Work in process
Perhaps I should mention that I have not dropped off the face of the earth. I’ve simply gone into another one of my thought-funks, in which a lot of things are brewing but it’s difficult (or premature) to crystallize them into the pseudo-solid field of Zeros and Ones.
I am angry. I am disillusioned, in the literal sense of having my sense of reality ripped open and exposed before my eyes. I have lifted the veil, looked behind the curtain… and there really is nothing back there. This isn’t that sense of “walking off the cliff” into unexpected depths of grief that I’ve written about here many times. This really isn’t about grieving for Kurt at all. This is more a sense that many of the fundamental assumptions I have held about the way the world works have simply exploded.
We live in a world in which the institutions we have created do not do well by the people who created them and who have devoted their lives to maintaining, sustaining, and striving to improve them.
For many years I have lived, or professed to live, by this well-known Gandhi quote: “We must be the change we wish to see in the world.” I devoted my professional life to trying to awaken others to the power of personal transformation. I honestly thought that if I could reach enough individuals with this message, then I could help make a genuine difference in the world.
I’m now seeing that the world (or at least the portion of the world in which I have lived my life) is not going to change, is not interested in changing, and would prefer to see the notion of “personal transformation” limited to “becoming more effective/productive within the constraints of the existing system.”
If I really, personally, want to see change in the world — MY world — I’m going to have to really, personally, start with myself. I have to reevaluate my relationships to the “stuff” that I love, the things that I believe to be true, the literal and metaphorical security systems and barriers against the world that I have personally erected. I have to dare to be free, and I have to take personal responsibility for what it means to be free.
So now I’m in the process of figuring out what all that might mean. I suppose I overthink things, but that is who I am and expect I always will be, no matter how many veils I end up piercing along the way.
As I figure things out (or not) I may be absent from this blog for a while.
Or I may have another great run and want to tell you all about it.
I did 4.4 joyful miles Monday morning, and 3.25 not-so-joyful miles this morning. I was having trouble being in the moment and running when all around me the known world was collapsing, and I’d only had 4 hours of sleep last night. If it had been a race I would have risen to the occasion, but this morning it was just a slog. So I’ll try again on Friday — and I do always look forward to my Friday runs as they herald the coming of the weekend.
A friend of a friend died of lung cancer this morning. My wounds are still too fresh; this news ripped my heart open again. This was not the source of my current anger and disillusionment; rather, those experiences left me wide open to the pain. If you smoke, please stop. If you truly love someone who is a smoker, please nag them to stop. Life is too short and precious to waste in such a stupid, senseless way. All we have are moments, and I want all of us to live as many moments as possible.