Tue, 27 Dec 2005

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the turning of the year

As I get older, I think I get more resistant to learning anything new, despite the fact that I know that I am currently in an extraordinarily maladaptive state.

I give up. Just let me lie here and rot for a little while. I'll figure everything out later.

But, as they say, time waits for no one, and I figure I've got to look back sometime.

You can't know where you're going if you don't know where you've come from.

It's soon time to make resolutions, to ring the new year, to start with a new slate, but I know myself too well. I've never managed to keep a resolution past January 31, and is futility really all that bad if you accept it for what it is?

Never before have I been caught in a horrible loop of "been there, done that." It is all too easy for me to look ahead and prognosticate that any changes that are bound to happen are also bound to be bad.

Is it really that healthy to always prepare for the worst? I am reminded of a particular passage from Survivor by Chuck Palahniuk (which I blogged about once upon a time.)

With my eyes closed, I ask if she knows how this will all turn out.
"Long-term or short-term?" she asks.
Both.
"Long-term," she says, "we're all going to die. Then our bodies will rot. No surprise there. Short-term, we're going to live happily ever after."
Really?
"Really," she says. "So don't sweat…. Can you just relax and let things happen?"
I ask, does she mean, like disasters, like pain, like misery? Can I just let all that happen?
"And Joy," she says, "and Serenity, and Happiness, and Contentment…. You don't have to control everything," she says. "You can't control everything."
But you can be ready for disaster….
"If you worry about disaster all the time, that's what you're going to get…."
The whole world is a disaster waiting to happen….
"No matter what happens," [she] says, "no matter what you do… it's the right thing."

And I think I've said this before, and it just continues to worry me: I can't feel a goddamn thing. I mean, I can sense misery and pain and suffering and hopelessness, but I don't think I can experience them anymore. Sure, it's a coping mechanism, but the sad fact of the matter is that I can't seem to experience anything. Oh, sure, I've had momentary lapses of joy now and then, but you know that sort of contentment that gets you humming, makes you look forward to the next dawn? That, I don't know a damn thing about. That carefree, innocent glee that all kids at least are capable of. I don't remember the last time I felt that. Deep down inside, I know that once upon a time I did, but I really lost the habit of it. I've been worried about the future for so long, all I really know how to do is worry. About things that I have absolutely no control over.

The first step to dealing with tragedy is acceptance. But I think there's got to more than that. It's like watching your house burn down, or something. I mean, yeah, at some point you have to accept it. But what is it, what is that emotion that makes you determined to move on, to rebuild? That's what I'm missing. I've learned the trick of living with the ongoing tragedy of the universe, but I haven't picked up the technique of starting all over again with full vigor. We all know that all things go to shit eventually, but I feel like most of the human race is able to build anyway. Sure, some of these people are probably deluded or insane, but I think there is something wonderfully innately human in that—the ability to keep going, and not just survive, but excel, even in the face of horrible setbacks. I really don't know how to do that. Sure, I can keep going, but it's nothing more than short-term survival. The long-term is nothing but this bleak, featureless haze, of the same thing over and over again, death and decay, and the long black darkness of eternal sleep.

You know there's something wrong with you when you're only 29 years old and the only thing you really have to look forward to is death.

But I'm too jaded to think that I can turn things around in 2006. I mean, yeah, you've got to start out small. Tiny steps.

There's gotta be more to life than this, right?

00:10:10 27 Dec 2005 > /soul > permalink > 5 comments

Tue, 20 Dec 2005

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one step at a time (it's all about small, non-threatening things)

Probably around January, I'll have cleaned out of my apartment. Maybe. If I remain strong-willed and devoted. It's times like this that I wonder if I haven't got some sort of subtle brain damage. I've been reading Descartes' Error by Antonio R. Damasio, which deals with how, contrary to popular belief (and Vulcan culture), it is necessary to be emotional in order to make sane, rational decisions. He begins by pointing out certain brain-damaged individuals whose abilities to reason, to communicate, to manipulate abstract ideas, and to process information, are in fact intact, and yet they display the inability to navigate through normal life, often making monumental errors in judgement.

The interesting thing is that this hearkens back to my little soliloquy on executive brain dysfunction. I had also read The Executive Brain: Frontal Lobes and the Civilized Mind by Elkhonon Goldberg (which I've touched upon tangentially once upon a time) and times like this, I really feel like I should get an MRI. Or maybe treat myself empirically with amphetamines. (To the DEA agent who may be reading this entry: I'm totally kidding!)

I don't know. My brain is just serious mush right now.

20:09:26 20 Dec 2005 > /soul > permalink > 0 comments

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chaos

As I sit here in front of my computer in my underwear, unshowered, and unshaven, procrastinating about going to work, I stare at the detritus of my living room, with weeks-old mail strewn across the floor, and tangled up wires all over the place.

Times like this, I can't help but wonder: what the hell am I doing with my life?

And then I remember this: It is far too late for regret.


It's 53 degrees outside right now and there was a very recent time in my life when I would've classified this as a heat wave, what with it being December and all, but now that I've completely readjusted to sunny Southern California, all I really want to do is bury myself under my covers and wait until spring. I kind of wonder if seasonal affective disorder is simply a genetic anachronism from some mammalian ancestor that used to hibernate. Whatever it is, I've got it, and it sucks.


And why is it, that when I'm feeling really low, whatever the reason may be, I always find myself dwelling on the fact that I'm alone. Oh so very alone.

Ha.


It's time, meet me on the sunny road…

07:27:32 20 Dec 2005 > /soul > permalink > 2 comments

Sun, 18 Dec 2005

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dying days

burnt out, trampled, bruised and scratched up tattered and shredded into bits was it dark purpose, cruel design as the daylight waned and darkness usurped the land that I was made against my will to face the dying and the dead made to be Charon rowing the rickety boat across that lifeless river

I will remember their lifeless eyes the heart still beating, the lungs still drawing breath but the soul knew no more, trickled out, evaporated in that final agony that is wordless the only cry a weak whisper escaping from my lips in that bleak despair of those sterile rooms the darkness of bitter morning looming outside the windowpanes reminding me that we are, in the end, just lifeless meat

I have mastered the art of crushing hope stamping out the sparks of miracles to offer nothing more than a peaceful death (but it is as I have always known it the dying may suffer, but it is the living who must bear it) send sweet nepenthe dripping through your veins and it is I who must remember who will whisper your name in the dark quiet night in the silence before dreaming in the space between spaces

It is the weeping of the still-living that wound me thousands of tiny needles and knives and the dreams and hopes of what might be shredded and mangled by cold, hard science the mathematics of probability and Time's unstoppable arrow even the stars are torn asunder, obliterated into soul-sucking darkness given enough time

Those final breaths, hard, and labored, the body, unthinking, still aches to live but all I can promise is unending sleep

It is in this quiet moment the cold silence of dark winter night hanging over me that I catalog the names of the dead whisper their names like a litany and pray for dreamless sleep.

21:46:03 18 Dec 2005 > /poetry > permalink > 0 comments

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emiliana torrini "sunny road"

I think I have a thing for Icelandic women. I stumbled upon the single "Sunny Road" by Emiliana Torrini I think somewhere on the iTunes Music Store. The album it's on is "Fisherman's Woman" which juxtaposes her sweet gentle voice with pretty acoustic guitar accompaniment. I don't know why, but it makes me think of the California coast, and light rain.

21:08:54 18 Dec 2005 > /playlist > permalink > 13 comments