Thursday, April 19, 2018

Not Fitting In

If I have not clearly stated it before, I am clearly going through a phase of not fitting in at all in my current life.

I do not fit in where I go to church.  Increasingly I do not feel like that in at my career place.  I do not fit in at Throwing like I used to.  I have not (for a while) felt like I fit within my circle of friends.
(For the record, I do still fit at Iai and and the Rabbit Shelter - but rabbits are pretty pleasant companions).  In almost ever aspect of my life, I do not feel like I fit in.  The sense is that my life is slowly being compacted and pushed off a ledge over a cliff from which I can hear the waves of the raging sea.

The problem seems to be that I am not really fitting in anywhere else either.  If there are other places that I might fit in, these have not readily come to mind or readily presented themselves (not that there seems to have been time for that of late, however).  Instead, it seems the lamps of my life are slowly being extinguished one by one while I wait for a dawn which I hope is coming - think is coming - but have no real guarantee is coming.

I asked God about it tonight walking Poppy - really, let us be fair, it was someone more of an accusation.  "When, God?  When do things clear up?  When do I find the path forward?"

The answer I got was "Trust Me."

Not, as you can imagine, the clearest sort of answer I was hoping for.  A time frame gives us something to framer expectations and efforts around but simple trust is something that says an event can go for five minutes or fifteen years.  And there is no really hint of such a trust dawn except to pay careful attention to the world around you for the dim lightning which suggests that it may be finally coming.

But this was the only answer offered.

And so I wait in the gathering gloom of nightfall.  I can feel that there is a next step but, like a man in a cave, I can make no progress without injuring myself - until the dawn arrives.

Wednesday, April 18, 2018

A Slow Moving Cultural Wreck

There are days and weeks - like this week, it seems - where I go through a sort of general sense of hopelessness about the future.  It just feels as if things are not getting better and have no chance at all of getting better, at least in my lifetime.

It has been said before by others more eloquent than I, but I cannot remember a time where the vitriol of one to another has ever been so high.  It is if we have abandoned even the pretense of trying to get along and have become embroiled in a one act monologue where the only subject covered are the idiocies and the meanness of the other side.

It has reached the point where it seems we are not just trying to fray the bounds that bind us together as a society but we are actively tearing them apart as fast as we are able in hopes of....

In hopes of what?  That is perhaps the most troubling part of the equation.  To anyone who has built a culture, be it business or religious or non-profit or even a club or role-playing group, it is understood how difficult it is to do such a thing.  Culture is something that has to be carefully nourished and protected to grow and flourish and then (once existing) has to be weeded and pruned and watered as carefully as any garden. Forget any of these and the cultures begins to die and once dying, is usually very hard to bring back to life.

So I suppose their hopes are to destroy things to the point that something new, something "better" can be built?  Utopianism at its finest I suppose - but a simple study of history will demonstrate the perils and usual outcomes of such a thing (check out Nazi Germany Soviet Russia or The Killing Fields of Cambodia or Communist China in its Great Leap Forward or Cultural Revolutions Phases [or even now, really])  for a sense of what "new cultures built on the ruins of the old" actually looks like.  It is a bloody, destructive affair that leaves a wake of death and destruction behind it.

The saddest part to me is that I am watching this happening, observer of a slow motion train wreck that is coming down the tracks at me - and all I can do is watch in horrified anticipation as it seems to gain sped.

Tuesday, April 17, 2018

Plugging The Hole Of Self Acceptance With Others

I am shocked at the extent to which I have tried to plug the holes of my own feelings of lack of self-acceptance with the lives of others.

It is something that has only become a matter of realization in the last week or so, precipitated by the realization that I really am not quite the central figure in the lives of others that I imagined I was.  As I slogged through the degrees of grief that occur with any relationship of worth, I realized that in point of fact I was not so much grieving their moving on as I was grieving a very real sense that a hole had been exposed once again.

It is easy to understand now that I can see it.  I have always struggled with acceptance:  my own acceptance of myself, and certainly God's acceptance of me.  My solution has been to find a way to make that feeling go away by finding others who I can draw close to help fill in the gaps that I feel I cannot close myself.

It is not a great solution of course, as it both manages to eventually alienate the other person (trust me - I have the wasteland of former friendships to prove it) as well as driving me away from the probable sources of the solution that would actually fix the problem:  my own acceptance of self, and my acceptance of God's view of me.

Living feeling as if you are continually performing below what you should be doing is a terrible burden to bear.  It is doubly hard when the person that administered that burden is yourself:  you can never really let yourself be pleased with your performance because, after all, you are the harshest critic of yourself.  Outside people theoretically remove this issue from you:  by being outside of you and "not you", they somehow have legitimacy the make you feel that sense of acceptance - after all, if they are receiving you, are you not okay?

The reality is that in fact in any relationship - any healthy one anyway - both sides are deriving a benefit.  When that benefit becomes one sided it either simply becomes a charitable event (and if you have never been a relationship charity, you do not know the pain of realizing it after the fact) or something that is on its way out the door.

Is there a solution?  The one I should tell you is "learn to accept yourself".  But that is the very thing that is the hardest, is it not?  I am no more likely to accept myself simply because I tell myself so than I am to fly by jumping off a roof flapping my arms.  There is a thing there, a thing I am missing - and my fear is that the road to recovery lies directly back through that gaping hole I am trying to fill.

Monday, April 16, 2018

Fencing The Garden

As I mentioned last week, my temporary solution of light plastic fencing for my garden was fairly ineffective once Poppy figured out she could go through it:




The time had come to get a few more posts:



And an actual fence:


I do not know that this will definitively keep Poppy out - she is a pretty clever dog.  The best I am hoping for at this point is that it will difficult and unpleasant enough that she will give up.

(On a happier note, the recycled wood pellets and rabbit manure have turned into an amazing top soil.  Pretty excited about that.)

Friday, April 13, 2018

Of Leek Pie

Wednesday night we had leek pie.  We have had leek pie before; the thing that made this one different was that it was leeks from our garden.

I was not quite prepared to take the out, but Poppy the Mighty had figured out that 1) She could go through the light fencing I had put up, and 2)  Things sticking out of the ground make a pretty good chew toy.  So it was pull them or lose them.

As we were eating it last night, I was suddenly struck by the fact that (with a little work) most of the ingredients were things that I could generate, if I had the room and time:  Leeks, eggs, wheat flour (for crust).  Bacon and Milk/cream/butter could be had at a little more effort and expense (or traded for).  But the thing could be done, with a little effort and ingenuity.

It is moments like this (mostly, finishing up the leftover piece) that makes me think and realize how much more possible such things are.  Yes, my reach always seems to exceed my grasp in such areas - I am still struggling after nine years of living here to get a garden I can actually eat out of - but occasionally there are moments that remind me that the future is out there, if I can just apply myself a little more creatively and be a little more patient.

And yes, the leek pie out here is delicious.

Wednesday, April 11, 2018

You Giant Weirdo

We love the bunnies around here (third most abandoned pet after cats and dogs.  Live 9-12 years.  Smart as a cat, and well managed, not nearly the smell of a litter box).  Sunday, which for Nighean Dhonn and myself is Bunday at our local rabbit shelter, is always a day of happiness.  It is, however, important to keep perspective: