Archive for August, 2015

Understanding ‘healthy’

Thursday, August 20th, 2015

There’s now a public list of adulterers we can search through for the names of our spouses. Nobody intended it to be public, of course, but there is a popular website for married people who want to have secret sex with other married people. It’s an interesting subject, so somebody ‘broke in’ and stole the member list.

There’s been talk publishing the full list was necessary, to push towards legitimating promiscuity all around. The idea is, if the list is used maliciously to target a few important individuals, it could be blackmail material against the high-ranking officials who inevitably put their names on it. By publishing everyone’s name, it all becomes ho-hum.

Doubtless, a number of people are going to ‘suffer’ from these exposures. I quote the ‘suffer’ because infidelity and deception, in some of us, create lots of fear and uncertainty which feels very bad – even though the body’s fine and the ‘sufferer’ somehow shuffles right along. The effort to obsolete infidelity and remove the deception from our various copulations implies all the bad feeling might just go away.

Nowadays, I can’t help thinking if I’m suffering, I’m not healthy. I should do something about it. It’s amazing to me, this confused complex of thoughts – all whirling around sensations of deep discomfort – is really very simple. I’m unhappy. Take a pill.

The ‘pill,’ of course, is metaphoric here. Usually it’s a whole lot of conversations with professionals and deep self-assessments, coupled with some real pill-popping, and its result is, morning and evening – I keep getting by.

I remember what feeling ‘good’ is like. It still happens now, several times a day. But I wouldn’t be in this spot if I could leave it. I’ve tried to leave it and I can’t.

So I remember earlier times when I myself passed around wisdom about approaching and enjoying life – as if I knew. And I think it’s hard to be in the spot I’m in. People who depend on or cater to me lean back satisfied when I make it through another day and announce I’m a ‘6’ on a ten-point scale of contentedness. I just make it through and that’s OK.

I think of all the various combinations of shocked psychologies, as they encounter surprising names on the public adultery list; how many extraordinary subjective experiences are just falling out of the sky. How many people are feeling really, really bad – but just keep going on.

The ‘going on’ is healthy – what else is a body supposed to do?



A day between

Sunday, August 9th, 2015

It’s my birthday. I used to celebrate how much like everybody else I thought I was. It was a hypocritical celebration, because in fact I’ve always thought I’m extraordinary. The ‘joy’ in being like everybody else is mainly my desire to be ‘good’ – to say, in effect, I may be confounded by all these other people, but my heart remains with them.

Today, I’m celebrating just being here, period. I do feel good today. The summer is wearing on, and I am an extraordinarily lucky man.

I’m lucky because I’ve been jolted hard enough to force me out of any recognizable shape. I think there’s a core shape to most people; an experience with an outside they don’t reach.

It can be fairly obvious when someone has to earn money. ‘Having to earn money’ is more than just a political leaning, it’s a whole set of gut realities that overwhelm any real ideas about alternatives. For very many people in this country, ‘having to earn money’ is the whole size of the human being.

For many more there’s the shape of dependence on someone else. I forget nearly half of us don’t earn anything at all. These generally don’t bite the hands which feed them. Often, whole families are bound to a single thinking, as the way they’ve always survived.

But I was uprooted from one place to the next. I’ve lived outdoors in the wind and inside next to the hearth. I remember counting pennies to make it through dinnertime tomorrow. And I’ve been disappointed by the flavor of five dollar tomatoes.

I’ve been here long enough to have earned my keep, so to speak. I can feather my bed for a while longer, if my head stays in it. Or I can drive off and park next to the creek. The afternoon sunlight is brilliant against the rocks.