Seeking joy and meaning in a joyless mind and meaningless existence

Monday, March 16, 2015

Space & Time

Lost in thought on open seas
Let the currents carry me
If I could would I remain
Another life or another dream
No turning back, face the fact
I am lost in space & time
{VNV Nation, "Space & Time"}

A good friend of mine turned me onto the song "Space & Time" by VNV Nation, and it has officially become my new favorite song.  The music is right up the alley of my northern European sensibilities, and the lyrics spark avenues of wonder within my awareness.  We are all just consciousnesses cast adrift on the currents of space-time.  Are we pulled along forever—life after life—on its never-changing course?  Or are we ever free from its grip through ascendance or oblivion?

It's Too Late, Baby, It's Too Late
Last night as I was trying to fall asleep, it suddenly hit me just how old I am.  That may sound strange, but I think most people see themselves in their own heads as being younger than they are.  I'm 45 years old, not ancient, but no longer able to see "young" in my rearview mirror with my faltering eyes.  In five years—which is nothing to someone my age—I'll be 50 years old.  In my youth, I had no concept of what my life would be like at this point because I'd assumed I would have achieved all of my grandiose dreams by now, as opposed to absolutely none of them.
It's hard to express how deeply this angst has cut me.  Of course, it didn't help that I was feeling low and emotional all day yesterday.  I had well-laid plans but actually got very little done.  I burst into tears as I was putting Pfeiffer's bowl in the dishwasher one last time.  Hell, I was tearing up over The Hobbit: The Battle of Five Armies, and it isn't even that great of a movie.  I keep excusing my continued lapses in mood as part of my protracted sobriety, and maybe they are, but when do I actually get to feel better and reap the benefits of self-control?

Too Much Baggage
Last week I purged hundreds of e-mails from my personal account.  I'm something of an intellectual hoarder: I find so many different things interesting and try to keep them all on my radar in order to eventually process them and perhaps incorporate them into my life in some way.  I had over 500 e-mails that I'd kept "unread" and well over 1000 e-mails in all.  Many of those were news and science articles that I'd e-mailed to myself.  But I'm tired of the accumulation from my past blocking my future growth, so I went through with a merciless resolve and paired things down to 55 "unread" e-mails and a couple hundred total.  (Rome wasn't built in a day.)

Unfortunately, my defeatist brain won't let me enjoy even such a cathartic personal victory for very long.  How many times in the past have I been convinced that I was on the threshold of turning my life around, just as I tell myself that I'm on that threshold now.  But 30 years of false starts doesn't make me overly optimistic, and I get quickly overwhelmed by monumental nature of the task.  In fact, I became a raging, binge-drinking alcoholic so late in life because I'd basically given up on my dreams, and that was my solution for getting through my evenings after work in order to do it all again the next day, day after day until days turned to years.  I remember another good friend of mine talking about one of his professors in college and his making the facetious, sardonic comment that said professor "probably drinks a fifth of scotch just to make it through the day."  And oh the irony of my 20-year-old self's disdain and smug confidence that such a fate could never happen to him.

I doubt anyone's life really turns out how they planned.  And if it does, then our contrary human nature makes us question if that's what we really wanted.  What can any of us do but press ahead and make the most with what we have?