Journaling in early June 2016

Arrived back in the Midwest late on Thursday. Back to it. Back to this life that is what I make of it. Two weeks under schedule since the tensions down South grew wearing. Five weeks is indeed my maximum capacity for visiting and staying with relatives.

But the Mississippi drama is fast fading in my mind. Came to a few realizations during that trip, though not on the subjects I had initially expected. Turns out we indeed are all crazy. Every last one of us so far as I can tell, just to varying degrees. Subjective. No matter how hard-working or how outwardly loving. Humans just are.

Life is drama. It just is.

And that’s okay. Can’t be any other way seeing as how no one individual controls all the possible variables in any given situation. Life happens.

Think I learned a few things during my time away to carry forward. Trip wasn’t all for naught despite some “insights” I hadn’t counted on encountering. No family is without its problems. Ours could be much worse.

Was nice talking walks around Grandma’s neighborhood at night. Cut off one vice I intend to go easy on in the future. Made further strides with another vice I’ve taken up a struggle with the last two years and made a lot of progress with. Good. That was a change that seriously needed to happen. No going back on that one — can’t do it anymore. Still drinking a bit. And still smoking cigarettes like they’re going out of style, as they are. Some habits die harder than others.

Today is the first day of the rest of your life. Always worthwhile to keep that in mind.

This is my future.Where to from here? One foot before the other. Not seeking to experience a very long life, just would appreciate creating a better life in terms of developing a better attitude toward it all. It all is what it is. That’s just life. For all our chatter incessantly going on, life itself just keeps ticking on undeterred. What it does. Sometimes freak shit happens. Like what occurred in my best girlfriend’s sister’s family. Very sad situation that’s been on my mind all week.

Too easy to take so much for granted. Friends who are always there. A reliable roof overhead. Enough money to get by comfortably enough. An affectionate pet who desires more attention. The close family members one does have. Others’ generosity. Freedom to speak out and be tolerated doing so under the Law. Freedom to choose who we associate with and where we work. Freedom itself.

Erich Fromm warned about people becoming overwhelmed by our freedoms and thereby coming to insist that life be rendered more orderly by big daddy governments. Feeding our power to the government is what cements its totalitarian decline. People don’t intend on that happening and most certainly don’t deeply wish for it, at least not to where they themselves wind up stifled, but this proves to be the outcome nevertheless. Because that’s how power functions. Accumulates and accumulates, never ceding itself. And people don’t like to imagine what they consider worst-case scenarios, preferring optimistic wishful thinking more often than not. Partly because that mindset helps foster a healthier mental and emotional state, which each individual needs. Realists, in contrast, wind up looking like a bunch of nihilistic pessimists and boring nay-sayers by comparison. Who wants to sign up to belong to the latter camp? Clearly not the majority. But it’s all shades of gray, as are most things in this life.

Not sure anymore what the point is in trying to run around aiming to change people’s minds on this or that matter. There are countless causes and only so many resources to go around, so bombarding people with shaming fests and guilt trips to try to sway them or garner their support comes to look like another recipe for crazy-making or driving people further into isolation so as to avoid the relentless chatter. I’ve certainly withdrawn a great deal over the years, directly in correlation with the more I learned about. Can’t help it. Requires time and energy to sort through it all and try to make some sense without a complete overload of too much new and conflicting input. Surely I’m not the only one to feel this way.

Disorientation apparently comes with the territory in this 21st century. I see no way around that fact of life. Depends on what you hitch yourself to, if anything, but it still can’t help but remain disorienting in various aspects regardless. Lots going on these days. Rapid changes like no other time in history. More information abounding than any one of us can ever hope over an entire lifetime to take all in. And we’re a complicated species to begin with.

Someone sent me this link to a blog and post I’d never seen or heard of before. Which then led off onto another article before arriving up at this one in the Washington Post about a woman who died in her 50s from liver cirrhosis. That’s what’s occupying some of my time this evening. Better to read about that sort of thing than hang out on gender-war movements’ forums and sites. Had enough of that. Really think I’ve reached my fill there. Tired of seeing so much divided according to sex as if we were all on separate teams. We are not. Ridiculous to try to divvy life up that way. Shakes out in all sorts of ways. Generalizations only carry us so far. Nuanced conversations and understandings are especially needed now. And yet most will continue to retreat in the opposite direction.

