Tuesday, September 02, 2008

Ebb tide

Nobody can be happy all the time. It's impossible to feel "up" at every moment. Right now, I'm off peak. No one need rush to hold my hand or feel compelled to include me in hasty picnic plans: I'm fine. I'm not depressed as much as ... frustrated. The backhand of that is that frustration IS depressing for me.

I'm well aware of the situational irony of this moment. Last night, I spent at least two hours hashing out life with a new friend. One of the questions she asked was, "Are you happy?" And I responded in the affirmative, talking about my own personal philosophies and outlooks that keep me optimistic and healthy.

The good news is that none of that has changed since last night. Life remains just as wonderful and invigorating as it ever was. I laugh when I think how fortunate I am in friends and family. All of that is fine.

So what else could I be preoccupied with? To start with, I'm frustrated with myself. It's a slow process, where negativity slowly accumulates, bit by bit. Eventually, it gets big enough that I must pay attention.

Part of it is that I've been working on a blog post about abortion for days. I've had no luck in any of my attempts at starting it; each attempt is either partisan or pointless. Really, though, it's about the frustration to bring the issue into resolution. It's no great surprise to say that abortion is a complicated issue that has deeply divided America. It's also no surprise to say that I couldn't find a solution after several days of thinking. My problem is that my inability (however typical) is frustrating. Things that don't "work" frustrate me.

No doubt this has something to do with a certain pride that covers all my thoughts. There will be much more on that whenever I reach pride in my set of "Seven Sins", but it's enough to say that it's certainly fuel for that fire.

Eventually, even I, the perennially insufferable intellectual, get to the point where I have to abandon analysis. Even for just a few moments, it's important to seek a balance. It's good to put the distance of objectivity between yourself and whatever captivates your mind, just to make sure that you're still holding fast to the right course. It's all fine to analyze and tear the psychology of individuals out, placing and rearranging the shapes on a matte, attempting to make familiar shapes.

But often enough, it's important to abandon the intellectual heavy lifting and toss the crystal goblets to the fire. That act allows me a bit of space to let go of the death grip I have on things "making sense", abandoning all those thoughts in exchange for the peace of acceptance and hard-sought irrelevancy.

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