Thursday, February 18, 2016

Foul Dissipation And Forced Rout

Well, having comfortably arrived at three times nineteen years -- I have had time to grow up three times over -- it really seems like it's time to have my ducks lined up. Instead, they wander as badly as ever. 

The whole project of having one's house in order: does it even make sense? And if, as I suspect, it doesn't, is there a meaning behind it that should be grasped? In short, should I make a last, desperate struggle to understand and control my life, or has that struggle been a mistake from first to last, a confusion of life with narrative? Impressionable children who read too much may grow up prone to this confusion. You are a brave little monkey and of course you may play your trumpet in the show.

What would giving up even look like? I can't imagine.

But lately especially, the impulse to improve myself begins to seem tawdry and mean. Was I really placed here by an all-knowing Providence in order to struggle each day to eat more vegetables and fewer french fries? Even setting aside my tendency to the grandiose, it seems a little petty. I don't have to accuse myself of poetic genius to think that there are larger things I should attend to more, even in the domestic sphere. The effort and anguish don't match the project.

I am so much wiser now, so much more in control of my circumstances, so much more insulated from the scorn and praise of others... and yet, I am more at the mercy of habit than I have ever been. My freedom seems not to have expanded, but to have shrunk. This can't be right.


Jo said...

Adulthood seems to just be a fallacy.

Maybe you have to accept you've got to go around again.

Anne said...

I think that as one gets older expectations are narrowed and possibilities limited. Time does that. There's just so much a person can accomplish in the time allotted. But you, Dale, are younger than 3 of my children. You have lots of time left. Then, too, really old age (where I am) confers a certain freedom to say or do lots of things younger people can't get away with.

Sabine said...

I wonder what that freedom is supposed to be. If anything, my concept of it has been changing all the time. Today, I enjoyed the freedom of being considered invisble at a director's meeting, while on other days, I enjoy the freedom of hiding behind excentric, old woman attitudes and opening my doors to strangers and of not giving a damn.

I never bought the idea that age will bring refinement or wisdom. And don't you start looking for it now.

Dale said...

Oh, not to worry! I don't want either.