I recently posted a blog post which dealt with misery and the life lived in that sense of unhappiness. This is another exploration of the gloomier side of things. I find that I am doing a lot of things in a few rooms, with a few people and in a few contexts. I find I am less in touch with many people than I used to be and sometimes it saddens me. But most of all I remind myself sometimes of Kerouac at the end of his short life, seldom venturing from his modest family home. The details of our lives are different and yet there is a pattern. There is a great deal of used to be and once upon a time kinds of involvement with life. Nonetheless, there are few changes that have not come with at least some new sliver of new off-setting opportunity. I do believe that since I was a child the odds were always that I would not find the way forward to the future I was seeking. That is true for very many children indeed. Whatever I do in life it has to involve the fact that I spent a good portion of my life testing and evaluating the limits of people with regards to opposing the vast systems and energies which I regarded as mostly negative, evil and ubiquitous. But the bottom line is that it has been almost decade and a half since I was married. It has been almost six years since I filed a tax return. It has been five years since I published an article in a newspaper. In many ways I am now on the far side of a life spent finding ways to interact with the world that no longer form part of my daily experience. So I am doing a blog post on my own life and where I am in terms of living and doing at various levels. One thing I am not doing is prospering financially in a very big way. Of course, I know a lot of good people who are not.
I am trying to make a move towards the future. I think that we are as a human race in many ways rushing towards destruction. I think that in many ways we are avoiding all the courses of action we should most be seeking out. I think that in many ways we are extremely separated from any real hope of things improving. Nevertheless, I try to keep moving forward on a wide front in seeking out a better future and also making a better life for myself.
Teaching, writing in various formats and engaging in activities that simply consist of maintaining whatever lifestyle I am in have certainly occupied much of my life. I read a lot and have corresponded broadly with a great number of people in very many places. Nonetheless, my life has largely been a blocked off and horribly distorted life.
I have remained involved in the lives and concerns of my extended family and I believe that maintaining that connection has been worthwhile. It is something I will keep trying to maintain and through them I both perceive and have an effect upon larger segments of the world. It is not always easy to do nut it is one of my priorities. My own involvement in family has also been tied to views and concerns about family which are important to me. I am occasionally involved in some effort to promote a view of family which I find better and to strive to make family an experience which has better possibilities. This has me pushing for some issues seen as feminist and against others. For some parts of a traditional conservative agenda and against others.
One of the areas of happiest memories for me is of memories spent with my younger siblings as well as nieces and nephews. However, right now those memories seem fairly remote. I am more concerned than usual with whether I helped prepare them to deal with the evils and struggles my siblings now face as adults and which my nieces and nephew must face at varying different points in the future.
In my life I have seen the awful horrors of almost infinite cowardice over and over again. Among my varied goals in life is to confront the evils, dangers and challenges that must be confronted in as direct and timely a fashion as is possible and not entirely foolhardy. I live surrounded by the ruins of much of what I think matters most. That is why I must struggle whenever I can to keep everything from becoming ruin.
My causes have included:
1. Seeking to be faithful to the legacy of Scripture and promoting a good understanding of it.
2. I seek to have a real and useful connection with the best of Western Civilization and also learn from other civilizations.
3,I seek to work towards a more responsible relationship between humanity and the natural environment than was the one which largely defined our recent past and many other pasts. However, I do not wish to abandon the struggle for progress.
4. I seek to make a difference in the realm of sexuality, sex, love and family for myself and others. I try to live out of my own base of convictions as regards these matters
However, these four causes all blend into a certain vision of life and also are accompanied by other causes. There are many times when an incident like 9-11, Hurricane Rita or the Macondo BP oil spill rearrange my thinking so that all of the issues I am concerned with are seen interacting in a single context and are viewed through a single lens. Then there are times like this time in my life when all of things going on are viewed through a kind of dull gray filter. Some would call it depression based on that one fact but although they are related and I have been depressed there are other complexities to the experience. I am focusing on the sad, negative and problematic right now. I do think that there so very many negative realities that deserve to be understood. Then in addition, I sometimes put all the sad thoughts aside for various good reasons and therefore it may be a balancing act to focus on the dark side some times. We live a life both in the experience of internal states of mind and engaged with external challenges, forces and actors.
The world is largely run like hell. I try to change it a little or a lot in the right ways. That is how I sincerely see things. But at this stage in my life it is not a sense of zealous hope that drives me. I am truly exhausted at a deep interior level. Yet in that basic state of mind which I am choosing to call exhaustion my energy level fluctuates a great deal. There are times when I feel that I am really accomplishing something and am energized by this experience. However, the general trend has been to recognize the extremely low likelihood of making the differences that I never doubt I must commit myself entirely to making when I have anything left to give to the purpose.
There are times when I am very much in the frame of mind that there is no particular reason not to feel very bad about how things are working out in my life and the world around me. There have been a few time when asked about my life and plansIi have honestly and sincerely replied.” I am aware that life is likely to be an ever-increasing hell beyond fantasy. It is already amazingly horrible. But I have to keep going.” That is a state of mind to get out of as quickly as possible. But I do not believe in the kind of simplistic single form of truth some of my friends who struggle with post modernism believe in out of reaction. Many kinds of truth are universal, relatively speaking. But they cannot all be reduced to a simple single formulation of life experience certainly.
There have been times when I was really happy. Never in an uncomplicated way that meant that all was right with the world. However, I have been happy enough that the details of the world’s operation did not matter to me much. I hope to be a bit happier soon but today the world appears to me as it has been made by all its many woes and tragedies.