Wednesday, October 15, 2008
Balanced or not?
I've stepped back from making individual posts on my various blogs in order to gain a larger perspective. My goal is to fill these notebooks with rough drafts I will then use to make a series of blog posts.
The Book of Innocence was originally intended as a nonfiction book, something in between a collection of personal essays, a book of digressions, a journal. I used a basic structure for the first seven chapters, which is "flight" and "descent," and I would like to maintain some pattern for the next section of the book although I don't know yet what my overall subject-matter will be. Flight, descent, then what?
This book is a contemplation on my life, on my experiences, and on life itself. Recently I've come up against the rapid cycle of my emotions; anticipation, excitement, and then disenchantment and frustration, endlessly repeating. Because this experience was so vivid to me I had to investigate it. What I found was that a pattern lurks beneath the surface of my life, a pattern based upon rising and falling emotions, and the ebb and flow of energy.
Balance. Is there an inborn desire for balance in our species? Or is just the opposite true: our nature keeps us forever imbalanced and incomplete?
Within me I feel there is a chemical reaction that carries me away from myself, just as there is a chemical reaction which draws me nearer to myself, closer to my center.
Ever since Tess (my girlfriend) moved in, there has been a dramatic shift in my lifestyle. But of course I don't attribute all of my changes to her moving in. Another major change occurred during this time period. I began blogging . . . like mad.
I stopped meditating. I stopped working out. I grew fat and addicted to caramel-flavored lattes. All of these instances are evidence enough for some sort of imbalance. It is almost impossible for me to have donuts or ice cream in the house without them disappearing in two days.
But in other ways I've grown. That is, I've gained more balance in other areas. Such as working at the hotel. For the first time in my life, I'm working a regular job--with demands I've never had to cope with before--such as pleasing customers. Also, since Tess moved in, I've become less self-focused. I'm learning to be with somebody other than myself. I can recall when I lived by myself and how that felt. Even in my happiest moments I was still utterly alone in life. Sharing my experiences with Tess has definitely brought me closer to a state of balance with others.
Can a person be balanced and imbalanced at the same time? Can one be healthy and unhealthy? Sane and insane? And if so, how do these opposites mutually coexist?
In any given moment, the human essence, that which I call "me", is in flux. For this reason opposites are allowed to mingle and exist side by side one another. The flux of the human essence refuses to be pigeonholed into an absolute state, happiness, for example, or total misery.
Perhaps a suicide commits suicide not because of the certainty of his feelings, but the uncertainty, the flux. Being human means being incompatible with oneself. One is balanced in a certain way and imbalanced in another. We cannot just be this or that. We are all things, contradictory and inconclusive.
The flux involves elements that are both in order and out of order. Nothing will ever be complete. Forget perfection. You are torn at the roots of every moment. Which gives us a chance to renew ourselves if we are looking forward. But also a sense of disappointment and disenchantment if we are looking back.
Maybe I won't write out all of these chapters ahead of time. Maybe I'll just come to the library every day and write a chapter in my notebook. Then I'll return home and transcribe it into a post as I have done today.
Wow, it feels good to be writing again.
Posted by Lethe at 12:39 PM
Labels: balance, book, flux, philosophy, tightrope walker