being self-pitying, whining and complaining. I’m not dogmatic about my choice. I’ll alternate with other method next time.
I’m trying to sift through what I’ve written precisely to weed out what seems like too much whining and complaining.
“Definitely a lull in my life right now. Sometimes I go through windows of time with no apparent purpose at all.
“The Veterans Administration application requires two non-relatives to fill out a one-page reference sheet. I got one of them already, and I gave the other to a close friend, but I haven’t been able to get the paper back, so the whole application process is bottlenecked as a result. It makes me hate handing over any responsibility to anybody else, for which you are entirely dependent on them. It’s a reference form, so I can’t fill it out myself unless I’m trying to be dishonest. But the stopping of this process makes me feel horrible.”
Too much? It’s personal details. I guess it’s okay to say so long as I say something philosophical along with it. In theory, I’m writing for everybody, not just for those who know me and care about me personally.
Here is my description of choosing to admit my hopelessness instead of writing like I’m a machine. It’s not really connected, but it’s actually really good writing!:
“By consciously placing yourself at the giant hole at the center of your experience, it’s possible to see what troubles you. If you spend too much time in the light, that is, acting out the motions of what you want instead of solemnly accepting what you feel, you could miss witnessing the spirits of the unconscious swimming silently like whales in the depths of the void.
“I think that I will watch the whales today.”
Warning: Whining and Complaining Ahead.
“The particular thing on my mind is how much I wish I had more help with life. Life is a riddle. It’s only natural to want help solving it. I’m not ignorant as to the fact that I’m not alone in this matter. The common American idea is that must make what you want. Of course the implication as that everyone already knows what they want. Beyond a vague wish that I were more famous than I am, I don’t really know what I want.
“My life is actually extremely simple. Not a permanent solution, nor really an altogether desirable situation, but simple nonetheless.
“Besides this blog, trying to volunteer for veterans is the only thing I’m doing. Besides eating, sleeping, searching the internet, walking — I’m not living unhealthily just in near total isolation. That’s really what’s bothering me right now. I just don’t know anybody with whom I can collaborate on anything at all significant…
“Which leads to the question of why I don’t do something myself. Why don’t I write a book or something? I don’t know why. I don’t have the energy. I decided to blog here once a week, then bumped it to twice a week. It seemed like that was all I was capable of. I still think that’s bascially what I have in me with regard to producing something myself. Perhaps greater desperation or greater insight will enhance my current capacities in this regard. Probably not.”
At least I found something to distract me finally:
“Then there’s the whole question of, well, if you are in complete isolation and have no apparent escape, what is the cosmic meaning of your condition? There’s an apparent absense of ‘lower’ purpose to this situation. So what’s the ‘higher’ purpose? The human instinct to try to find meaning even if there’s none really to be found. I’m not saying flat out that there’s no meaning to my current existence. There may well be. God may pull through, so to say, as in the end of the Book of Job, where God finally ends His long silence on the matter of why Job was suffering so much. Not to say that God actually answers the question at hand, because He doesn’t — instead He goes on a long tyrade about what an idiot Job must be for even bringing up the subject in the first place, after which Job just shuts the hell up because at that point there isn’t anything left to say. But at least you can give God credit for jumping in and saying *something*, and in this respect you could argue that at last the meaning of Job’s miserable suffering had been revealed.”
God’s tyrade begins in chapter 38, but the whole story is (mostly) worth reading:
Read The Book of Job Here!
And then back to whining and complaining:
“You know, I could easily argue that staring at the whales has proven of some value, because it got me to read the Book of Job in greater depth. And in doing so I feel better. Thus a scrap of meaning has been obtained. But I don’t necessarily assume this strategy will always work. At the same time, I got some meaning for now. What really matters is that one must get distracted by something. But finding something to distract me is hard, and the same thing rarely works twice in a row, so it’s still tough.”
This article contains my own commentary about what I might have just published outright, except that I’m too aware of the unattractiveness of being too self-pitying to have done so. Therefore I’ve done a combination of objective talk and subjective self-analysis. I’ll have to consider later how well it has worked, but at least I’ve made my deadline.
See you on Tuesday!