The past few weeks have been like the image of sailing on rough seas in my mind. First, there is the build up, the swell of the waves splashing higher on the vessel’s bow. The waters start to roil and the thunderclouds darken the sky, concealing the full brightness of the sun overhead. A circle of foreboding grips you, soaking up the light from the sky and your heart.
“Somewhere… I’m a… scatterbrain…” warbles Thom Yorke on the track “Scatterbrain” from the appropriately named Radiohead album “Hail To The Thief”. For what I have been going through the past few weeks, it would seem that I am “hailing the thief”, the one that has stolen my thoughts and my ability to think. But I really don’t believe that… I heard a story about Agatha Christie where an cognitive analysis of her writing before her death showed her cognitive decline. While the stories paled in comparison to her early work, the analyst observed that in light of what she was experiencing mentally, her effort was nothing short of amazing. I agree, taking into consideration what she was enduring. Comparing her later writings to her own work, yeah, there is a marked decline in her output. BUT if you compared it to what you, gentle reader, or I were to produce, I think it would show that we were more like the storied "700 Monkeys” hacking away at typewriters for 700 years with the expectation of producing the works of Shakespeare. I feel similarly about myself. I am still likely more intelligent that “you” and by making my way through my struggles, alone, is nothing short of heroic.
Another “but”, or perhaps it is a caveat, is that the choice to be alone was one that I made myself. It does not have to be this way, yet the options to have done otherwise were less inviting by a full measure. I could still be in the Metro, dealing with an chaotic home life, or still attached to Mookie Dee (after all, I LEFT, no one said I had to go), or I could have been the drag coefficient in the SFC’s life. The last of which, would have been unfair to her and the potential for irreparably harming that storied relationship would have ran high. And speaking about potentially critically damaged relationships…
No, I don’t ever, EVER hear from or speak of (to myself, that is) her. Nebraska, on the other hand, is different. There may be a chance for either reconciliation or a reckoning between us. Admittedly, the consequence of what occurs between us is rated just outside of the zone of f*cks that I have to give to generate any real concern, given the challenges that I have had to face. Along with those obstacles that lay ahead for a cat, I have not really concerned myself with the consequence of finding a middle ground with her. We do… we don’t… life goes on.
WORKING WITH PROBLEMS THAT HAVE SOLUTIONS
Because I know that there are answers to my greater concerns, I am actually less troubled by the problems themselves and more concerned about the processes and following them to their conclusion. Yes, I am being vague but it is not deliberate. See, were I to spend time and energy collecting the thoughts surrounding the issues that I am facing, then I should have had the energy to have solved the problem and would have little to write about. Also, what would be the point in having “Rules To Live By” if they did not provide me with the solace and comfort that they were intended to give me in my life? Thinking about the what and the why of things to PMS about drives me to work harder on the solution to those problems, rather than the “wah, wah” litany of reasons why things seem unfair or how the conspiracy of life has worked against me. That is what is at the heart of any of my seeming bias against a particular identified group of people. What contribution did you make to changing the outcome that went against you hopes and wishes? I mean, I understand a little whining… there was a little whining that motivated me to start blogging, but when is the inventorying going to began and the problem-solving going to begin??
The rule. THE Rule. THE RULE!! If that was what brought you to this, of what use WAS the rule?
Honestly, the point of my rules is that following them will prevent me from falling INTO the situation that Carson, the day trader, found himself facing in the scene, “No Country…”. My rules are meant to guide me around “losers” and help me to find another group of solution-oriented people for me to be around. My life experience has shown that my interpretation of these statements and quotes will go a long way to keeping me from the ballast of relationships. But sometimes there are situations in life where one's goals or destination lie on the other side of a rule or philosophy.
“We knew the environment”. -Bob Davie, former Notre Dame coach after the Irish got blown out in the Orange Bowl in a regular season game versus the University of Miami.
In the movie “Saving Private Ryan”, that was one of the film’s conceit. Each soldier knew that they were heading off on a crap mission but on the other side of it, should they accomplish it, they would have gone home and left the war behind.
What makes this a fitting example of “knowing the environment” is the keen awareness of the likelihood of not seeing it through, even if they managed to find Private Ryan. Still, the carrot that was going home from war made it worth the risk. This is one observation that can be made from this situation. The other observation is that transgression of the rule is transgression of the rule. So like Carson the day trader, the soldiers that were led by Tom Hanks’ Captain Miller (whose character was a SCHOOL TEACHER!!), you can hope for slack but that is not what you should expect. You knew the environment, and you knew what the rule said… so are you surprised that you find yourself at complete and total loss?