Tuesday, June 26, 2012

A Turned Back World

Sorry for my absence. Chopping away at the tome. Getting some serious work done. So rehearsing my grievances goes back burner.

Another reason for allowing dust to gather is my current struggle between contempt and love. I feel such hatred for humans right now; Americans primarily, the species I know best. But general human behavior isn't looking all that sublime.

When I read H.L. Mencken in my 20's, I thought him too harsh on human affairs. He was so cynical, dismissive, violent. Now I see the pattern. I'm not quite at Menckenesque levels, but I can smell the sauerkraut from here.

Need a list? I trust not.

At the same time, I'm feeling a tremendous surge of love. Quite unprecedented in my life. Maybe my mind lacks oxygen. Maybe the pod's finally opened. A new persona ripping through my tired skin, extending his hand in peace.

This doesn't mean that I've accepted our wretched status quo. Impossible with election year fumes fanning out. Endless war getting more endless. Corruption and lies marching in their pride parades.

Also, people are really shitty with each other. I noticed it on my drive from Michigan to DC. Many Americans don't seem to like themselves. There are good reasons for this, but it doesn't appear spiritual or philosophical. Just trapped angry consumers rattling their crates.

I don't see how this is mended. The country's too big. Too alienated. Too disparate for any serious unity. Appeals to jingoism and obedience don't help, though Americans need little incentive to buy into that. Lingering superstitions and myths add to the mess.

And yet, I believe that love finds a way, as hackneyed and Hallmark as that sounds. It's not easy. Darkness and anxiety remain close. There are moments in public when I'm on the verge of freaking out. Faces melt into Ralph Steadman shapes. Pressure mounts.

Then I connect with a stranger. Fleeting but friendly. People seem afraid to love, but give them a genuine opening and most will grab it. Because it feels good. It feels right. And it gets you through another day.

I touched on this ages ago. Seems like I was ahead of myself.

Okay. Enough with Norman Vincent Perrin.

My son is staying with me in DC. We've established a creative space. We're growing our hair long together. We have great conversations. We're going to hit the sights today, mixing with tourists under the gaze of DC's numerous police forces.

Contempt or love? I'm leaning toward the latter, but it's still early.