Wednesday, September 6, 2006

O xein! Angellein...

...Lakedaimoniois hoti täde keimetha tois keinon rhämasi peithomenoi!

It’s a beautiful day today. Blue as deep ice but hot and dry and windy. Such a day should be a joy, yet I am pressed down with dark oppression. I consider the date and find no reason for it. My soul I’ve learned recalls its secret scars by scoring them on some visceral calendar. Every day is an anniversary. What dull knot binds my soul today, that even the wind is constricted? What shadow obscures the sky?

No, I couldn’t sleep last night. Oh, Macbeth. Guilt guilt guilt. But the blood on my hands is my own. And my fear, well, it’s a beautiful day today, even when seen through bars.

Is there some way I can recycle this grim state? -- some broader application that might extract insight from its hidden burrow? No. Or rather, why bother. Lack of affect and motivation is a symptom of depression, and I have a congenital proclivity to depression. No matter. It will pass. As will all things.

Once upon a time I knew a teenager who had self-destructive ideations. And yes, pep talks actually have a use, as long as they are paired with eye contact. I remember repeating some wise thing I’d heard. Suicide is a permanent solution to a temporary problem. And glib though it was, it has the sort of instant wisdom that distracts a troubled mind and diverts it into rationality and analysis, rather than mood. Kind of like what I'm doing now. Not all problems are temporary, of course, but mood is temporary. The problem then isn’t the circumstance, but its interpretation. Glad I could clear that up for you.

Such pat verbal formulations are beneficent. They amount to a sort of liturgical sanity, emotional pigeonholes that allow us to understand a thing without studying it. It is a sort of superficial memory, where analogy functions as experience. That’s why stories are so important -- that old folks pass on their stories to young folks. There are no new experiences. Lovers think that only they have felt this way. So do those who feel unloved. But it's all happened before, to everyone, if they live long enough and fate brings it to them. This must be a comfort. We're only alone in the specific. Generally, we're just people -- like raindrops fallen into the sea.

My soul is restless. I’ve been alone too long -- a raindrop in the desert. Always without intimacy. I miss my son. I miss the man he is now, and I miss the little boy he was and who remains now only in memory. I have a father’s concern for him, camped as he is in indian country. My work is not going well, and I feel that I have no purpose. There is a threat that hangs over me, a danger, that could destroy what remains to me, after the losses I’ve already suffered. There was a time when I got to know Job pretty well.

Yeah, I know. I’m so dramatic, what with my allusive self-indulgences. What a drama queen.

I have always had my health, and the son of my body has been protected so far. I have freedom. I have a set of innate gifts. But Job was attacked from all sides. I hold my breath and stand in the pass and expect to fight for my life. Here come the barbarians.

Stranger, bear this message to the Spartans: We lie here, having obeyed the law.



Anonymous said...

what do the title means?

Jack H said...

It's the start of a pretty famous quote, meaning "O Stranger, go tell" or "bear this message..." -- related to our word Angel, a messenger.