Sun, 21 Mar 2004


soul lag

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William Gibson mentions it in Pattern Recognition. A metaphysical explanation for why you experience jet lag is because souls can only travel at a finite speed (akin to how light can't travel faster than 186,000 km/hr.) Jet lag is supposedly the sensation of the astral cord (connecting body and soul) being pulled apart, and it doesn't resolve until the soul finally catches up to the body.

So I'm wondering if my emotional lability is just that. I mean, sure, it's been an emotional few days. My fate for the next four years has at last been determined. New horizons have opened up.

On one hand, there is the release of finally knowing what is going to happen next, and the joy of realizing that my life will be filled with at least literal sunlight (nevermind the actual weather in my soul.) I haven't been this happy for a long time.

On the other hand, there is the inevitable sense of loss. Where I am now is merely a holding pattern, some transient respite. The eye of the hurricane.

Of course, I prefer to be here in L.A., in my home town, where I have all this time to myself, to reminisce of days gone past, of all the sorrow and woe that mean nothing now that I know what's going to happen next. (And I say that very loosely, because who really does know what's going to happen next.)

This sense of limbo, or perhaps more accurately purgatory. Or (if you're at all familiar with The Lord of the Rings) my own personal Shire. I'm like Frodo Baggins on one hand longing to follow Bilbo into Wilderland, on the other hand, not quite done with the Shire, not quite ready to let go of the familiar hills and valleys, forests and streams.

I know full well that to leave again, to start once more, is the best of all possible worlds (not that I believe in Deism.) Staying here would've been a less optimal path. In the long run, I'm pretty sure this is best. This sense of loss isn't so much that I feel like the decision was wrong. Rather, I'm being greedy. I wish I could have the best of both worlds, to stay and to go.

And then there's the whirlwind aspect of being in Chicago for four days. I have smeared my soul all over this place, wallowing in ridiculous grief and woe, wrestling with the loneliness, and sometimes the hopelessness—the feeling that nothing will ever change, that life will be just be one futile circle after another, from icy winter to sweltering summer and back again. My fondness for that place is probably more the kinship ascribed to victims of shared trauma. This city has accepted my tears, my rants, and my ravings, my pointless wandering, my pensive journeys, with the silent stoicism of the comrade who's in it for the long haul. Not to make me feel better, or to dispel my fears, but just to get me through the day, and the dark, lonely night, with the drear poison flowing from bottle to glass, or the murky smoke, and the flash of flame.

And it's not just the city, I suppose. As the end times approach, the place of forking paths nears, I realize that some alliances I had formed were relationships of convenience, again, more because of shared trauma than genuine friendship. While I think I will always hold the city in high regard, despite the punishment of the merciless winter, there are some people that I'm glad I will never see again.

Drama. Who needs it?

But there is never rest for the wicked. I will leave once more, recross that desert back to Egypt, and serve out my remaining sentence.

For many reasons, I am not looking forward to it. But there's no point in getting this far only to falter at the end.

19:53:21 21 Mar 2004 > /soul > permalink > 0 comments


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