Saturday, June 13, 2020

Is This All There Is?

Lately, my life has been reduced to working from the dining table at a job I hate for people I want to punch, and sleeping (or trying to). That's it. There's nothing more. My existence has never felt so empty.

Karate training is the only chink of light.

I wish I could find it in me to write again. It seems like I've lost touch with the only thing that defines me as a person. The only thing I'm good at.

I'm not sure if the Corona virus crisis has prompted an existential crisis, or if it would've happened anyway. In April I turned 51. I started thinking about how I've spent my whole life drifting from one situation to the next, buffeted by external forces.

I've never had a plan, only a series of Plan Bs.

I've never had a real purpose.

I'm not sure why, but recently this has begun to bother me.What have I been doing here all those years, and why? I have a sense of urgency, a great burning need to change things, but I don't know how.

I come from a background, and a generation, who were written off before we even started. Fatherless children. Rudderless lives. Half the people I went to school with now have alcohol problems. Too many of them are already dead. At school, we weren't taught how to hope; we were taught to make do. Nothing was ever expected of us.

I'm not sure what any of this means, but I want it to mean something. I want to come out of this period of my life having changed things. My fear is that nothing will change. It'll all just stay the same.

Maybe next week will be when I'm able to write again. Maybe the words, when they come, will be the harbingers of those changes I desire.


Raimo Kangasniemi said...

I am an occasional reader, and don't want to intrude, but isn't there are story in those questions you now ponder? They are the big ones in life, and with us from the beginning of written literature like Gilgamesh, and if given some fictional covering, could be a basis for story or stories. The search for meaning, whether its found or not. For Gilgamesh it was to build, in the end, perishable things left for time to ruin. But the act of creation and momentary existence gave some meaning, an anchor to orient him.

Guillaume said...

Ah, so sorry to read this! I've only read "Tales of the Weak and the Wounded" so far, plus a few of your stories in various anthologies, but most of the stories were simply great. "Tales...", in particular, is a superb collection. Such a shame that (as far as I know) none of your stories has been translated in French, by the way.

I sincerely hope that you'll find the strength to get back into writing, and the meaningfulness it used to have. Not knowing you, I cannot tell whether you've had a purpose or not, but having read your work, I can definitely tell that you've accomplished something valuable with these stories.