Wednesday, June 13, 2012

and can you live without the darkness that's surrounding you?

The value of suffering. Is there a value to suffering? Is there ever a value to unceasing pain, to anguish, to grieving? Pain's supposed to be an early warning system, to focus our attention on whatever needs that focus, so we can fix what's going wrong. But at that point, shouldn't it stop? It's like trying to work in an office where there was a test of the emergency system, and afterwards, no one shut the alarm off.

For days.

After a while, the constant alert state gets very old.

(from the loss album; at the Salem Witch Memorial in Primrose)

Maybe I should put this another way: what good is suffering if it's not being put to good use? I can answer all the questions I have, but they'll be my answers, and nothing anyone else might say. In point of fact, when I'm suffering, I tend to amplify any emotional state that might be lingering, generally to my detriment. I'll answer those questions wrong, nearly every time. I'll make assumptions that turn out to be misguided, ill-informed, and on at least one occasion, nearly lethal. And the problem with that is, if I start believing those wrong answers, instead of ones I might hear from someone with a more rational mindset, shall we say, then any other conclusions I might draw down the line also have a high likelihood of being wrong.

(from the loss album; one of the exhibits at the Inevitability of Fate art installation in Cariacou)

I'm not stupid. I lack much in the way of common sense, I always have, but I'm not stupid. The problem is, emotion has no intelligence. The animal in pain wants things fixed, and it wants things fixed now, and it doesn't care what it has to do to gain those fixes.

Bad things happen when people stop thinking things through, and start simply reacting. I'm no different. And as I've already stated, I'm not the most rational of souls on my best days. Impaired, in pain, suffering--I'm very nearly useless where rationality is concerned.

(from the loss album; one of the exhibits at the Inevitability of Fate art installation in Cariacou)

This is a problem. Of course, the bigger problem is that sometimes, I'll risk misguided conclusions in order to have some form of stability in my life, even if it's wrong. This, also, does me no favors, but it's a perpetual habit. If I'm lost in the fog, I'll reach for any way out, whether it leads to clear skies or sea.

I'm at that point now, and struggling against the undertow because I hit the tidewater before I thought things through. I'm trying to slow down enough to float back to shore.

(from the loss album; a shattered display in Tyrehl Byk's In Tyrehl Byk's Almost Flat Land, in LEA13)

It's a long, hard swim from here, but I have learned a few things along the way.
  • First, I shouldn't make assumptions. Even if I'm wholly convinced that I know what's going on. I need to ride the brakes if I have to, to gain enough perspective to wait and see. (This is hard for me.)
  • Second, I can do nothing if I only have half the conversation. Which means, until the other person responds, I have nothing to work with. (This is also hard for me.)
  • Third, even though I have nothing to work with, I shouldn't become convinced that silence equals judgement, or anger, or even disapproval. (This? This is really hard for me.)
(from the loss album; abandoned picture frames in Tyrehl Byk's In Tyrehl Byk's Almost Flat Land, in LEA13)

So, how did I find myself in the path of wreckage again? That's part of the problem; I don't know. And that's causing a ton of the instability, because nature abhors a vacuum. So much so that part of me is helpfully throwing out any suggestions for what could have caused the long absence. Pain, stress, overwork, captivity, coma, death...and since I don't know for sure which one of these--if any of these--are right, that same part of me is thinking I must take all of those potential possibilities into consideration.

No, seriously. Think of it as Schr√∂dinger's Dilemma--if (x) state is true, then all states are true. It's an utterly invalid calculation, but I've been trying my best to deal with every potential possibility as if it had already happened, and it's been an emotionally exhausting week because of it.

(from the loss album; standing in Pteron)

Ultimately, I bear the brunt of any fallout from my decisions. And I know that; I also know that I will make wrong decisions along the way. I have in the past. And unfortunately, on this arrow's journey towards clarity, all I really want is to make more informed decisions, less emotional ones. That, however, may not be possible, and that's also one of the hardest things I've ever tried to do.

(from the loss album; one of the exhibits at the Inevitability of Fate art installation in Cariacou)

And I am trying, very hard, not to listen to the universe right now. Because the universe might be wrong, too.

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