Thursday, October 18, 2018

The Collapse VI

01 June 20XX

My Dear Lucilius:

You asked me in your last missive about others: Had I heard from them, what was their reaction then – and now.

My move, of course, created the sort of stir you can imagine for anyone of my age: there were those who thought I was crazy or “was going on an actual extended hermitage” (actual quote), there were those who could not believe I had decided to give up urban city life for some unknown wilderness (“But the coffee bars? The Nightlife?”), and there were were a precious few that simply stuck to congratulating me for being able to do the very thing that they, in some for or fashion, had dreamed doing as well.

Over time, of course, the whole circle has greatly contracted as I am no longer local for a great many activities and thus slipped from a great many people's minds. And, to be fair, I had become actively reclusive, not following up on and involving myself in most activities I had been participating in before hand. The break had to be complete.

Why this reclusiveness, you might ask? Simply put, involvement in so many ways has become a liability over the years. Who you know, what you “like”, and what you do have no longer become diverse interests to follow and be amazed at but rather things to be weaponized against the others. If you support something your are “X” - but if you fail to support something else, you are also “X” (honestly, it seems, by people who did little to support their own basic needs but expected – by buying power or charity – for others to do so). If I had ever sent Christmas Cards (Mrs. Seneca always handled that), they would have dwindled to a trickle (sad, as they make excellent kindling come January).

But somewhat of note is last year – what with the economy I can only guess – I have had people suddenly start “reaching out” (a term I detest, by the way: it is not as if they are physical touching me), wondering what and how I was doing. One or two wanted to actually just “drop by” for a week or two. Fortunately I am not very diligent about checking those lines of communication so I can always state “Apologies, I received this too late”.

Strangely enough, many of the most desperate needs to “see me” come from those whose political or philosophical or theological philosophies were the most different from my own. These are always the most poignant to me - “I know we have disagreed strongly in the past but….”

The storm, when it comes, rips up all trees without preference.

Your Obedient Servant, Seneca


  1. Interesting observations.

    Hope you are feeling better today.
    God bless.

  2. Thanks Linda! A little better, anyhow.

  3. I long for the peace of mind and acceptance of circumstances your character has. Do we leave the world, TB? Or does it leave us?

    When mine came apart I was bitter and angry and still am a bit. There I times I want to "reach out" but being and old bitter geezer, I know there is nothing to reach out to, and anything that might reach back is nothing I want to deal with. The world I left behind was one where if you did not agree with their orthodoxy, it was because you were intolerant and intolerance would not be tolerated. My new faith has helped me immeasurably in coping with it.

    I'll be finishing up my first pass through the new testament today. In it and even your blog it says to honour your parents and protect your children and I can't do it. I've tried, and failed. Utterly and completely. I seem to be stuck between worlds, if that makes any sense.

  4. Glen - I wish I had the peace of mind that Seneca apparently has - I would like to think he is part of what I aspire to, but I fall very short.

    I would argue that the world left us and as a result, we left the world. The world has moved far beyond anything that I knew growing up - I can hearken back to a day where we actually did religious songs for a Christmas program, if you can believe such a thing. But the world has chosen its path, which has proved inimical to mine - and so, I simply has moved to the side.

    In terms of the reaching out -in this day and age, the only reason people do not reach out (thanks to the Interweb) is because they do not want to be reached out to. I prefer to look at it as God removing things from our lives that would otherwise not allow us to know Him or create more issues in our lives. These are very painful things sometimes - I cannot imagine the pain you have endured - but I can only reflect on the pain that would continue to be in your life if these things endured right now.

    So glad you have finished your first pass at the New Testament. Here's the good news: It says honor your parents and protect your children, but you can do both even though they no longer respond. God will see your heart and meet you where you are at. If I might, I might recommend some C.S. Lewis to you (He of the Narnia fame). Start with Mere Christianity. He speaks to some of these issues.

    Take heart, friend. The night is always darkest before the dawn.

  5. "The storm, when it comes, rips up all trees without preference."
    Well put. Would make a good quote.

  6. Thank you Leigh! I am always amazed what just sort of comes out when I give characters the ability to speak for themselves.


Your comment will be posted after review. If you could take the time to be kind and not practice profanity, it would be appreciated. Thanks for posting!