I happen to have three thoughts colliding in my head this morning, a morning as I write this which in the US is seen as a day celebrating the benefits of a civilized society as bestowed by the imaginations of the Bronze Age. This secularized social celebration sets the stage that my players act upon, telling two stories simultaneously. One story is about happiness and security. The other is about futility. Neither appears to reach the audience, who is maybe seeing and hearing the plays being staged, yet thinking about their own plays within their heads. Nothing is real, and nothing to get hung about. Strawberry Shortcake Forever.
Deliberately misquoting John Lennon opens the curtain for my actors to present their coincident plays to you, dear reader.
I introduce my three actors: The Dream, The Desire, and The Reality.
The Dream opens Act I, speaking to us through the fourth wall yet ignoring us. The Dream is encouraging me to resume my courtship of a muse I once pursued under an unknowingly false pretense. My Muse let me believe that the talent I spent a large part of my life improving would mean something; that it would actually do something to make life better, and not just for me.
Originally it did. It improved my social standing to where those who once scornfully disdained me were actually impressed enough to want to attract my notice, to have it known that they knew me, to bask in my reflected glory, which being a big fish in a small pond will do nicely.
And yet I feel like the inspirations in others that I generated via my interactions with My Muse meant little in the greater scheme of things. I know of at least two who followed similar paths after sampling my performances, who spent significant portions of their lives improving their skills, only to discover -as I had- that only a lucky few achieve any lasting success. The rest have visions of what might have been had other decisions been reached.
It wasn’t necessarily personal shortcoming which ended The Dream. It can be that the environment one trained for long and hard has disappeared through no fault of its own, via agents I won’t introduce into this play. The implications that they exist are sufficient.
So why not resume? Why not take it up again, and make another attempt, one with past experience and existing knowledge acting as the guiding hands upon the tiller?
To answer means examining why one took up a dalliance with The Muse in the first place. I did it only to satisfy unrequited longings and needs I had, and not through a desire to improve the existences of others, or to make life an easier chore and more endurable.
As I now look back, I can see that had I known myself better, I would have taken an entirely different path in life. I had no business pursuing My Muse. I wasn’t Her type in the slightest. But for Her amusement, she allowed me to believe I was – at least until I had manoeuvred myself into a position where I had no shelter from the hard, cold rain of Reality. Then She was gone, Her laughter echoing in the cold night.
End Act I
I can see this now, this lost and vainglorious love, while safe from its realized anguish for the moment under the cover of The Desire I have managed to achieve. It is nothing at all like the New Paradise dawning on the coast of New Zealand, but it’s paid for. It’s mine, by dint of a lot of sweat, much lost sleep, and a little blood. All the slings and arrows of outrageous fortune endured, rewarded with a shack to shut out the shivers, and a roof to repel the rain. It isn’t surrounded with arboreal grandeur, nor is it perched upon a seaside scarp, with an aspect where one can see Forever if one but scans long and hard enough into the mist. But it is what I could have made it, considering the late launch I got after vainly pursuing The Muse.
In Life, there is a measure of opportunity to redeem one’s self from one’s follies. Yet Life requires that one who has achieved an amount of self-knowledge reach out to others wallowing within their own misimpressions, to share what you know, despite they to whom you offer your wisdom generally caring little that you are sincere in wanting them to have it better than you did.
We are as the men of Fethard, of Longhope, and of Penlee, who know well the dangers of exposure, yet who ventured forth into the tempest to rescue those caught within it, unable to escape its wrath unaided – only to fail.
This be the verse you ‘grave for me:
Here he lies where he long’d to be;
Home is the sailor, home from the sea,
And the hunter home from the hill.
End Act II
What is Life? What does it mean to Live? Does Living need a Dream to inspire? A Desire to be the reward for Living?
[echoing in the distance, off stage: “…nothing is real, and nothing to get hung about…“]
Reality believes that living is a dream, that it is its own reward. Reality seeks action, and action results not so much in creation, but in ensuring that nothing is created, for creation ensures the eventual stasis of creation. Reality is returning any stacked stones to their natural state of independent isolation upon the surface of the Earth from which they were thrust.
Reality only sees power and dominance, winning and losing, rebuffing the notion of self-worth while being packed with enough of the stuff to empower an entire shopping mall of feminine holiday bargain hunters. Reality is nothing more than preparing all one’s life to separate someone else from their life.
It is what it is, and ever will it be.
Civilization is a lie told to those who are prey, for the Law of the Jungle is the only law heeded. Kill or Be Killed. Eat or Be Eaten. No two stones ever stacked upon each other will be defended against Reality. Reality will have its due. Reality will stand victorious in the end.
There is no reason to strive for betterment if all is but a target set for destruction. Anyone who thinks otherwise is only ignoring the predator lurking, denying the inevitable fate of providing nourishment to a destroyer.
Even destroyers will serve as prey to other destroyers, for there is always one more able, more stealthy, and more hungry.
There will eventually be One. Only One. Will One achieve understanding through this effort? Or will One laugh maniacally, crushing what remains to powder before One himself has no life left?
Whatever remains after One is done will have learned nothing from the experience. and the Cycle will continue, until even the Earth is devoured.