I have a project I’m all excited about: “Donald Hoffman Playing Basketball in Zero-gravity,” a detailed critical examination of his astounding “Case Against Reality.”
Unfortunately, one thing after another keeps real progress out of my reach. Hours worth of free time is rare, I get snippets. Soon as I think I’ve carved out some time, bam. Within the past week another couple hugely time consuming family projects have been piled on. Heck, I barely have the time to drop in at CFI these days.
Don’t get me wrong, life is all about today, our day to days, and the people, our family, those lives and times matter most. Still it requires an investment of time and I’m good with that. It’s that little writer dude inside that has his occasional issues - but we make due. Sturm und drang, dancing the sword’s edge of living, we do.
Last night, I finally responded to a pal at CFI Forum who brought up the despair that aware individuals are going through, as we’re watching our decades old worst fears unfolding with frightening rapidity. I had some ten day mulling it over and waiting for a good time to sit down and focus on it. Last night the stars alined and I stayed up alone. Me'n my Ms.Mac laptop.
I’m sharing it here, with a little polishing, since I guess the dream of encountering some real dialogue remains, no matter how cynical I may seem. This is also part of laying out my case to my own satisfaction.
Yo ∏, hope you’re doing well.
I’m in from my last walk with Maddy, dark skies, stars and all that. I keep thinking back on your “clinically depressed” remark, which really caught me by surprise. Although, didn’t take long to figure out where it was coming from. It’s made for lots of musing about the difference between “clinical” depressions and plain old justified human depression.
Seems to me clinical depression is for the candles in the wind, never knowing who to cling to when the rains come in, and so on. The lost souls without a foundation under them.
I was fortunate, my upbringing provided a solid foundation of love, sense of security and self-awareness. I’ve always chosen to strive for the bright side even though my writing doesn’t necessarily reflect it, my life certainly does. I managed to wind up in rural Colorado in ‘79, past 9 years perfectly happy in a 600 sq ft cabin on 40 acres, with wife, and a dog that follows me around, and family, including a toddling grandson. It includes friends and neighbors at a healthy distance and community and all that too, but I have space around me, bigger and better than a city park. Not bad for a kid slatted to become a factory slave back in Chicago.
65 having survived and lived an exciting experience rich life. I knew this country during the ‘70 and ’80 before exponential growth started really turned things ugly. I’ve learned as much about life and this Earth and Evolution’s deep time, and the thing we call God, as anyone I know and keep adding to it. I’ve wanted to be a better me, but I’ve never wanted to be anyone else.
I appreciate we have many layers of personality and fears and impulses interwoven – ever watch yourself and notice how you act a little differently with different people and situations. Your environment draws out reaction, like a cuddle fish, but different.
Or have you ever noticed some of your worst qualities are intimately linked to your best qualities – and visa verse?
Long way of saying sure I can get tremendously depressed and were my own environment the nightmare that so many are being forced to endure, all bets would be off. After a wonderful blessing rich life, death is better than hopeless misery. But I’m a lucky one and that’s not part of my day to days. Yet. I’ve little double it’ll reach me eventually, as it will all of us, no matter how insulated we fancy ourselves to be.
My writing is outrageously depressing for me; that I’ve never connected with likeminded, no quality encouragement, nor support. Not to mention all the stuff that eats up time. Stuff that’s “more” important and kills potential projects and keep others on ice for too long.
But, life is a dance, doing the best with what you have, successes, failure and in between – then we regroup and do it again, only we’re older. I’m a dreamer, but my body is pragmatic and keeps me in line. I rather jettison obsolete beliefs and hopes, than go crazy.
We all have painful episodes in our lives and the trick is how to honor those moments in your life, without letting ’em eat you up. Feel the pain now and then, but be able to wrap it up and slide it back into it’s little cubby hole in the cathedral of your heart.
Live the depression, knowing you’ll come back out of it. If the rage builds, vent appropriately, let it out and be done with it. Let it go. Don’t take the great moments for granted, they won’t last, and for gosh sake don’t take yourself too seriously. Hang on loosely and all that.
And tomorrow it’s off to Phoenix area and another ten days with my little pal. See there too, I’d really rather just stay, try to hide and do nothing but work on my examination of Donald Hoffman’s gold mine of intellectual challenges.
But, than again, spending time with the little fella and helping be a part of introducing him to the world, come on, that’s not something to turn one’s back on either.
That’s why some say it’s better just to let it be, simply be present in this moment.
After all, you know what they say. No matter where you go, there you are!
For the record, all the images I've been posting at my various blogs lately, are taken by me. ©Peter Miesler