Friday, May 29, 2009

Among the Darbies

I do not believe in fatalism. I understand cause and effect and believe wholeheartedly that a decision as simple as whether or not to board a bus could very well change the entire course of your life. And yet: I cannot help but deny a certain untouchable defeatist element to existence.

And: yes, yes. I know. Everyone feels this way at some point: or else we wouldn’t have clich├ęs about camels and straw; or laws like Murphy’s.

But it’s this precise realization that makes me so quick to wonder: why bother at all.

Imagine for a moment that you did everything to create a comfortable life for yourself: the life you wanted, even. But what if the harder you tried, the further that dream went away?

Just another classic case of Tantalus, you might say.

And I say this: I’m not talking about water and grapes. This is life: a vacant and meaningless existence treading dangerously close to an irretrievably crushed spirit.

Recently someone said he admired me because no matter what happened, nothing ever gets to my core.

I appreciate what I consider to be a compliment, but I doubt its accuracy.

Because these things, little by little, are getting to me. And with so much of everything collapsing around me, I feel at times I have only myself to blame. And yet: I don’t know what I’ve done wrong. I don’t know what I could’ve done differently.

And so: day after day, these experiences tear at me from the inside. I try to heal old wounds and a new one arises; I stop one leak, and a bigger one begins.

But if I must be the girl who serves as a godmother – but never a parent – so be it. If I must be the girl who has to choose between backpacking across Scotland alone or not going at all, I will choose the former.

And yet: why it is come to this, I will never understand. These shelves of unwatched books; lists of “must see” movies and unseen vistas. Hopes and dreams that once seemed inevitable have somehow become insurmountable peaks.

They grow; they loom; they taunt. Fates approach in the distance; growing larger and larger, scissors poised before my string.

This is not the life I fought for. This is not the life I wanted.

This is the life that found me.

But tell me why – like Sisyphus – I scale the mountain all the same.


david said...

Sometimes, asking the questions reveals the answers. And if you are very lucky - the solutions.

bookfraud said...

"This is life: a vacant and meaningless existence treading dangerously close to an irretrievably crushed spirit."

i kind of feel that every single day. but i see life not being about consuming books and movies and meeting hopes and dreams, but the struggle itself, the act of scaling the mountain with the very edge of one's fingernails. it defines us as humans, and we often don't realize that pushing the boulder up the mountain is not the pointless or painful task we make it to be. if you are adding to the happiness in the universe, it is worthwhile.

if you feel like your life is a sisyphean struggle, remember the words of samuel beckett: i can't go on. i'll go on.

and now i'll shut up.