It is an unusual feeling, looking through the corrective lens of hindsight. And it is harmful to eschew foresight in making any life-altering decision. To think of what one is capable of walking into, and willingly--it defies reason. Talk about it. Tell people. From the perspective of friends, or occasional confidants, there is a sympathy that does not seem understanding enough. THIS, one decides, belongs to no one but myself, and yet, it isn't anything that one would willingly own. And what is "this"? A special form of chaos--quite real in terms of where one lives, and what one does on a daily basis--a kind of madness certainly, yet so seemingly ubiquitous that it becomes hard to extract oneself far enough to recognize one's role, take the dancer from the dance, pluck the single stalk from its field. Without wanting to, I can contribute to circumstances that are clearly destructive. I have the greatest desire to see my personal, proprietary chaos as a particular historical and social form--that I am simply acting through, and with the available means: relationships, jobs, modes of travel, clothing, food, meeting the tick-tock of constant overhead--to maintain a residence, a place, a mood, a space of familiarity. It seems so vague and abstract, really, to give narrative shapes to the broad contours of feeling that occur to one over years of time. If I think I went through a number of serious depressive episodes, each fast on the heels of its predecessor, I am reluctant to objectify my life over the past four years like that--because the clinical is so clingy. Diagnosis has to do with the elusive, imprecise nature of defining one's own nature. Or reiterating, and standing on the fact that I will define it for myself, thank you--and you may say what you please. But with a diagnosis, one gains the pleasure of working through the steps of cure and recovery. There is certainty. This thing has a name. It is my body, and my body is perfect in the fact that it will NEVER be perfect. Relief. One meets it in the gaze of another, and in polite, and not so polite rejections. Invitations declined or gone unanswered. It is the same impulse, perhaps, that brings a pissed-off crowd to the forum, to stand and say, "We have had it!" with the prevailing narrative, the controlled message. Because it IS wrong. And it IS harmful. Why can't that be said of our own personal life and circumstance? That all narrative is predictive, predicated form? That form is merely an object of study, and the object of an action based on its prediction. Because what I was living was the unpredictable, and it is still just as much what I am living with. I was welcome to chance, happy with transience, hanging with the outlaws, heaping up with the outbursts.
It all seems so gentle now, from this necessary distance. By ownmost nature, I had kept my eyes glued to the eyes of the nurse, and not on what was in the little cardboard cup. That's how it goes. I have been attempting to act from a sense of sanity, with senses that have grown and been cultivated for over half of my adult life. Working with every reserve, verging on deplete, for the sense of being precise, generous, both yielding and firm. Then, I am told, and by one whose word I count as weighty as gold: your sense of it is exactly the opposite (even if that's a bit of an exaggeration) of what will pass as normal. No, on a hurried pavement of mad hungering souls, and a million drives cascading over me like a shrapnel wind, I'll never grasp the half of it. I will be strange. It will feel good, too. In a context of chaos, it is foolish to think in terms of the normal, the pathological, the comforting and the weird. Especially here. On the gentle edge of this mossy hillside there is a truth: I have had it. And the lover of that thought: no one will take this away from me ever again.
i love you.