Tuesday, September 25, 2007

that fine line between acceptance and resignation

(again, this is a dredged up draft from sometime last year, which I think I didn't publish because I thought that the characters it was written about would read it and take it personally and if posted with the knowldge that it would likely be read by who it was about, then it would necessarily end up being a message to them. I didn't write it as a passive aggressive message to anyone; I wrote it to sort out bits of my mind. Now that time has passed and I can't remember who I was thinking about when I wrote it, here it is. Originally writen 7/7/06.)

We'll see if I can manage to curb my tendency to write too long-windedly, and just stir a little bit into the murky crud which has been swirling through my mind. The last little bit has been a bit crazy.

I've never been an expert on sane living and never will be. Which suits me fine as I don't think many of us find ourselves surrounded by a sane world, and playing at pretending it is just an invitation to the devil, as two friends of mine have recently found out while succumbing to his second favorite game, the-way-it-is-supposed-to-be. This is the trouble with the devil: he doesn't really make you do it, so fighting and hating him won't get you anywhere. He's never been the one who commits the crime, only reminds you that you could.

You can lose your temper. You can run from your actions consequences. You can leave the consequences for others. You can push loved ones away and snuggle up to ridiculous fictions and believe it is all true. But the devil didn't make you do it, he just doesn't pretend letting it all go is impossible.

Southerners tend to grow up fairly intimately aware of temptations and the general crudeness of the world. We also tend to play fast and loose with our interpretations of reality and how we care to look at the world. Read any Faulkner or Flannery O'Connor. Don't for a second think I am disparaging an imaginative outlook and interpretation of your surroundings. You can construct any fanciful kingdom you care to live in, just be sure to be careful not to build the foundation on shifting sand or put any of the struts and beams where inconvient bits of harder, more solid reality might come crashing through.

This is, as my convoluted ramblings often are, going to be taken wrongly by the folks it is obliquely about. It isn't so much meant to be just about either of them and their delightful jaunts away from sanity and responsibility, but settling myself down while watching things spiral out of control around me. Here is where I find myself in that slippery place, wanting to reach out and grab and steer and save the ones around me that I love. Grab and scream and tell them they are making mistakes and how they can fix it all and hold their hands while they do.

Which of course I can't do. I can't fix it all and have enough trouble holding it all together myself. And I've slowly accepted that. Watching friends over the years self-destruct here and there, slipping over brinks I couldn't pull them back from and trying to put myself between them and whatever pain was headed their way... and by and large it doesn't work, until they ask for it. It isn't some external devil which I could ever slay. Until "you could..." and "you'll just fuck up eventually, so why not now?" and "they/you deserve it" lose their siren pull, there is no mast stout enough to bind them to.

So again I'll wander along, try to keep up and tell them I love them and pray the next time they are looking over some more desperate precipice that they won't take that next leap.

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