I’ve had many beloved things and people in my life. They have meant a lot to me; a great deal: the people, more than they will ever know. And even the people who have treated me badly … well, in many ways have ultimately enriched me.
It’s funny how a mind like mine can truly love that which has most hurt it: not out of the madness of sacrificial love but rather, far more, out of a desire to sustain the belief that good can be found everywhere. And even where it is not, that one day it might flower in some poor and incomplete way perhaps, but flower just that tad nevertheless.
Most beloved of course are the people who have crossed my path. Although I have spoken woefully of my marriage partner, it is I who have failed at loving her; I am the strange one in the equation; I am the one who knew better and did not act.
Of my children I can express only an enduring and unending love: they will always remain as an achievement of astonishing beauty the responsibility for which my long-suffering partner and myself can proudly and fully share with those selfsame offspring. The greatest thing any parent can comprehend – if good fortune is theirs for the sharing – is the freedom with which a child has grown and matured outside the simple teachings of their parents: that what they are is no carbon copy but something which has been given the space to be an original person and entity.
My own parental family has been far more of a burden for me. I remain attached to and beloved by fewer than half of its components at the time of writing this post: that part includes neither of my parents.
It is a truth and a reality I have described all too completely elsewhere. I do not need to repeat it here – nor have the time or desire.
And today the minions which playfully make my mind whirr its curious thought patterns have reminded me of the importance of free will to feeling joyous: without it, I have realised, I become a fixed island of granite-like proportions, unable, quite unable, to feel spontaneous or capable of free love. And so in its absence, the absence of joy and liberty, I lose all capacity to enjoy my life too.
When I know I am being manipulated, the pain is frankly unbearable. When I know I am being nudged one way or another, those who design the nudging – whether politicians or business people or doctors or educationalists – simple let me know they respect not a bit my right to such liberties, nor appreciate my nous and ability and intelligence to comprehend exactly what they are doing.
And that is why going with the flow actually, paradoxically, turns me into an island: because the flow is not freedom but a channel as fixed as any outcrop of stone. I am damned if i do and damned if I don’t. If I reject the nudge, I am an island of my own making. If I allow myself to be channelled by whomever, I am a peninsula yous make: in a sense, then, I am clearly even less free by doing your bidding than when I stick – stuck-in-the-mud style – all on my lonesome.
You’d say I’d benefit from all the advantages that following your collective wisdoms would offer me, and this collective argument does have its own intelligences, that is true; but at the same time it does require me to accept and say I have zero freedom of will. You will even be able to calculate who, when and how I’ll next end up fucking; or perhaps – even – that this experience shall now never return in my life.
This is why going with the flow has its serious downsides. To give up freedom in exchange for a quick fuck and a bling of flashy jewellery is not a reasonable exchange in anyone’s book.
On the other hand, to be an island in those streams of humanity is equally unsatisfactory; equally inhumane.
I don’t know the solution but I do know that at a time in my father’s third decade a good and highly intelligent scientist friend killed himself because he thought about this subject – perhaps, indeed, overthought the matter.
And maybe this made my father such an awful person to be with as a result of the impact this terrible event must have had on him.
And maybe I have become an equally unpleasant soul in turn, because I have overthought in similar ways.
And maybe this is why I am so lonely.
And maybe my wife is – in the main – the bitterly wronged party here.
For friend I make, friend I lose.
I have little more left to lose but myself.
And although I have always seen my value true, even where the world and those temporary friends have found it so hard, I am slowly, gradually, gently beginning to contemplate that perhaps they have been right all along.
I resist, even now, these thoughts as I can – but I do really need the touch and love and wisdoms and murmurings and whispers and embraces and guidance of a constant companion (I really do not mind whom, but she does need to know how to express her love generously: I really cannot live any more in the shadows of sensory deprivation) before I finally lose all hope of better things, and end up settling for a sedentary life of pre-diabetes and all its encroaching and multiple complications.
And if the latter is to happen, it won’t matter whether I live or die longer or shorter. Either way, my soul will be grey. And my life will become a case of TV dinners and coffees in high streets, and ambitions dead and buried way before their time.