I’m no longer sick; lasted one night only. Thanks for the sympathy posts. ^_^ What follows is yet another melodramatic movie-inspired philosophical rant, so hey, you were warned, you know? Right.
So I was watching Interview With the Vampire. Crappy DVD transfer, but hey, it was second gen, what do you expect? Anyway, there was this bit where Louis, a vampire from the ‘new world’ (aka America, 1800s) meets up with Armand, a vampire from the old world. Armand’s been around 400 years, and he wears old as hell extremely gothic robes and lives in a crypt and has all the stock Dracula trimmings; Louis wears cutting edge Parisan fashions, and has adapted perfectly to the style of each new decade and each new place.
Armand wants Louis to be his new partner in crime, to speak. Why? Because Louis can be his link to the ‘new age’. Armand and the others are old as the hills, bored, unable to adapt to modern living. He’s hoping Louis will be the key. Louis says, “How? I’m at odds with everything around me. I don’t fit in any more than you do.” But Armand notes, “That’s the very spirit of this age — that dichotomy and confusion. That’s what makes you beautiful.”
Fast forward and jump over to reality, the year 2001. Let’s translate over from film to life. Louis is at odds with everything around him; he can’t find where he fits, where he’s going, what the answers are to what it all means and what he’s supposed to be doing with it and why he is the way he is. We, as citizens of the Modern Age(tm), exist in Internet Time — the world shakes from underneath our feet with every step. It’s not uncommon to go to sleep in a world of peace and wake up with your leader rattling his saber at commies with nukes, or to find out that a court ruling just stripped away your freedom for copyright fair use — or hell, let’s take it down to a personal level and find out that you lost your job, or you have to move, or you just found love or you just lost love or a thousand other things that can happen. And you can stand up, and shake your fist all you want at the universe and demand that you’d like it to stop doing this like Arthur Dent, but it’s not going to.
That’s because the spirit of our age is one of perpetual confusion and disorientation. You will never have your footing; anything else is a visage of denial, a plea that you have stability and focus when really it’s self deception. Any direction we have is self picked from a thousand choices, each of them viable, and the only reason we go This Way is because we decided so — even if we weren’t sure if we made the right decision, looking back on it, or even looking forward to future ones. That’s what life is. It’s a state of perpetual bewilderment, where there are no answers because the questions are undefinable.
Day to day you live and wonder what’s going on. You grasp onto the clearly defined — you have to take the laundry to the laundromat at 5, you want pizza for dinner, your dad’s dead or the sun rises in the east. They’re the hooks that you hang onto to avoid looking down at what’s really going on, the universe morphing away with chaotic entropy beneath your feet.
But you see, that’s not a bad thing.
That’s the nature of the game, and the game is played with rules that can only be called rules in a sniggering tone of voice. Once you realize that, realize exactly how you have no control over life itself, you can use those hooks to swing from point to point and coast along in the tidal whirlpools of Stuff Happening. And if a hook snaps, for better or for worse, then you understand that this is how life is. If anything, you can take some joy in that variety, the unexpected bits of the future which you have no power to see, stop, or change. It’s a balancing act to Let Go at the same time you Hold On, but if you can manage it, it means you’ll never be disappointed in the end results.
If this made any sense and helped you in any respect, small or large, that’s a Martha Stewart Good Thing. If you’re just scratching your head, eh, no biggie. ^_^