screaming from the headline
Can't stop to read, or to watch
’cause I ain’t got the patience or time
To live a life of despair
to live by another man’s word
It’s always been in your hands
to live the life you want while you’re here
- JJ Grey and Mofro, "Every Minute"
* * *
There is this: the way you experience life has less to do with your circumstance and more to do with how you choose to experience those circumstances. To think otherwise, to believe that the circumstances you were born into, to place the authority over your experience in the hands of others (benign or malignant), to understand life, your life, as merely a consumer of others' experience is to put a ferocious keeper on what is possible in your life.
You don't have time to live by another man's word. You must engage and shout back, talk back, whisper back something of your own experience to find out that you are not the prisoner you thought you were.
Now, it would be easy to read something like that and presume I mean that each of us is an island, a discrete experience that has to protect itself against the intrusive bullshit of others.
We live in a welter of various experiences, a storm of possibility that is expressed by each person you encounter. Each of those people have had a life that brought them, somehow, to intersect with yours. Maybe it was just for a minute, perhaps for the length of your days, but somehow you and they intersected and in ways large and infinitely small the arc of your days was altered, just as you have altered their days. You are of the welter, from the welter and exist within the welter. The road you are on, by needs be, must be your own; however, there are other travelers, others searching in their own way and to fully unfuck your life you have to be able to welcome them, care for them, forgive them, kick them the fuck out of your life, encourage them, bless them with whatever reserves of grace and kindness remain.
* * *
The solitary and the silent can be essential tools to help unfuck what is fucked in your life. I crave them both and there is a dark lure to believing such isolation - good in doses, must be better as immersive. But that is as corrosive a self-serving lie as is the one about getting in line and doing as your told.
Life, your life, any life exists as a mad combinatoria of possibilities, strengths, weaknesses and the willingness to see, to act, to do with the materials at hand. To choose the poles of possibility because of their completeness is to remain fucked, but by a different name.
No, one of the tasks life sets before you is to not only find your road, find your feet, find your work and give yourself over wholly to that work, but to also find the ability to experience compassion at the state of things - which is generally shitty because so many people are afraid.
Want to unfuck your life? Right on. Have at it. But you ain't done until you take what you have learned, what you have experienced and transform it into something others can use, learn from, be emboldened by, to be made less afraid. This is how you are not an island.
* * *
Which brings us back to the beginning: How you choose to experience your days has a greater bearing on your life than the circumstances you find yourself in. This is man's truest, greatest and last freedom: the ability to choose how to undergo the experience of one's life.
You can despair at the evil headline deeds. You can withdraw. You can act of out fear, but don't fool yourself: all of those are choices.
You can also choose differently and in either case what you choose becomes your fate.
And there is this also: you are always free to choose again and again and so re-write your destiny.
I wish you well.
See you in the New Year.
* * *