I wonder sometimes if the mentality that you’re up against this or that group over this or that perceived injustice — if that mentality unto itself is half the problem we’re experiencing these days. While I get it that resistance is necessary at times or shit would never change for the better and resources would continue being squandered, yet it still generally seems like approaching life as “us vs. them” results in a losing game. Can’t change everybody else. Can create laws to restrict people, but that doesn’t truly change them. They will continue to think and feel whatever they will and also likely will grow more resentful of the group who forced the legal changes, ensuring that the restricted will eventually find a way to rise in power and go toe-to-toe in an effort to push laws back in their own favor. And on and on it goes…

People are gonna do what they’re gonna do. The best we can hope for is to not exacerbate each other’s craziness beyond what is fair. Subjective. And requires a lot of effort. Because the only person one has control over is oneself. Can’t completely control the future. Can’t control the past. Can’t control others. Can try to manipulate and coerce them, but ultimately they will do as they will do. Can try to reason with them, which is probably beneficial if they’re open to it. Can try to sway with appeals. But can’t control. At least not yet. Give us and our technologies time though. tongue_out

Can’t probably tell from my latest posts but I am feeling somewhat better than I was a month back. Still thinking on some of the same topics, as to be expected, but that’s just how my mind works. Apparently likes to chew on the concern over the rise of totalitarianism, why we’re headed there and how come it’s inevitable, and also how might an individual sidestep it and its effects so much as possible. Beyond that, seeing family and observing the dynamics there proved further illuminating. I will never move back to Mississippi, much as I do like plenty about the state. Gonna remain in the Midwestern city where I’ve been living for nearly a decade and see what opportunities arise going forward. Would like to live somewhere entirely new someday, to try it out, shake things up, maybe discover somewhere with milder winters and summers. Maybe not. Would be interesting to roll the dice again someday. Fine here for now though.

Other personal matters on my mind will remain private. Gossiped enough on here in the last year to disgust my own self.

So now the focus returns to objectives and taking steps in a more beneficial direction. Been too much talking and not enough doing coming out of me.

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2 Responses to Journaling in early June 2016

  1. Wyrd Smythe says:

    “Requires time and energy to sort through it all and try to make some sense without a complete overload of too much new and conflicting input. Surely I’m not the only one to feel this way.”

    No, and I think it may be one of the key issues of the modern era. The Information Age started some time ago, and it’s accelerated ever since…

    [Interrupting myself for a sidebar thought: Interesting the technological ages of humanity… The Fire Age leads to the Metal Ages (good tools!) which leads to the Industrial Age (mechanical machines!) which leads to the Electronic Age (telephones! radio! video!) which leads to the Computer Age (automation! calculation! precision!) and finally to the Information Age (all that data!). Each builds on the last and includes all that’s gone before. Each changes society in unforeseen and major ways.]

    [[What’s absent is a Wisdom Age or really even a Knowledge Age. Whatever.]]

    One of the many major consequences of this Age is the sheer amount of content. Which — ironically — it’s more important than ever to try to somehow stay on top of — another consequence of the Information Age, information becomes important, even necessary. There’s that great Carl Sagan quote about the growing gap between the important technological information in today’s world and the amount people know. Or are even willing to try to know.

    I think it’s just one of many trends that seems to signal coming disaster.

    Part of the trick has to be filtering the useful and valid from the trivial and false. That’s kind of a judgement call, but there are such things as foundation topics that underpin lots of others — they take some of the mystery out of them. (Many of those “tools” I’ve referred to in our other conversation are those foundation topics.)

    For example, a very basic, even simplistic, knowledge of chemistry opens the door to anything involving chemistry. Likewise mathematics, physics, electronics, astronomy, history, language, philosophy, etc. I’m talking the most basic understanding… what one might pick up with a handful of evenings of self-study.

    Ah, but I’m on my soapbox again. Sorry. The world is just so damn frustrating, and I’m not convinced it has to be this way. Surely we can do better, he asked?

    Anyway, as I’ve long said, the interweb “river” is wide, deep, and fast. Stuff flows past at a stunning rate only to be far downriver within a day. To switch metaphors, we no longer gather nuts so much as run around like crazy dodging the onslaught of more of them than anyone could consume in several lifetimes.

    No wonder life seems weirdly empty despite being so full and so frenetic despite so much supposed computer-aided luxury.

  2. Byenia says:

    Word, Wyrd. Preaching to the choir over here, brother.

    “[[What’s absent is a Wisdom Age or really even a Knowledge Age. Whatever.]]”

    Precisely.

    Great comment.

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