Continuationgreenspun.com : LUSENET : Daily Tales : One Thread
Don't reply, please. Just listen.
I'm satisfied again that you hear. Though I *did* need an asterisk, I'm the one that owes you an apology, for I've done exactly what I struggled to avoid - I needed an asterisk, while also knowing that the last thing *you* need is someone else who needs something from you, and the last thing I need is to need someone.
I originally chose this bboard@greenspun structure to shape and hold the gap between us for as long as I found an inspiration to connect, hoping that it would stand self-sufficient and as an outpouring only, with my efforts of "reach" through expression proving enough to satisfy. It was my solution for preventing precisely this amplification loop of response and need, and I slipped a bit. Or I designed what I determined to avoid directly into the system, and illustrated another principle that I'd do well to heed.
My own weaknesses play me poorly sometimes. No harm done, I hope.
I *am* and *will* do my work of not needing a response with a renewed vigor and, even today, so soon, the impulse to connect with you remains. I don't know why. It's a true mystery. You can get over the guilt at not having the impulse to reply, and I'll (try to) override the embarassment of having this unending impulse connect, and we can see where that novelty takes us. Or doesn't.
I'm ok. I'm spinning a bit in the mind-turns of the past week. I don't know what's been happening, but I've been severely off my feed and everything related to maintaining order and organization is a huge effort. I feel lonely and I know that state is relatively inevitable at present. I have a huge amount of work to do and I haven't yet found the current I need to ride through this one.
But I'm looking.
I'm depressed in a manner that feels patterned and programmed - it doesn't feel like an authentic depression; it feels habitual, almost as though a part of me has been grafted onto some archetypal trunk of cultural self-negation and is repeating lines by rote, while the genuine pattern of my individuated self is struggling to bear fruit through alien branches. I find my depression highly suspicious, and the scientist in me questions my causality-driven assumptions - laced with self-judgement, parental and social tapes - about the depression's origin.
A huge number of our fellow citizens medicate their way through these feelings. The northeast US is particularly high in its use of Ritalin and Prozac-type drugs (while the Northwest seems to choose tools that distract by altering perception as opposed to emotion).
I've heard it suggested that there could be a correlation between the currently intense solar-flare activity, the fluctuating emf fields (higher there - the northeast presents some geological anomalies), and endocrine activity (whose visible result is mood). I also suspect the proliferation of micro-wave and radio emmissions is disturbing our individual calibration - I'm not saying this can or should be avoided, but simply that it might mean our antennae, collective and individual, need adjusting to reduce the static.
Last night I was dancing (one way I re-calibrate) till late to one of my favorite local Psy-Trance DJs. At one point, a decent portion of the student body of ProtoTista dominated the floor around the DJ booth (the DJ Rain is also a Prototistan) and I took comfort in seeing all of us Complexity Heads dancing out our equations, and meeting the bifurcations of the music with enthusiasm and emerging skill.
That's what I feel that I'm learning. Lucid Bifurcation. The bifurcations - those abrupt changes that move me into places that look nothing like where I just was, and don't appear to be predicted by that previous state - are stacking up so rapidly right now that I'm dizzy with the effort of self-orientation. I'm running constantly into priority conflicts that imply my trajectories are off-target. Remember that bit about a small change in initial conditions resulting in a huge variance in subsequent structure? Well, it seems appropo here.
I struggle with comprehending my intent. My principled heroes - Wendell Berry, EF Schumacher, Lappe, Jefferson, Tenzin Gyatzo, Fuller, Ghandi, de Bingen - all live and leave bodies of written and manifest work that reflect a life of integrating calculation during which their trajectories were consistently updated based on the information they took in. They suggest that intent, expressed throughout the multiple levels of life expression, is a significant key toward managing the flux in a manner that serves emerging benevolent life.
I, however, am at a complete loss right now and can't find magnetic north. (I think I was looking to you for some of that. I know. Sorry...but I *feel* you, and there's a turning toward, and my compass spins...) And so I sit here at the controls of my own flailing craft, instrument dials useless, pulled in different directions by multiple gravity wells, and am at a complete loss as to how to make the next adjustment...damn this deja vu... I think I'll just concentrate on getting the stick shift out of my ear and the horizon horizontal again. Oh yes, I think I should dodge that mountain ahead...first things, first...
You say things are too strange to describe.
Sans detail, I search for an analogy to illustrate this. I imagine you in a situation where you're being asked to make all sorts of adjustments in your view of, and thus actions in, the world, perhaps equivalent to what used to happen when a fellow was finally inducted into the higher (the *truly* higher ones, beyond the highest) orders of Masonry. Everything you know is true. And isn't. And never will be again. Literally.
The metaphor is useful for me as a story that leads me to personal actions that just get me through this next set of days.
My family members have done extremely classified government and professional work at times, and I grew up being somewhat bright and somewhat psychic in a family that had secrets. My family members knew things that would have affected how I looked at the world if they'd told me. They didn't. That also had consequences and affected who I have become.
If we were friends on the ground, you might not be able to share any of these new "realities" with me. My father, stepfather, and brothers haven't been able to tell their children and wives what they were doing. The closest we ever came (as a family) to knowing there were matters beyond our figuring was when my parents were planning to leave the country in the early 70's, based on what was a "known" probability at the time.
I know what it feels like when someone you're attuned to is struggling this way.
Not that it has to be on any sort of black-box level, but if I were to ask you serious, practical and pregnant questions like "how do we hold this space as private between us?" or "how might someone with my set of tools, facing the unknowns that accompany a new professional freedom, best serve the highest values that you and I hold in common?" you might know, but you might not be able to answer. Or you might know that we/I can't do anything more or differently, and still not be able to answer. Or you might just think you know. Or don't (and herein lies the challenge of one-way communication - but I'm rising to it, Barlow. I swear!)
The whys and wherefores of these sorts of limits, no matter their place on the personal-to-public, real-to-unreal, continuum are, of course, the real meat of our co-mapping of reality, and probably best graphed over beer. No, make that whiskey. Neat.
One thing I think I do know about you is that you need to tell the truth or say nothing at all. I also know that you would be extremely conflicted over half-truths, and sins of omission, for you know that I would use the information you shared, and an incomplete story is sometimes more dangerous than no story at all.
I also know that some tools of social destabilization (inherent to power grabs) rely on disorienting individuals such that they become desperate for declarative world-views, and are willing to question their own and replace it with others that seem stronger and "feel" more true (one reason I remain suspicious of the cult of feeling, and thus dedicated to exploring feeling because of how exposed we are to its manipulation).
It worries me that this is as effective as it is, and that I'm just as vulnerable to the strategy of disorientation as my friends and co-citizens are. I know that this sort of emotional vertigo results in alienation of friend from friend, ally from ally, and that agendas counter to our Commons interest - that were resisted effectively when "we" held our center - are furthered when I falter in my personal connectivity with those people and actions that mean a lot to me.
I believe it's our civic duty to keep emotionally upright, to manage our ballast, and to stay under sail as long as possible.
When I imagine you in a similar situation of practical or emotional constraints such as those my family and friends have been under, I feel compassion for you. That compassion lessens my own need, and gives me the strength to pick my own self up, determined to still walk along beside you and others who struggle to move well in the world in the best (if somewhat blundering) manner I can manage.
It also gives me more cause to write today, and illumines a patriotic undercurrent in my outreach to you - what you see when you read these messages from me is one more manifestation of one person/citizen saying to another: "We're in this together, friend. We may feel alone. We may even be alone. But we're alone together."
In the final analysis, my contention is that it doesn't matter if the bed of the dissonance bombarding us is a legitimate (or crafted) spiritual esoterica, governmental/large power-body politicing, or the profound inter-personal landscapes of relationships of the heart.
The cultural wisdom of our sages - especially the mathematicians and biologists I'm studying today - suggests that the amniotic fluid feeding all our pre-birth states of the next higher orders (and everything is a pre-birth state) nourishes us through the foods of constancy, reasonable limitation and novelty.
How we translate and transmute those is unique to each individual.
These are also the three factors that comprise a differential equation - Constant, Parameter and Variable. Any time there are two or more variables the resultant equation becomes non-linear. The uncertain X-Factor state becomes predominant. The fiction of linearity stands exposed, and we're suddenly naked in our socks, wondering if our pants will ever re-appear, and knowing that the next best work is probably not to care.
So I'll now take the energy built during this bit of writing this morning and translate it into the Constant of today's drive upriver, tending the plants that you've come to sense through knowing me. It will become, at least for today, the Parameters of a more gently moving me, engaging with those I meet as clearly and kindly as I can, unendingly adjusted - but not destabilized - by the countless Variables I encounter along the way that iterate my journey and set the stage for tomorow.
I really like sharing my small efforts with you. Hopefully these dancing quark con-trails billowing out behind my passage across this Universe, launched tentatively - and somewhat comically - from the crust of our sun's blue gem will make at least one angel smile, and not leave too much litter to clean up in my wake.
I send you love. You mean worlds to me. And we're not alone. Not Us.
PS - The poem continues. Sometimes abandonment and silence look similar, but they're not the same thing at all.
-- Anonymous, May 19, 2002