4/25/2012

Approaching, not reaching

Halfway through my life there's a sense I should have paid more attention in calculus. I vaguely remember something about curving lines that could come ever and ever closer to a vertical line, but couldn't quite make it there. In this mess of a thought is an apt metaphor I wish I could flesh out further, but alas.

I'm hobbled by what I can write here mostly by the limitations of what you can say in a public journal. Everything is now actionable. Everything we do is watched, scrutinized, assembled into dossiers that may or may not prove that we are a threat to society. Or that we aren't employable.

So, I back off and say very little about anything, except in rants to people I meet from time to time. And hopefully none of that is actionable, though you can never really tell in a town like the one in which I live.

It's been two weeks now since I got back from England. I've settled right back into my schedule, have worked my first catering gig, and have recurring dreams about leaving Court Square Tavern. Somewhere in the end of that story is one about how disappointing life can be, when you believe in something so much but none of it matters because the owner has no capacity to believe outside of his own conception of the world.

I believed in a place where people could go and be made to feel welcome. Now, I don't have any such place in my own life. Strangers live in my house. The closest I have is my desk when everyone is gone and I can practice my guitar while waiting for the bus ride home.

I've practiced and practiced and practiced and I've played and I've played and I've played but I don't seem to be getting close to any point where I can leap over that vertical line that blocks me from making this a serious part of my life.

Are there any serious parts of my life? Of course. I take my journalism seriously, and I feel like I am doing what I wanted to do when I was 21. Somehow, I am here, but being here came with so many costs. Long hours prevent socializing. Long hours helped a second marriage crumble apart. Long hours, especially when I was at Court Square, took away any ability for me to explore myself.

I don't want to reach out to anything anymore. What's the point?  Every time I try, whatever I want just slips away from my fingers.

But, isn't that what life is? None of us has any control over anything, no matter how hard we try to convince ourselves we do.

I'm amazed, though, at how much control people give up of their own lives to people they are in relationships with, or their bosses, or their government.

Which gets us down straight to the point.

What is this all about? As the 21st century matures, we're going to watch institution after institution fail. We're going to see young institutions crumble under the weight of bureaucratic and traditional kudzu. I have this sense every single day that something has to change, but I have absolutely no idea what it is or what form it might take.


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