Walk in silence,
Don’t walk away, in silence.
See the danger,
Always danger,
Endless talking,
Life rebuilding,
Don’t walk away.

Walk in silence,
Don’t turn away, in silence.
Your confusion,
My illusion,
Worn like a mask of self-hate,
Confronts and then dies.
Don’t walk away.

People like you find it easy,
Naked to see,
Walking on air.
Hunting by the rivers,
Through the streets,
Every corner abandoned too soon,
Set down with due care.
Don’t walk away in silence,
Don’t walk away.

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Reading the sixth of seven installments of the journals of Thomas Merton (American Cistercian monk, known for his writings, anti-war efforts and ambassador between Western and Eastern religion.) And while I’ve loved most of his works; he was a huge inspiration to me on my conversion to Christianity years ago, this one just stinks.

And it’s all because he fell in love with a woman.

Now, I’m not saying it’s bad he fell in love or that I necessarily condemn him for his choices, but rather that after 25 years of being a hermit in solitude the quality of his writing once he meets some pretty face that moves him goes in the tank.

Love, to him, is some grand movement of the spirit that is incapable of words, infinite in its scope and eradicates all other wants and concerns. Utter droll. I’m not cynical about love. I am in love, very much in love, and it truly is the greatest thing. But, in my opinion, taking love to the point where even the infinite and intangible fail to define it is merely the polar opposite of cynicism. Cynicism compensated for by buring itself under mountains of cheap platitudes.

Yeah, Merton goes cheap.

Love, as described by every poet and rhetorician since time began (save for cynical reductionists), is something essential to our nature as human beings. So why then should it be as difficult to hold as water? Love is very real; it is experienced long before we are even old enough to have a language to put it in. It is proto-language, it is endogynous to us.

Love is not a mystical expanse of infinity. It is something felt in the most physical and mundane of experiences. And there is nothing extra. I recall one vivid experience of having breakfast with my girlfriend and just being overwhelmed with this feeling of being in love as I watched her take an ordinary sip of orange juice. For a time I thought that feeling was due to some abstract extra that love added to the ordinary, but now I think it’s just the opposite. Love happened when all other abstactions fell apart and I merely saw her as herself–no grand, metaphysical extras; no ideations; no romantic poetry.

Love is not the presence of something new and grand in the world. A thing akin to love as we know it is generated ex nihilo from God. It is threaded into human nature and nature itself. The experience of “falling in love” is not discovering something new. Love is discovering how to forget about separation and division. I have a very deep animosity towards New Age thought, but there is a kernel of reason in their idea of bliss in being “one with everything.”

Reading John Rawls’ Political Liberalism. There are a lot of problems I’m finding with it, enough for a substantial blog entry, but I’m just going to tackle one.

Rawls repeatedly gives examples of how concepts of liberty and rights have changed historically: anti-slavery, womens’ suffrage, civil rights, etc. and how these are all nothing but greater realizations of political liberalsm (not to be confused with “Liberals,” as many do these days.)

Where I think he drops the ball, and where Marx remains more astute, is in suggesting that the principles of liberalism as he sees them: reasoned political thinking, the desire for mutual cooperation, are what drove such changes. I think history suggests quite otherwise. Most changes that lead to an expansion of rights and liberties came about through struggles both peaceful, through resistance and militant (or with the threat of militancy.) Liberalism merely arrives once the dust has settled to give an official seal of approval to changes gained through other means.

Notions of reason and justice that Rawls sees as so primary seem to me nothing more than concepts gained in hindsight.

I was thinking about the whole “you can’t joke about rape.” And wondering if that really is for the benefit of victims or just a straight hush up job. I have been molested, a kind of rape and I’ve been very close to a couple people who were violently raped as adults, heard those stories. I think perhaps it might actually be helpful if humor was an acceptable way of expressing the trauma, rather than leveling it an unspeakable thing.

I don’t mean blow it open to all for laughs. I believe in the hurt of rape victims and their right to respect, and the seriousness of the crime.

But the rules seem less “don’t offend” but “don’t talk about it.” I started this post because I used the word “rapist” casually and it made me feel guilty. But it should not be like that. The solution to major problems is not a climate of fear and silence over the problem. It’s got to be open, with all the dignity possible to the victims, but not hushed up.

I’m reminded of an awesome Louis CK bit where he calls out people for saying “the N word” because all it does is plant “nigger” into his brain. True, those six letters are not offensive, what they mean is offensive. Censorship is sometimes good for stopping an offense, but it can also be used to block acknowledging an offense.

Hell, the problems with “rape” and “nigger” aren’t that they’re said too much, their problem is that they are silenced too much. Our sort of political correctness is just sweeping big issues under the proverbial rug for keeping up appearances. Therein maintaing the problem (sexism, racism, etc, etc)

Depression has a weird effect on time. I mean the heavy hitting sort of depression. The really crippling variety. You lose all sense of time of day, what day it is. Just woke up to find it’s 2am, and since I’ve been asleep that means I’m going to have to spend the rest of the night killing time.

But first have to go through the checklist. I am shaved and my hygiene is acceptable. Don’t know why, but in my worst episodes of depression I’m always thinking I’m going to die and how bad it’d be if I was unshaven and unshowered when they find me. My sheets slipped off my matress (how does this keep happening?) but I’ve got no strength to put them back on.

Realized I didn’t eat today, but I also haven’t really burned a calorie.

Don’t want to kill myself, even that just seems like too much work.

And there’s this pain. There’s a commercial that was on TV to sell some useless drug that said “depression hurts.” It really does. People do generally assume that depression is mainly just being sad a lot, but it’s not like that. Literally, every single part of my body hurts.

Been thinking of writing an article this one website, cracked.com, but never had anything interesting to contribute. Think I may have a contender: ridiculous looking uniforms worn by the deadliest soldiers.

Got the Canadian Mounties, the Buckingham Palace Guards and the Swiss Guard. Need to find more to consider an article.

Mounties: basically have jurisdiction in nearly every part of Canada and every task: anti-terrorism coast guard, anti-drug trafficking, military police.

The Buckingham Palace Guards are elite members of the British Army. That think about hassling them because they “can’t move” is a myth. They can and they have rifles.

Swiss Guard. Definitely the most ridiculous outfit, but they are essentially Secret Service for the Pope. They all must have prior military service, are trained in hand-to-hand combat and have to swear an oath like the SS to do risk anything to protect.

//

Came across this and even though it’s a joke from Communist Germany, it also sort of categorizes the predicament of Capitalist America in my opinion.

A worker in East Germany takes a job working in Siberia. It’s a good job but a rough place. He tells his friend that if he sends a letter, if it’s written in blue ink then it’s true, and if it’s false it’ll be in red.

A month later the friend receives a letter: “Things are great here. The weather is beautiful. The women are gorgeous. The food is delicious. The job is paying so well. My only problem is the lack of red ink.”

I think a big problem is that to be the least radical in the United States, it’s not that we censor radicals, but I think we just lack the basic language that would allow us to voice our dissent. Simply, we have no red ink.