Wednesday, May 5, 2010

Life goes easy on me, most of the time

And so it is, April will be remembered as the month that allowed me only one entry. Allowed, I say, because it’s not about crumbs of time, here and there, to get another paragraph down, and at the end of the day collage them onto a webpage. It’s a state of mind, this writing affair. Affair, I say, because it’s like a fling, on and off, today I’m brilliant, as somebody says, tomorrow I’m lazy and rambling, another’s words. Cut the fat, he says. Well if I cut the fat, I have but an empty page. And so it comes that in April this page is barren, like Saskatchewan in December, like my head after red wine straight from the bottle.

And so it is. April, the month of frenetic, intrepid applications. "Apply," my new voodoo word, like “Voldemort.” Life’s galloping along and I’m standing still, my computer and I, cheated by inertia, applying, applying madly, relentlessly. A life of applications. And it was breezy until here, she says. Now you’ll see how it gets tough.

What is this tough we’re headed toward, blindfolded? They lure us with all sorts of promises. An education, they say, opens doors. So I twist the knob. But the doors are firmly shut, so I’m knocking now, applying again, as I’ve done three years ago, as I promised myself, for the last time. How seldom we keep the promises we make to ourselves.

It occurred to me today that there are two kinds of people in the world. There are people who build, and people who demolish. You can write false dichotomy on my cross, if you will, but I’ll say it either way. I don’t find that there is anybody in between. There is such incongruence between the two that they polarize into mutually exclusive characters. One who builds cannot demolish, for in sabotaging another builder, he vicariously sabotages himself. The one who demolishes does it because he is incapable of building and, since he exists in the world like everybody else, he has to find something to do. So he demolishes what others build, or prevents things from being built at all.

To be clear, to demolish is utterly necessary. If nature needs creatures to eat other creatures for the world to keep running, who are we to take issue with nature? People who demolish are necessary, no doubt. Often times, they demolish things that are redundant or noxious. I praise them, really. They complete the food chain of our creative operations, which are ever so fecund, ever so postmodernist. But demolish is what they do, so they do it with all that exists in the world, not just what is superfluous. So many builders are buried in this way, thwarted beyond recovery, interred together with their inchoate creations, or under them. Tant pis, you’ll say. You’ve got to toughen up. Strong people succeed, weak people cry.

Yes, I know. And yet, what’s life like for softies, I wonder. I bet it’s not so bad?

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