To be, powerless.
One of the greatest fears that can be held. And perhaps it is only me, but damn, can it be felt often.
Wide reaching through all areas of existence, the idea that no matter what we try, we fail. That whatever it may be that would oppose our intentions, our best might will never match. That beyond our choosing, no action of ours can overpower that which will be.
And I know, there is so much empowering going on, or so the fliers say. That every day, little miracles happen and victories are won in seemingly synthesized poetry by the little guy. Underdog stories can get us all hot and bothered. They get me.
But the meditation groups and discussion roundtables have yet to stop mass murder. Dozens still died within the last day. Hundreds, or likely thousands, across the globe. But a good few scores of souls made the news recently. Tragically.
And yet, self-realization is not putting the power back on in Puerto Rico. And it sure as shit is not making it so that this kind of chaos doesn’t happen again. If there is nothing else in proximity to make us sapiens feel void of strength, Mother Nature wields the most brutal of wooden spoons. And our ass is owed a beating.
And to deal a deadly blow to any sense of fortitude against the universe, we are also ever at the mercy of passing time. Which we humans (particularly in the western hemisphere) go mad with wasting. We spend lifetimes trying catch it in our hands, to only have it slip through our fingers.
Another summer turned to fall, you see. I can get this way when the leaves turn.
And as far as it goes for me, the trickiest part of the changing seasons is to not let memory ruin what the present holds. For there is no place that we are more powerless than in the past. Outside of science fiction and propaganda, of course.
For how can you not think of younger days? To the points that ignorance was so rich that shit could taste like honey? To the sort of moments upon which grand psychoses are born? How could one not want to wish back that which they recall as good? Great? Grand?
Not even considering whether the recollection is true to what and why and how those events even came to pass.
As goes another part of the powerlessness bit.
The lies which happened when we were not around. And yet are believed anyway. While I was not there, we might say. What stories are weaved for multitudes of reasons that stretch ‘what was’ to ‘what should be’. And the mass amount of lives that are all built in some way, shape or form upon some fantasy! Likely, each and every one of us has made some sort of ethical, moral, intellectual or passionate stance crafted upon something that was never even real to begin with. For the hero who tells the tale- pissed his pants and cowered in the corner.
But unlike the hero who really was, the coward lives.
And yes, I know, it’s a grim example. But it makes a point.
Yet that is just one example of why we lie and are lied to. There are others. Many, in fact. There is, somewhere, somehow, benevolence in withholding the truth. By a basic logical argument: if ignorance is bliss, keeping someone from knowing would make them happy. Right?
What are we helpless many to do?
Our destruction seems perpetually imminent by either our own hands, or some force of nature, locally or universally. Even our personal lives and minds running furiously out of our sense of control. Every person we encounter having their own choices that do not mesh with those which we have decided upon. Disagreement. Distaste. Dystopian relationship. Unreciprocated love. All these may be despite any intention or attention cast upon it.
Do we go on? If the attention we seek can never be got again? If the battle is lost? What do we do? What can we do? What are we going to do?
The same thing we always do.
Try to take over the world.
And maybe it is no more than a comedy such as that. The illusion of human power. And the fantasy of the individual. The joke of having meaning in life at all. Perhaps Groucho knew better than us all. Carlin certainly did. Of all the words of mice and men, and so on.
But what might have been, eventually becomes irrelevant. And all we are left with is, what is, and what could be. And despite those who often claim to see the paths of the future, we cannot say what will be until it comes to pass. And knowledge of what effect our tiny human actions have upon existence is never easy to tell, for sure. We may hold influence. We may not.
So what bad could a good, ol’ try do? Even if the power is an illusion, it may be worth a shot.
Because actions ripple, we all see that. Perhaps it is too easy to focus on the horror, but grand things do arrive, here and there. Often without invitation. The grandest of things do. Or so I have found.
Even if the moment in which we live seems dreary or doomed, it will not be this moment forever. It will pass. And after which, we may fall further down the well. Or we pull ourselves out into the warmth of the sun breaking through fading clouds.
Maybe our ignorance is power. Not knowing better, we do that which the reserved sentience would not. And through that adventure, we find more than which we sought.
Or is our empathy?
To care for others. Those whom we know. Well or otherwise. And even the strange soul in destitution whom we have yet to meet. Not always often, yet it still exists. Kindness among strangers. And it seems to me, the smaller the number of those interacting, the easier it is to see how often we all share similarities. And at the vaguest, we can all understand the drive to survive. The fight, if you will, against that which would make us powerless.
It may even be the two together. Ignorance and empathy- to make the tune of human improvement. Knowing the fruitlessness of a good effort and yet trying all the same. Taking a chance. Hoping against hope.
You know. Underdog sort of stuff.
For nothing may be the result no matter what we do. But it will certainly be the result if we accept being powerless.
So, you know, this was written on Monday evening.
But being late is not the same as doing nothing. Just ask any truly good teacher.