I just drove South and back, unwittingly chasing after the Spring, and then retreating again. I needed to touch base with my daughter - to make sure she understands that I'm having to move out from Daddy space and back into where I left off when I became, somewhat disastrously, married. I guess I'd wanted the car to die, so that I didn't have to worry about her driving it alone. I'd wanted the fish to die so that I don't have to be encumbered when I move out and away. I'd wanted to die myself, at least judging by my red meat wine behavior.
I'd come out from my cocoon then - I'd been living on my old sailboat, as you might discover if you have the fortitude to read into this space - and thought I had my moment of Eureka and that life would take off forever from that point. I followed that bliss through disappointments with making any contact, and then through falling in love toward marriage. I must have even known it was some dangerous diversion and that some trusted friend should have lashed me to the mast. I wanted too much in to normal living. I'm a failure there.
I was quite beside myself, whatever that might mean. It was a Catholic and Protestant celebration both - reconciliation in Christ's Name - and though I often would like to blame the ex for sapping all my spirit, I also have to credit her with powering what confidence I needed to take on career, as teacher catapulted to Headmaster then on to flameout in the last Great Recession of the '80s (let's just blame it on that, shall we?).
It must be Mom within I complain about, who is ever present to be hurt by all my moves away from earthly success. But who supports me unconditionally even when I'm far far less than honorable. I've been nurturing my inner geek all these years, seething that I am indentured thus. It has only ever been my own shortfall in courage, as I rationalize that I'm doing the right thing.
Now, I break away again, and just as unlikely to succeed in whatever it is that I'm about when I'm not beside myself. This is just me now, and I have no more stories to outlive. My children will be far less sad, I think, that I keep walking the earth than that I let my spirit wither on its vine. Never plucked. Never squeezed. Never less than fully self-indulgent.
I finally did read my niece's testimony which put her incestuous father in jail. Maybe I needed to be among blossoms and green down South to read it, but I felt no strong emotion beyond mild pride that he's in jail. Patriotic and Christian pride, if I can be allowed to feel such things. That this one time the system worked, and prayer did too, nevermind that I couldn't find very much difference from myself in him. Except for the object of libidinous self projection. We civil servants and greed enablers all suffer the same banally evil instincts. We only want to meet our needs, and are fully justified to do so. It's not our fault that there is no system to resolve these things for all.
I am not terrified, but surely scared to enter out now naked again, without any more means than I had back more toward my daughter's age. But my story has been lived if not told, and no comfort in retirement even beckons.
I cannot be saddened by this economic meltdown. Air and light have been allowed in to the antibiotic resistant rot which was beneath our surface. Is all. Fear disappears when there are no more choices. When you are in the middle of some storm. When clinging to some liferaft is more instinct than is left, up against a jump into chill water, because at least you know how to swim, and you simply have no will to fight against raw terror. This is nothing noble.
It's all so easy for me. I've never felt that kind of love for my own daughters. I married the woman I lusted after. These things were rote for me. Good job skills. Even when my soul has not been in it. Inwardly and to the side, though, I've acted far far less than honorably. I come out wanting from every test that counts. I guess it's time to make an honest man of me.
Right now I'm really maddened that my simple term "sixth sense" has been expropriated by, what else, the technorati. Of course it's not my term, but this lust for metadata in our face, without effort even to look it up, cannot expand our consciousness.
Don't get me wrong, I'm way turned on by these technological advancements. This is what will save our planet and our human species, and I do never wish to minimize their importance. If we can "see" by wearable computing, just what is the ecological "content" of what we buy, then we have the beginnings to expose that pustule now just burst which was the economy of greed. Technology can and does and will true our stories with each other so that the emperor will appear in all his naked glory when he makes his bogus claims for our attention. We'll laugh in shame at ourselves and turn away.
But this is no sixth sense, this metadata exposure. This is common sense, and what was always available for anyone who knows how to read. Who knows how not to project only his own need out onto the neighborhood and world beyond it. I guess these simple skills got lost. I know I've got none of them. I know only how to read, and far far less to write.
But I must take strength from my strong niece, whose voice is strong enough and clear. Whose awakening is life's full miracle.
Still, I wish I had my now jailed brother-in-laws non-verbal skills, to build away from civilization and at least attempt a return to something simpler. And why must I dash my finger against the red hot stove just now loading logs? Why so careless? Damn! Ouch!
Our commons now is disappearing. We're each all in for ours. I think there is no "system" quite powerful enough to save us from ourselves. We are that successful. We are that lusty in our scared retreat from nature's embrace, and timid attempts to conquer life's outrages, guided by our God who surely must hold us in His hands.
That's the metaphor internalized now. That fittest survive. Alone. And that we must watch that the antibiotics be downed full course, lest terroristic germs get encouraged. But that we cannot stop, since each must live full out.
I look for the love in life's living instead. Knowing that I am damaged myself and from a damaged line. That there is algorithm in place of emotion in my family's story, even when that uprightness did mean honor against blood and death. Even when that rectitude (an ugly word somehow) masked secret lusts for power or wealth or safety from strong feelings. We're good enough, but limited somehow.
So, of course I must go seeking what others find so simply. That in the eating flesh for flesh there might be love as well. That we are omnivores with choices. That there is tragedy other from death. That even honor might need dying for. And that there is no shame in falling short.
This all in for each has got to stop. We would never do it as a family. Why as a nation now? Why as this family of man?
So, for evolution's sake, I must turn away from technology, which cannot be where it's at. Our stories true each other in their sharing. No fairy tales, these small life histories now can be exposed to their light of day too. New printing presses for longer winded texting. New twitterings in the Spring (I still can't find the time or space to grok that one).
It's humanity alone can love (or hate). Our triumph over nature is surely only technical, if by that we mean its destruction. Our evolution, though, proceeds apace, far above our heads. Still displaced and beside our hearts. Still bleeding for each other. 'Tis heart that makes us human.
. . . and another thing. So, I'm insisting that in essence, we get to keep science and get religion too. But in science you have to be able to offer some prediction that can be tested. And I guess believing in Jesus is its own reward. But how do you get those greedy people to stop wanting just to game the system - whatever system we come up with - for their own ample pleasure here on earth.
You know the Jesus believers are just as likely to go for the glory here and now. Not all of them, for sure, but Weber and some others once did credit the Protestant work ethic for our glorious success. You know that I think that reward deferred to Heaven, or punishment the other way, is just plain silly.
So, what is there to combat what's supposed to be this survival instinct; this run for glory which turns every one of us right on? And right there's the link, for sure. We want and need to screw. Competition is built in. It's what evolution's all about.
Or, at these margins, might there be some other reproductive valorization? Some sappy link to true love as the achievement of success. This right to choose your mate and improve prospects for your family's thriving. Now who will this new global environmental shift squeeze out, if not the ones still battling for their spot in the lifeboat? Could there even be some testable prediction for happiness and better health through following and developing this true sixth sense?
By Jove, I think there might be! But getting these signs right is about as tricky as following Google Maps when you're lost and there aren't any network towers. Because you're lost, and if there were towers you wouldn't be. Still I had to chuckle at all the cars with GPS - as if you could still get lost that way. Underneath the artificial stars.