Archive for June, 2015

Redeemed

Saturday, June 27th, 2015

I watched the President sing ‘Amazing Grace’ this morning.

Perhaps I have a peculiar relationship to the things I say. I say them enthusiastically – grandly – with deep conviction and sincerity. So often, I am entirely wrong.

I am not wrong about this:

The President is a good man, singing a true song to an impossible people. He has overcome.

God? What are you doing?

Thursday, June 18th, 2015

The corniest metaphor ever!

Thursday, June 18th, 2015

Here it is: as far as meaning goes, I’m like a spreadsheet. Its contents don’t matter to a spreadsheet – only its users care.

This is hugely important to a spreadsheet’s survival – to it’s being started up in the first place. How it gives back what’s put into it determines everything: how many times it’s started, how often it’s used, how many other users find it and want to use it too.

It’s my use by others that is my life. All the attention and energy I put into managing my own content is simply dead time – I don’t learn what somebody else wants by looking at myself.

Jesus was famous for this: love your neighbor.

Science is pushing this: what you do for others – outright self-sacrifice – is where happiness comes from.

My life isn’t determined by anything I can understand from within. Self-reflection, therapy, soul-searching: it’s all dead time. I’m just an unused spreadsheet. The single dumb rule: ‘if you’re asked for your coat, give your shirt also’ – that’s life itself.

It seems bizarre and un-natural. If I don’t take care of myself first, how can I care for anyone else?

And so I don’t really care for anybody – and I’m disappointed and uncomfortable to my last gasp.

If I’m cut up and broken and lying in the road next to an unconscious stranger, with headlights bearing down on us, the best thing – for me – will be to push the stranger out of the way first.

(of course, try living that)

Closer to the top of the world

Wednesday, June 10th, 2015

I’ve just driven up to Fairbanks. It’s daylight all the time and I was hoping some of my darkness would go away. I’m in the third year of a single long temper tantrum. I had a sudden thought, sometime back, that maybe I could feel less alone if I got to know a stranger. I’ve been prevented – by my family, my moral history. By the stranger.

I’ve become bizarre, unpredictable, and dangerous. I went around to the various hawkers selling their explanations and tried to devote myself to ‘answers.’ But the entire mass of twentieth-century philosophical diarrhea came flooding out of a hole ripped open by a mechanical fallacy (‘I am what I think I am’) – and the world is full of smiling practitioners obsessed with self-content and babbling nonsense. I’ll have done with it.

There’s something new birthing in the world. I’m not feeling it first, but I feel it strongly because I was born with a mind that seeks excitement and disruption. What’s coming is disruptive indeed, but it’s invisible if you’re sitting still.

I going to die ‘now,’ which is a euphemism for – what? Thirty years? Forty?

That’s just a disappearance. I didn’t get to watch a ‘death’ for fifty-five odd years. I should have watched one sooner. There is absolutely nothing coming my way, and I’m not leaving anything behind. What should I do? Embrace the tautological stupidity of ‘be here now’ – as if I could sort out from a fiction some solid chunks of truth?

I’ve been screaming into the night. For a couple of days now, at least, I’m going to scream into the daytime.

‘invisible reality’

Thursday, June 4th, 2015

The science indicates parental influence has very little to do with a child’s adult outcomes. That’s right parents: all your efforts, anxiety, and enthusiasm basically amount to self-exhortation – barring outright abuse, your kids will turn out the same no matter what.

This is hard to believe, so I’m forever trying to ‘do the right thing’ for my kids – and constantly explaining myself (to myself) by reference to my own childhood.

My mother was genuinely crazy, and if yours wasn’t you’ve got no idea what I’m talking about. She believed hers was a pivotal role in the history of humanity, and her own actions were going to bring about the resurrection of Jesus Christ. I was a very little boy when I decided this (probably) wasn’t true.

So we argued.

She argued in the way of the missionaries. She repeated her ‘truth’ over and over, with no discernable proof, by deploying what she felt was incontrovertible logic – if there is any ‘invisible reality’ at all, then the wildest imaginable realities might be true, and I couldn’t prove they’re not because they’re invisible.

I did the only thing a boy could do: I rejected the possibility of ‘invisible reality.’ This made for odd conversations (“don’t you believe air is real?”). It took her a long time to let go of me, but eventually she kept to proselytizing more ‘gullible’ characters.

Comes the man, and a little ‘invisible reality’ might be handy once in a while. ‘Love’ is an invisible reality, and I’m studying the science texts trying to discover the mechanical contexts for some kind of verifiable brain-to-brain communication so I’ll know that ‘love’ is real.

You’d think somehow I might just try believing in it. But the little boy knows what you’re up to.