Monday, December 21, 2020

The Power of Laziness

Shuffling slowly from my recliner to the bathroom, it occurred to me that I had consumed nearly the limit of drugs and alcohol that still permitted me to perform this minimal action, yet I was still in significant physical and psychic pain. 

 It occurred to me also that there is a possibility that if I were to follow all medical and quasi-medical advice, and were to embark upon a campaign of increasing exertion, that I may yet reduce at least some of my many discomforts.  I tried to weigh in my mind the benefits of such a course of action vs. my significant reluctance to commit to and execute the same.

My greatest weakness and my greatest strength, in a peculiar way which perhaps only I appreciate, is laziness.  Laziness is like a passive martial art, conserving energy and effort compared to other means of confronting the relentless attack of the reality of life.

In the end, who is the wiser: those who passively accept (all the while pointlessly complaining) the inevitable degradation and destruction of body and mind, beauty and dignity, that life inflicts, or those who make every effort to deny their own entropy with painful exercise and a myriad of artificial interventions (all the while vaunting their victory) against what must befall even the most vain and valiant?

This is where my faux attempt at wisdom ends, in keeping with the unformed tenets of the indiscipline of laziness.

Sunday, November 22, 2020

Complaint Blogs and Theories Regarding Why They May Cease or Have Long Lapses

Honestly, mine is mostly a complaint blog. Mine, in fact, is mostly a complaint existence.  There are increasingly long lapses of average time between posts to my blog.  I have a few theories about this, which might also apply to other complaint blogs:

1: The complainer's life has become better and they are loathe to admit it.

2: The complainer can no-longer maintain the delusion that their complaints are worthy of being read by others.

3: The complainer's life has become so fraught with struggle and misery that there simply isn't time or energy left to complain about it.

4: The complainer is too lazy to even complain.

For me, at this time, my best guess is that I am not writing much here because of reasons #4 and #2.  I would cite #3, except that I know all too well the many ways my struggle and misery could increase significantly.

So, why not a thankfulness blog about the difference between #3 and my present situation?  Every answer to that question that I can imagine reflects poorly, and probably accurately, on my character, so choose your own.  I can't be bothered.

I forgot #5: The complainer is dead.  Not yet at the time of this writing, and way too much trouble to bring about by willful action on my part (see #4).

Oh, and #6, it literally physically hurts a lot to sit in the chair in front of my computer.  There are several strategies that may or may not mitigate this issue, but again, see #4.

Monday, October 19, 2020

Vague Weirdness

 Last night, I said goodbye to my younger Sister and my Mother for what will almost certainly be the last time.  My sister had moved to Virginia about a year ago, and yesterday flew in to get her Mother, who will be living next door to my Sister in Virginia.   I am very unlikely to ever travel out to see them, nor they here to see me.  My older sister had been living with my Mother, but I don't know where she is now, and will probably never see her again, either.  In fact, I have not seen my older sister since a few days before my Father died, 10 years ago.

 So, this is where a normal person with a normal family would be talking about all of the tumultuous emotions stirred up by this seemingly dramatic moment in time.  Instead, I felt nothing, feel nothing, except a vague worry that there must be something wrong with me because I feel nothing except a slight sense of relief that these are people I no longer have to feel obligated to visit, or guilty about avoiding.

 The final meeting was short, yet hard to fill with words.  It felt exactly like any of uncountable other unenthusiastic family encounters of the past. If anything, it was notable for being less annoying than previous meetings.   I don't know which is malfunctioning more, myself or my other family members.

 For many years, my Mother knew how to find the most sensitive spots in my psyche and poke at them and make me want to die.  Over many years I gradually built up my internal defenses until I was immune to being hurt by anything she said.  My younger sister and I have some negative history, felt almost entirely by myself alone, related to incidents that happened when we worked at the same company.  Time has dulled dulled those memories and emotions for me as well, and I don't think she ever really understood what had upset me back then, just over 20 years ago.

I'm not even sure why I am writing about this except that it is a curiosity, and oddity about myself and my family that I don't understand, and I don't understand why I am not more bothered by it.

A few months ago, when my cat died, I cried uncontrollably and at length on the day it happened, and again when I received her ashes and a ceramic postmortem paw print from the veterinarian.  I still cannot bear to look again at that paw print.  Living with these creatures, my cats and my Wife's guide dogs, means living with a lot of loss, and I think I had been suppressing a large portion of my grief over several of these, but for some reason this last cat was one too many innocent and loyal lives lost.

When my Father died, I did not cry.  I didn't even go to the funeral because I had been in such conflict with my older sister regarding his care in his final weeks that I didn't want the negativity between us to distract from the dignity of the ceremony.

Why so much emotion for animals and so little for my parents and siblings?  

To be clear, I do care about my wife and our children, and our grandchild.

Saturday, September 26, 2020

Not Enough Time, Not Enough Self-Discipline

 So much music and art. so many books and films. So many nice and fascinating and talented people. I am getting the feeling I will run out of time sooner than later, that I have used my time unwisely. Thank you all, and I am profoundly sorry. I feel like a very selfish Burgess Meredith at the end of "Time Enough At Last" (The Twilight Zone).

