Bless me, Blog Fathers, for I have shunned [this blog]. It has been a week since my last entry. These are my sins (I was raised Catholic, can you tell?)
To be direct, I don’t need a confessor. But then, that seems to be the only thing I am not in need of. My spirit suffers from too much not-enough, as the world outside seeks to turn their own abundances into caricatures.
As luck (luck?) would have it, my thoughts and feelings are corralled into a space of my own choosing, but not of my own will—no, I’m not sure what I mean, either.
Life cannot find reasons to sustain it, cannot be a source of decent natural regard, unless each of us resolves to breathe such qualities into it. — Frank Herbert
I’m running out of breath.
It’s not just the new calisthenics of going back to work, nor of over-obligations with other business. Breathing is just respiration, but respiration is so much more. It’s the exchange of affluent and effluent. One expels carbon dioxide because one accumulates it. One inhales oxygen because one consumes it. Same with food. Same with gratification. Same with sex. Same with job.
It’s good to recognize what you take, and what you excrete: armed with that knowledge and a sense of decent natural regard one can take only what is needed, return what one can, and have no other faith than that others will have the same regard, the same decency.
Of course not everyone does that. And when you look around you, when you’re surrounded—by fiat or by choice—by those who are not of decent natural regard, and when you see them moving forward faster or living easier or choosing less or bogarting the simplicity you wish you had, it’s that much easier to disregard regard and to find decency unnatural.
Nature, if nothing else, moderates. With give there’s take, and take there’s give—that’s how cycles happen. And cycles lead to rhythms, rhythm to pattern, pattern to nuance.
Words fail, never better than a bludgeon when what you need is a jeweler’s loupe and tweezers.
Well, there’s always song..and I have several playing in my head, all from different angles:
Only in Your Heart by America<br/>
Mary, have you seen better days? <br/>
And will you find different ways? <br/>
And does he really mean that much to your heart? <br/>
Carry, all of the weight you can, find another man <br/>
And lead him directly there to the source <br/>
You’ve got to chart his course <br/>
‘Cause it is only in your heart <br/>
This thing that makes you want to <br/>
Start it all again…<br/>
Wake up from an elusive dream <br/>
You’ve got to change the scene <br/>
It’s getting so hard to see to the end <br/>
Break down, all of the walls you can <br/>
You need a helping hand <br/>
I’m sure there’s someone there just for you <br/>
He’s trying to make it, too…<br/>
You can’t disregard your friends <br/>
But life gets so hard when you reach the end
All This Useless Beauty by Elvis Costello<br/>
Nonsense prevails, modesty fails<br/>
Grace and virtue turn into stupidity<br/>
While the calendar fades almost all barricades to a pale compromise<br/>
And our leaders have feasts on the backsides of beasts<br/>
They still think they’re the gods of antiquity<br/>
If something you missed didn’t even exist<br/>
It was just an ideal — is it such a surprise?
Both Sides Now by Joni Mitchell<br/>
Tears and fears and feeling proud<br/>
To say “I love you” right out loud<br/>
Dreams and schemes and circus crowds<br/>
I’ve looked at life that way<br/>
Oh but now old friends are acting strange<br/>
They shake their heads, they say I’ve changed<br/>
Well something’s lost but something’s gained<br/>
In living every day<br/>
I’ve looked at life from both sides now<br/>
From up and down and still somehow<br/>
It’s life’s illusions I recall<br/>
I really don’t know life at all
I’ve Got A Dark Alley And A Bad Idea That Says You Should Shut Your Mouth (Summer Song) by Fall Out Boy
Joke me something awful just like kisses on the necks of “just friends”
We are the kids who feel like dead ends
And I want to be known for my hits, not just my misses
I took a shot and didn’t even come close
At trust and love and hope
And the poets are just kids who didn’t make it
Who never had it at all
And the record won’t stop skipping
And the lies just won’t stop slipping
And besides my reputation’s on the line
We can fake it for the airwaves
Force our smiles, baby, half dead
From comparing myself to everyone else around me
Please put the doctor on the phone because I’m not making any sense
Blame everyone else but me for this mess
And my back has been breaking from this heavy heart
We never seemed so far
I’m hopelessly hopeful, you’re just hopeless enough
But we never had it at all
I’ve decided to be less opaque and more literal by bold-facing the particular lyrics from each song. No, not a single one is directed at any person but myself. It’s about fucking time it’s about myself.
Those who step away from the natural are easy to spot: they’re the ones who mistake simplistic for simple, who cling to the desperate convenience of a label. They are those who mordantly stab at their own pasts in hopes of the absolution of circumstance.
They flatten their lives into a cartoon and call it an imprimatur. They label the dangerous, the stupid, the deadly, the acts of arrogance into toothless candy-colored lozenges. “Tina”, “barebacking”, “serosorting”, “bear”, “twink”, “otter”, “bug hunting”, “gift giving”, “god”, “daddy”, “boy”, “slave”, “pup”, “pro-life”, “sanctity”.
The soft pink bunny is unassailable.
But I guess that’s the point, isn’t it?
So as I said, I’m nearly out of breath. Out of breath from trying to inflate my surroundings back into three dimensions. Out of breath not for them but for myself. What will happen to my decent natural regard if I’m plunged into Flatland? Maybe I’m not strong enough to be resist what’s easier.
Then again, when you burst into tears because you’ve lost so much, recent and distant, maybe it’s not a good time to write in your blog.