My intent was total honesty when I started this blog, hence the name “unbuttoned and undone”… but I needed some protection from the reckless baring of the soul, so I used a pseudonym. Yet even with it, I find that I hold back. I don’t say all that I want; I am self-conscious, judging, as I consistently fall short of the standards set by an inner voice that will not be silenced.
My blog is morphing as I write, as if I were trying to exorcise the demon within, the destroyer who brings me to my knees periodically.
Past failures and failings inhabit my present. I want to scream to the universe for a time-out and a do-over, but I know it won’t listen. The death sentence is decided and inescapable. The question then becomes what do I do between now and the execution? How do I make the most of the time left, feel alive, which for me is paying the ultimate tribute to life itself by enjoying it to the full?
I don’t have a clear answer to that, because life is not just about being happy all the time, tiptoeing through tulips in some lalaland in which all happens for the best. That is a leap of faith I can’t quite muster. And it’s not quite “Life is hard and then you die” either. Somewhere between Leibniz and the absurd I could live with. I think. So I make it up as I go.
Yes, life is a journey but, with all due respect, a journey to nowhere. We come to it naked and leave the same way; however, in between, we carefully don clothes and armors and shields in a vain attempt to protect ourselves from pain. We definitely button up. Zip it, buckle up and buck up when in fact, at a very fundamental level, we want and need to be accepted and loved in all our nakedness, at our most vulnerable.
Hence the enduring tales of the soul mate that haunts our songs, our poetry, and our literature in one form or another. The antidote from the unbearable loneliness of being, seems to reside in true love if we can find it…if we can hold on to it…if we have enough trust, courage, hope, compassion and lust to keep it going…in other words, if we let ourselves be vulnerable, in the line of fire and hurt.
Being alone and disconnected is being in pain. True love promises that one will never be alone in the infinite universe again. So we keep longing for the Other that is a part of ourselves. We keep feeding our heart stories and music that speak of love because it makes us feel better and hopeful, because loneliness is painful.
For those of us who did not find a soul mate to belong to (or made a wrong choice with hindsight) there is always God… Perhaps. He is the strong silent type, so he may or may not be there, it’s hard to tell; he may or may not care; that’s also hard to tell. According to those who know for sure, by the time we find out the truth, we are dead and it’s definitely too late to do something about it. In the absence of certainty, we fall back on the tangible possibility that we will not end up alone, so terribly alone. We keep yearning for someone who has our back and loves us as we are. To love completely and be loved is to live fully, I think; at the very least, it is the ideal human experience, a true measure of success.
Yet, alienation and loneliness are a universal human experience. So much of what we do is an effort to forget how alone we are. In my writing I share my alienation and sharing the load eases the burden. It is my rendition of Janis Joplin’s song Do you want to dance?