So, if you read yesterday's post, you may very well be wondering, "what the flux was that?" And if you haven't read yesterday's post and you continue to read today's, you will definitely be wondering, "what the hole is this???" For those of you who read it though and are sticking with me, i doubt your sanity but i appreciate the company. It is my sincere but dubious desire that this be of some benefit to y'all and not just gratuitous introspection on my part.
For me, it's not enough to identify bad habits and catalog undesirable personality quirks. i have to dig at the reasons for them, the roots if you will. There's an element of compulsion to this that i get from my mother (a topic for another day, foreshadowing!) but there is also a rationality to it. Weeds and warts don't die if you just lop off the tops. They just sprout up again and again. You have to get down to the ugly and the painful. True change don't come easy or without dirt and blood under the fingernails. So roll up the sleeves and cauterize the razor knife, we're going in!
It's well documented, add some nauseum here, about how i hate my work. Many of my frequent bouts of despair come from the pointless toil i find myself about day after day. i don't think i'm unique in this, only in the fell depths of desperation, the dank, dark dungeon of depression over this topic do i find myself often the lone, barely animated corpse chained to the wall. Others seem more adapted to it. More able to cope, to self medicate, to find relief in American Idol, solace in video games, palliation in pubs and live more or less contented lives. Again, the diagnosis of "thinking too much" rears its head. Is this the solution? Do i somehow learn how to turn off my mind? Put a bottle in my head and pull the trigger? (foreshadow again) Are those my only choices, thunkard or drunkard? Is self destruction the only road and the only true choice the mode of transport?
Yes, yes it is. That, in a nutshell, is life as i see it.
But. The shell is a peanut shell. There are two nuts in it. A bleak nut AND a "but" nut. We'll get to the butnut later. i think an explanation for yesterday is in order. That description of my childhood is not all encompassing. i have plenty more of sizzling summer days on the front porch, playing quietly in my room, saturday morning cartoons in feety pajamas that i could cough up upon a cross examiner's pinstripes should the need arise. My life is not a sorry tale of misery and woe, i just play Woe in the upcoming teevee series. i showed you that exhibit because it flashes before my mind often. A smell, a sound or a distinct lack of sound will dredge it up and i'm there again. Trapped. Stifled. Able to see home but not touch it.
That, i think, is a large part of why i hate my existence as i know it. So much of my time is spent in places i don't wanna be, doing things i don't wanna do because i have to, putting off who i want to be because other's expect it, because society as a whole says this is how it is. It may be why i prefer to work outside. It may be why i have to have a radio on while i'm working. Why i love books, fiction only please. Why i can't concentrate on my job. Why i won't concentrate on my job. Why i get so violently angry when someone or something reminds me of it when i'm not there. Why i feel so powerless. Why i love motorcycles and backpacking. Why i love open spaces but my art is confined and small. There are so many sprouts coming out of this one root that i dunno where to begin.
Which brings us back to the butnut. See, left to my own devices, in a world without a loving God who desires not just life for me but fuller life; in a world devoid of the Spirit living and working in me, i would collapse. i would eat a bullet or a bottle because i can see no point to any of this. If all life is, is doing what you have to do to survive and finding a suitable coping mechanism to forget about it afterwards and on weekends, looking forward to the next meal, next drink, next party, next vacation to get you through then thanks but no thanks, check please, forget my coat, i'm out of here. It's all meaningless, vapor, a chasing after the wind.
But. But there is grace. Grace is what unties my stomach. Grace says God don't make no junk. That He will not waste my life. i may waste some time in gratuitous introspection but He'll get me back on track if i let Him. He'll turn my ingrown love and infected gifts, my weeds and warts, into a garden. i don't know how, i just know it's true. Yes, Virginia, there is a resurrection but the Living Water is flowing now. The seed is already in you. God will make it grow. All He asks of you is that you believe.
And many days, that's pretty much all i can handle.