Saturday, July 18, 2020

Inconvenient Articles of Faith

We live in a time of great division, where the simplest of personal truths must be explained and justified.  This is particularly true regarding matters of faith.  Traditional faiths are out of fashion, and thus must be justified, explained, excused and forgiven, to avoid condemnation, and many dominant belief systems are not even recognized as belief systems at this point in time.

I recognize my adherence to specific traditional articles of faith to be completely without objective merit, if such a thing exists. Further, I recognize that my adherence to specific traditional articles of faith to be, and please take careful note of this, involuntary.  I consider my psyche to have been so deeply programmed at a very early age with very specific notions of faith that I could not remove these beliefs from my being with any effort I can imagine.  They are often inconvenient, frequently painful, and not something about which I like to speak or write.

Yet, for reasons mysterious to me, after all of my careful preamble, I feel compelled to share the following email exchange between myself and my Mother:

Mother:

Love you and think of you all the time.  I struggle with all this covid stuff...and find it helpful, even essential to read the 91st Psalm daily and to meditate on other scriptures.  I am doing well.

Me:

I hope you are well, but know that with age, my age and yours, comes many forms of unwell.  I just read the 91st Psalm and am unsure of its relevance to me or now.  Everything from the Old Testament, I believe, needs to be viewed through the lens of the New Testament, but I am not familiar enough with either to promote any specific opinions.  I have been thinking about this a lot, given all that is happening, and all of the history I have been reading lately.  I do not want to believe in a God who has a hand in this world, as that would truly be a cruel God, so those who have fortunate experiences and attribute all the good to God, should necessarily accept that all of the bad that surrounds us, and has for millennia, is also the hand of God either acting, or choosing not to act.  I do not wish to pass into, or now live within, an eternity ruled by such a cruel God.  I choose to believe that we are living in a time when we are on our own, that God has given us the opportunity to prove our worth through our actions and inaction.  I want to believe in a God who looks on this world and weeps.  But is leaving us, for any time, to our own devices, the act of a benevolent God?   I can't claim the wisdom to answer that, but the question remains.  When my own logic leads me into these dark corners of doubt, I remind myself of my smallness, my ignorance, the brevity of my existence on Earth.  I seek humility before God.  I don't always dwell in that place, but I know, with certainty, in the end, it is all I will have left.

Monday, June 1, 2020

Learning

This, for me, is a new kind of depression.  A wasting away of motivation.  Feeling anything, even sadness, is slipping away.  I can no longer differentiate between real physical pain and psychic pain, but simple pain is all I have left.

Friday, April 10, 2020

The Irony of Easter

As far as I know, I have never used this blog to make any substantive comments or implications regarding members of my family.  That changes today, and I may never know if it was a good idea or not.

If the date associated with this is not adequate context, the world is in the midst of a global pandemic of a virus called Covid-19.  Or, at least that is what I believe. There are many different viewpoints on this subject.  My only son, the father of my only grandchild, as far as I can tell, considers this to be far from a serious health crisis.  He has at least one regular outside visitor to his house with no discernible attempt to avoid disease transmission between his visitor and the rest of the household.  I consider it a safe presumption that this visitor has a similarly lax approach to disease transmission interventions in other aspects of their activities outside of my son's home.

My wife wants a traditional Easter ham dinner.  We have been trying for many days to arrange for either delivery or pickup of the ingredients needed to prepare such a dinner, to no avail.

I feel compelled to interject here that I realize that even now people in other regions, and probably some people in my own region, are literally starving, or nearly so, due to food access issues that are a direct result of this pandemic.

With no safer way to acquire the requisite ham, I tried going to purchase one in-person in a store today, but had too late of a start for the now-shortened business hours and access control procedures of local grocery stores.  This gave me some time to think, not that I hadn't been already.

How do I quantify my relative risk of going into a grocery store with nothing more than a makeshift face mask, vs. having Easter dinner, as invited, at my son's house?  My son has offered to shop for me, but that makes me responsible for his exposure on my behalf, the exposure of others to him on my behalf, and not much safer myself in the end.

To clarify my personal risk: I have advanced congestive heart failure which is barely managed to a survivable degree under the best of circumstances.  A simple cold put me in the hospital two years ago, and the treatment I received put me into temporary acute renal failure. The seasonal flu would almost certainly kill me.  This new virus would almost beyond any reasonable doubt, kill me.  I also have type 2 diabetes, which I think is also a risk factor, but I'm not sure how.

Ethically speaking, my primary concern isn't even regarding my own survival, but more whether I become another vector for this disease to affect others, or another patient drawing resources which could help others with a better chance of survival, and frankly more value to society after the fact than I could ever have.

So why am I even writing this?

Seriously, I can't remember.

I guess this is just my transitory trail of digital breadcrumbs which for all I know could be my last futile grumblings about life.

I have made my decision.  If my wife wants to go to my son's house for Easter dinner, I will go and attempt to refrain from any further complaint.  I will do all I can to avoid being in close proximity with anyone, especially my granddaughter, but I won't make an issue of it because I know there are too many factors out of my control.  If anyone present at this dinner has the virus, ultimately everyone will.  What saddens me most is that my son has medical conditions which make him very nearly as at risk of non-survival as I am.

I hope that youth and health will get my granddaughter through this alive.

I don't need to explain the many layers of meaning to the title of this post, do I?