Stolid Ennui

I could write about anything I choose this morning, but I can’t seem to motivate myself to make a choice. I feel like my decision-making tool is covered with a crust of cynicism and anger, over which a hard shell of raw hopelessness has been affixed. That’s what watching a bunch of hack politicians “question” a sexual assailant play-acting in the hope of getting on the Supreme Court will do. I watched damn near the entire hearing yesterday, cutting it off near the end as we left to attempt to enjoy last night’s World of Wine. I believed Dr. Ford. I did not believe Brett Kavanaugh. Let me rephrase that. I think Kavanaugh may not remember his sexual assault of Ford, but I believe he assaulted her. And I believe the anger Kavanaugh demonstrated was real. But I believe his performance was staged. I believe he was coached to show righteous anger. I believe his behavior, utterly at odds with the behavior one would expect from a Supreme Court Justice, was responsive to the demands of his handlers. A Supreme Court Justice should exhibit stolidity, not rage. I believe Pablo Escobar would be a better choice for Supreme Court Justice than Kavanaugh. Enough of that.

Depression must feel like hopelessness. The latter, I know, is dark and ugly and debilitating. But it does permit anger to bubble to the surface, tearing through cracks in the cold stone shell beneath which hopelessness resides. Anger is too gentle a term. Rage is better. Volcanic rage is an even more accurate descriptor. Yesterday, I wrote that the idea of ascribing anthropormorphic motives to the actions of natural phenomena was absurd. But it’s not. The universe is a living being. We’re just microscopic components of a gigantic organism. The universe thinks, thanks in part to the work of tiny cells within it. The microscopic cells within our bodies contribute to our functioning; like them, we are the cells that contribute to the functioning of the universe. Without us, would the universe still exist? Of course, but it wouldn’t be the same, would it? It would be a more peaceful universe, to be sure, though that peace would occasionally be punctuated by violent warfare between stars and planets and asteroids and other such things about which we know nothing.

Hopelessness is akin to the sense that our Sun will eventually burn all its fuel and will become a cold, inactive clump of nuclear ashes. The inevitability of that distant reality is certain. There is nothing we can do to change it. It is destined to be. That’s like hopelessness. It is destined to be. Nothing we can do will change it. Resistance is futile. That sounds a bit like bad sci-fi dialogue. But sci-fi has a track record of accurately predicting the future.

I read a post on another blog recently in which the writer described his transition from an overweight alcohol-fueled loser of sorts into a fit, active, slim ex-drinker. If he had allowed hopelessness and its inevitability to control his life, he might have been dead by now. But he didn’t. He said his “secret” was to pay attention to everything he put in his body. He paid close attention. And he walked. With a sense of a man on a mission. Because he was. I wonder whether paying attention to everything we allow into our minds can overtake and overpower hopelessness. Would our own form of mind control work to change the future? Could my intellect somehow ensure Kavanaugh’s tenure on the Supreme Court is short, if he is confirmed? Would that it were so.

I don’t know what to write. I have no idea. I don’t even know that I want to write. Perhaps I should try acting. Let someone else do the hard work; I could just transform their words into a visual expression of their thoughts. But I’d have to memorize lines; I’m no good at that. Perhaps I should become a hunter. Give me a rifle and a target. Yes, I could work off my ennui by gunning down an innocent deer.

Back to reality. I’d better go wash the dishes.

About John Swinburn

"Love not what you are but what you may become."― Miguel de Cervantes
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