11 May 2016

Of Sense and Senselessness

I spent this morning attempting to work out an idea inspired by George Eliot in Middlemarch and Felix Holt, and that found resonance in Tolstoy’s War and Peace. I did not achieve much resolution and gained very little insight. And so I went to a Yoga practice for an hour that was crowded but somewhat rewarding—and though I must admit that I appreciate the physical effects of yoga, I don’t quite comprehend the emotional effect of the practice. Nevertheless, at the end of the hour or so I am usually content. At home I showered and rubbed CerVe cream all over my parchment-like skin in an attempt to denounce my aging. And I’ll sit for a bit more this afternoon on the ideas I could not work through this morning and see if I can make any progress at all.
     But the death of a very young man by suicide, and the incomprehensible and excessive malice directed by one friend and roommate at another, and the apparent forthcoming nomination by the Republican Party of Donald Trump as its presidential candidate makes everything in this world seem senseless. I do not understand the extremity of pain that would lead someone to take his own life—and I hope that I may never have to experience such hopelessness. With Othello I might say “I have loved not wisely but too well.” I can not comprehend the unnecessary cruelty that one person wishes to inflict unnecessarily on another when alternative means of effecting consequences might have been found. And I despair that a man with absolutely no experience in government, little exhibited intelligence and a great wellspring of virulent hate to spew could have even a slight chance to become the leader of the United States in which my children will have to live.  Nothing seems to makes sense to me now, though applying the CerVe cream to my skin pretends that life has meaning.
     I have written extensively about death: it is to me the greatest mystery, even moreso than the mystery of God whom I cannot comprehend but whose incomprehensibility makes sense. But death—the absence of everything I hold valuable—yes, even of my parchment skin—represents the opposite of everything for which I have lived, and loved and worked. And cruelty serves no purpose, educative or otherwise, and I have been for most of my life a teacher. I have been guilty of practicing some cruelty at various times, and have even at times been the target of meanness; I hope I have learned to desist from and avoid (or deflect) such events. But I look out today and can truthfully say of recent events that touch me personally, “I am not part of this crime.” But I am not wholly comforted.
     And so it is with difficulty but relief that I try to make sense of the idea in my head because the world seems so senseless.  


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