Well, writing or not writing, the world still keeps marching forward. Terrible things happening “out there” in the world. Difficult to find peace and manage a brain that likes to find the flaws in life, when there are such egregious flaws everywhere I look.
I am aware, I think, of many of my own reality filters. I often remind myself that how I’m looking at life does not encompass ALL of life, and maybe things aren’t as bad as they feel. But right now, it’s hard to find the good. My television and the internet aren’t showing me much to feel good about. The news leaves me feeling powerless and hopeless, and as pitiful as it sounds, so does my life right now.
It’s A Great Blue Heron, Charlie Brown!
So I bring my focus in closer, try to look around me and find MY good – like my cats, my kid…a pretty tree or beautiful flowing river. The other day I was parked by the river, watching the sunset, and a Great Blue Heron altered its course to come directly toward my car. It came closer than I’ve seen before, and it was truly majestic, the sky orange and pink behind its breathtaking wingspan.
It made a big loop in front of my car, gifting me with a magical moment, and then it looped around and went back in the direction it had been heading all along. It felt like a message – like it had taken an extra moment JUST for me. I tried to discern its purpose, wanting very much to be one of those people that can find deep meaning in such magic.
Desperately Seeking SOMETHING
That’s how desperate I am. I’m grasping, reaching, trying to give myself SOME semblance of hope by creating meaning out of a random bird’s flight pattern. It didn’t really work, as beautiful as the moment was. I can only reach a sort of “movie moment” emotion with stuff like that, because I don’t truly believe that there is any kind of special message just for ME in those types of things.
I really want to believe, I do. I can enjoy playing with Tarot cards or reading my horoscope or taking a Facebook quiz that tells me my spirit animal or to what house at Hogwarts I would be sorted. All of those things hold a similar weight for me, however, as much as I think life would be more interesting and fun if I could just BE a believer.
Especially lately. I want to believe in SOMETHING – fuck, anything good! Fairies? Dragons? That God has a purpose or plan? That there IS a god? ANYTHING??? It would make life so much easier. I truly understand people believing in all sorts of religious and mythological and spiritual things, because reality can REALLY suck, and it would be easier to think it all had meaning, or purpose.
How Come Finding Meaning Is Always Interpreted as GOOD?
I sometimes wonder why when people “find meaning” in things, the meaning is always a good one. Maybe the meaning is that people SUCK. Maybe the meaning is that there is no hope for humanity, give up NOW. I mean, how can anyone find a positive meaning in war, rape, murder – refugee children being kept in cages?
When I look out at the Earth and try to ignore what PEOPLE are doing, I can find beauty, power, balance. Add humans to the picture, and things turn dark and sinister, so why is “meaning” always so shiny?
Wait – I’m riding perilously close to the edge of the abyss now… Breathe. Narrow focus, bring it back in…try to find the good right in front of me.
Finding Something Good and Meaningless
My cat is purring. That’s a goodness, for sure. Individual people can be kind. A bird just chirped. Art…art is good…art will SAVE me. I’ve been doing art again, which feels nice. Accidentally made something I kinda like the other day:
But the moment I lift my head, because I can’t stay immersed in my art exclusively, things go to shit again.
No Where To Run To
My brain has nowhere to go. I can distract myself with art. I can numb my angst with reality TV for a bit. Except, now, the politics of abuse that seems to be my country’s “way of being” of late…means that TV is just another source of “WTF!?!”.
I used to find politics so boring. My government just chugged along, doing its own thing. I voted, I paid attention in a sort of casual way. I think that is how government and politics SHOULD be for the average person.
We should pay enough attention that we vote for the people who will defend and forward our interests, but then we get to go back to our own lives, right? I mean, we live in a representative democracy – that’s supposed to mean that unless politics are “my thing”, I get to live my life trusting that someone who DOES love politics and government is going to have my back.
An Impossible Personal Conundrum
My government and the politics of my country have become corrupt, driven by money and power mongering and a disregard for the “average” person like me. It’s too much for me. Instead of politics giving me a sense responsibility and boredom, I am left feeling abused, powerless, and disgusted. With my particular health concerns, stress costs me and my body SO much – to stay upright I literally need to turn away from what is happening.
