115 // Paradox of My Life

You ever have one of those days where outwardly the world appears calm, everyone you love is collected, and all of your problems are neatly under control, and yet beneath it all you sense a black and simmering chaos that you cannot reach? On days like these all you can do is watch and wait for that inevitable eruption of darkness, and it is this watching and waiting, not the bubbling chaos itself, that fills you with a vague dread for which there is no cure.

Or perhaps there is? I tried coffee and yard work today, then watching a stupid show and taking a short nap, and suddenly I can see the sun and tomorrow doesn’t seem so dreadful. I feel better, but I also don’t. I suppose it’s another paradox of life, or maybe only of my life as it is right now.

There is something about that dreadful and bubbling chaos that feels almost good.

The fragility of the world is never far from my thoughts lately and “ends”—my end, the many ways life as I know it could end, the end of the humanity, the end of the world, the cold and distant end of the universe—are weighing on my heart but, strangely, I have never felt so alive either.

It’s been so long since I’ve been walking mindlessly through life from work to home to bed to work to home and bed again and again and again, but I’m not mindless anymore. I’m awake. I’m aware. A sudden truth has come to the forefront of my mind and it won’t be shoved back again so easily. I’m hurting more, but I’m living more and I cannot make sense of it except that to avoid any one part of life is to neutralize it all to endless grey monotony.

You are alive, but it is only the barest kind of life. You are content, but you are not happy. You are safe, but all sense of self and meaning have been removed. You will have your years, but you will not grow. This, right now, is a lesson.

116//366

The stay at home orders for my county have officially been extended through May 8th. I haven’t yet heard from my supervisors and coworkers about how that affects our plans to return to work in the coming weeks. Obviously our return is delayed, but by how long is the question.

Saturday continues to be my favorite day of the week. There has been very little to do any day of the week for over a month now, but on Saturdays there is even less. I wish time would slow down so I could enjoy more of it, so I could luxuriate in it.

I’m back in the “creativity room” though not much of substance is being created. The good feeling isn’t as simple or short-term as happiness. I’d say maybe I feel hopeful, or optimistic. Life feels promising and as long as my path continues straight forward from here, things can only get better. That doesn’t mean things are great right now, it just means the future feels bright.

115//366

Today was a bad day, but it wasn’t my bad day alone so I can’t share any of the details except to say that being isolated with no outside stimulation or social interaction magnifies every emotion especially the negative ones and being isolated together just doubles the ammunition and the inevitable explosion.

Things are better now, but I had to devote the entire afternoon to self care in order to move past it. I decided it was a good day to deep clean my dreadlocks and have a nice cold shower “beer” (I’m partial to hard ciders) to take the edge off. I feel refreshed and renewed now. The hurts and humiliations of before have been washed away and the evening can be enjoyed free of worry or distress…for now. It may take pizza and a glass of wine to keep the good feelings going.

That was all I could manage to do today, and even that took more effort than you could know. I’m proud of myself for not falling back into old habits and for not giving in to the urge to do nothing at all and wallow in self pity. I’m glad things turned around and I have feel confident that tomorrow will be so much better.