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Pretty much like crap, Facebook. How are you?

Over the past month and a half or so I have been experiencing a feeling
of intense sorrow. It has proved to be unshakable. I have tried to
distract myself from that feeling with writing, and with music, and by
sticking my head in a book. And also with friendship and laughter. But
to no avail. The sorrow remains, peaking it's head around the corner
through the day at various intervals; and especially visiting me at night
as I lay in bed.

I think this world has finally gotten too much for me. As much as I try
to carry on bravely I can no longer stand the sorrow that constitutes at
least half or perhaps more than half of what I see out there in the world.
Any reading of history is of course full of examples of the craziness of
this planet, of what human beings do to each other; and of course there
is at least some record also of those inevitable acts of Fate — natural
disasters, cancer and other terrible illnesses, the accidental slip in the
tub — that accompany life, death like a marriage bond to life.

These days I think that I am only on this planet half of the time. That
of course doesn't mean that I am unable to appreciate the beauties of
life — majestic pine trees; wonderful sea-turtles and other creatures;
gray skies over an ocean view or a field of freshly fallen snow; art;
poetry, a concerto of genius played by a consummate pianist. But even
in those things, for the most part, it is as if I am appreciating them
with a bit of distance. They are simply a marvel of a planet that I walk
like some alien visitor. But if I am distant, it is as if the pain and
death that I see here are even more intensified. I do have faith. I have
the absolute faith of a Deist in the ultimate plan of the Creator for
creation. But still, that doesn't help much being a witness to all of it.

I know that death is a part of things. I won't argue with that. Without
death there would be no rebirth. But the fact is that I am simply so
tired of it all. "Take me away from all this death" as Mina Harker says
in the movie. To that end I even considered lately that perhaps I should
go to some remote cloistered monastery where I could isolate myself from
the world. And in fact I even found one that would probably take me,
they seem to take anyone who knocks on their door. But given that I am
no longer a Catholic that would not really work, merely going through
the motions every day, sitting through mass but with the heart of a
Deist. And in any case I couldn't take my dog.

So I have decided to do the next best thing that I could think of —
create my own little monastery here in my home, block myself off as
much as possible from things. I will still go to my doctors and my
orchestra rehearsals. There are a few friends that I will stay in
contact with such as my old friend Charlie in Seattle. But the days
of watching news on television are over. And as far as the internet
goes, I am going to spend minimum time on such things as social
networking. I will still stop in to Facebook now and then to say hello
to the great people I have met there. But there is also a lot of
connection on Facebook with world events in the various posts people
put up (and which I myself have put up) that I need to get away from.
When I get the need to write, to communicate, I will be doing it mostly
here on the blog where I can be much more insulated from it all.

A little over a year ago, tired of the Earthly Powers that always run
and sometimes seemingly ruin things here on Opera, I went into a kind of
semi-retirement here. And I went to Facebook – that Monument To the
Temporal. But I realize now that in spite of what the Earthly Powers do
here sometimes to screw my formatting up that this is the right place
for me. I have good friends here too. And my fiction is here. I probably
should have known that wherever my fiction is, that is where I belong.

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