Yet, how can I justify turning my eyes away from the atrocities my government is perpetrating? I can’t do ANYTHING about it, but if I ignore it for my own health and well-being…then I’m letting it happen, right? I should be out there fighting it, somehow…but I can barely get out of bed and walk down my hallway, so how am I supposed to actually DO anything???
Make a phone call “to my representative”? Sure. I did that. Pretty sure it does NOTHING…pretty sure that is just a sugar-pill panacea for all political problems.
Power To The People…Right???
Right now in this country, what “the people” want seems to be pretty much irrelevant, and I’ve neither the financial nor energetic resources to be LOUD enough to make a difference. I’m not sure there IS a loud enough for any of us “common” people. We are at the mercy of those with money, because that is the pathetic state of our politics right now.
And people are suffering for it, people who need help. I am powerless to give that help. I know in my heart of hearts that I may even be in the class of people that NEED that help…much as I hate to admit that. I’ve always viewed myself as the helper, the one to reach out to those in need. Now that I am one of those “in need”, I want nothing more than the power to lift MYSELF up and find my own power again.
Right now, it’s hard to imagine how far I’d have to rise, to have any REAL power in my world or this country.
When Reality REALLY Does Suck, What Then?
The world is too much for me – no matter the scale to which I narrow my focus, it’s still too much. I can’t send money to help fight any kind of battle, because I don’t have money. I can’t invest my own energy and time and strength…because I don’t HAVE any energy or strength. I have time…but time is pretty empty when you don’t have the power to do anything with it. I can’t rally or march, because my body won’t let me.
The world outside my apartment feels like a post-apocalyptic hellscape. I turn on the TV and see that the United States has been taken over by a giant orange dictator and is putting children in detainment camps – cages with only a mat on the floor and those “aluminum foil” looking so-called blankets. What is HAPPENING???
AND, what’s happening here, at home, in “the land of the free and the home of the brave”, is just a blip. Just one thing in a world FULL of terrible things happening everywhere I look.
Is It Any Wonder People Are Depressed?
There’s just SO much. I suffer from anxiety and depression, sure. I can’t even tell, though, whether how I’m feeling has anything to do with mental illness – or is it the right and logical response to a world gone completely bonkers? Maybe I’m the sane one. Maybe depression and anxiety are the proper and appropriate responses to the world we live in right now.
Anger and action would be better. I want to be able to be fueled by anger, to take action, to DO something about what’s happening. “Out there” or right in my own living room.
The microcosm of my personal life resembles a battlefield the morning after an epic struggle. It feels like death and destruction have littered my landscape – crows picking at the bones of my hopes and dreams. My personal melodrama leaves me feeling empty and powerless. So I raise my eyes to look out at the world outside my own bubble, only to find it difficult to find anything out there to give me solace.
Faith and Hope??? Anyone???
Where do I look to find hope? How do I create a vision for a better future for myself, when seeing a path to a better future for ANYONE seems impossible? That would require faith. It would require the ability to believe in something beyond my perception.
It would require the ability to truly believe that a Great Blue Heron would alter its path to greet me and bring me a message.
I looked up “Great Blue Heron” animal medicine, omens, etc. It wasn’t all that helpful, unfortunately. I really wanted the interwebs to tell me that seeing a heron means “a rich relative will leave you a fortune, or you will win the lottery and be able to move back to the home you love – and oh, also, that asshole running things will be in prison soon, so chin up, things are gonna get better”.
Instead it just means some shit about looking inward and that understanding my emotions will help me through this. There’s some other stuff, too, depending on which website I look at…none of it particularly useful, unfortunately.
Just Hang On A Little While Longer…
So. I had taken a short break from writing because I don’t want to be writing depressing stuff all the time – and my writing had definitely taken that turn. I really WANT to be writing stuff that helps create connection, community, hope, understanding…blah, blah, blah. That really IS what I want to do. Every time I try to write THAT stuff, though, it feels false and hollow.
What feels real right now is this feeling like I’m hanging on to the edge of a cliff by my fingernails, just hoping that if I can hang on for long enough, something will change that puts me on more solid footing. Just one more day. If I can hang one for just one more day – maybe tomorrow, the world will be different, or I’ll feel stronger and more able to cope. Things change all the time…so it stands to reason that the way things are right now will also change.
That’s the best I can do, folks…there is my feeble effort at providing comfort and hope. Just HANG ON…something is bound to change. It always does.