Can I just get this off my chest?
I dunno, going to the monastery this break really really fucked with me, head and body, mind and spirit. I feel like i’ve had a few too many screwdrivers and none of it was worth the drinking.
But I also feel like I got drunk on something substantial, and am inebriated with longing to return to the simple and unburdened life of the monastic way. Forsaking all things, and living a life in service to God and the world through prayer.
It was a challenging experience and I’m not sure I was able to really appreciate it fully because of the emotional baggage I carried with me there that i needed to sort through before i could find any semblance of rest. I haven’t slept well since that first night there. I did all my crying on the way over there, and was just exhausted by the end of the first night.
I feel like a shell of a person some nights, and i feel as if since i returned i’ve been living half aware and half exhausted, and fully guilty.
I don’t feel like I’m at all present in or even really observing my life. I feel as if all my energy is going towards incessant worrying and all i can do is sit back and wait until my whole world comes crashing down around me. I am honestly afraid, i’m afraid of what I’ll do with myself. Afraid of what she means to me. Afraid of what I mean to myself. Afraid that I’m falling too comfortably into orthodoxy and receding into mother church for the comforts of her ability to supply those answers which I need without being brave enough to seek them on my own. Afraid that I’m not devoted enough to Mary, and simultanesouly afraid I’m too devoted.
I’m afraid i’m too flirtatious, but not manly enough. I’m afraid that i am a shell of what it means to be a man even though i love it when she touches my beard.
I am restless and in awe at my own ability to choose failure and defeat when sometimes i’ve so clearly reached after success and managed to grasp it. I feel i have fallen in some inexplicable way and become disoriented in the midst of my sudden lucidity about myself and the world.
I’m not at all sure what to do with myself, and my once glorious intents have fallen to the wayside as I consider what i mean, and what my existence means.
I’m afraid to reach out and just be, i’m afraid to move on, afraid to hold on. I don’t know what the hell to do and i’m everywhere surrounded by fears, and undergoing the sufferings of love, those tender sufferings that wound most truly.
My eyes are swollen with restlessness, and my mind is awake in ever increasing streams of inaccessible consciousness.
What am I?
Who am I?
I am not sure how i would even begin to address these questions, or make satisfactory expiation for the blood they require in seeking an answer.
I am not as adventurous as I once thought myself to be, and feel as if I carry this unpronounceable weight of duty and devotion.
And I feel the part of the unloved child in the midst of all this. This is not a plea for attention, just the reality of me. I feel as if whether i am present or absent makes no difference to most. I feel like I am unlovely and awkward, the boy who wants to be beautiful, the man who longs to be told he is special to someone, somewhere.
My relationship with my mom has fallen into a deadening ritual of hellos and goodbyes that are interspersed with short polite withdrawn conversations. She can feel the change in me, i feel it in myself, and I am not aware of if there is a way to make peace. I am questioning my draw towards orthodoxy and wondering if it is out of childish fear, or out of an acknowledgement of truth in fullness that is drawing me.
I feel my own death impending, looming, but simultaneously endlessly distant.
I hate being the accomplished student. I feel as if I’m nothing else. I wish that Eli was more than just a paper writer, more than a name on the lips of the inquisitive or the disgusted. I wish Eli was the name on the lips of a lover, of a friend calling to check up on me, a name in the back of a mind, at the heart of a pleasant memory. I feel like everywhere i go i leave death and tragedy in my wake, and where it’s not there yet, it will be.
I feel overcommitted and under-appreciated, overtaxed and underpaid, mostly aloof even though I long so badly to be connected.
As I sit here I make a plea to have a simple life, i wish i could walk away from all of this, say fuck the world and go back to the monastery, back to the simple life.
I wish that was my calling. I’m tired of feeling like i’m part of something bigger than myself. I get this feeling like i’m being moved towards something tangible, solid, practical, all-encompassing and “destined” for me. But I hate that feeling sometimes.
It’s a wonderful excitement that helps me taste adventure, but I hate feeling this inevitable pull towards something I’d rather walk away from. I would rather just be empty, free of all commitments, devotions, positions, titles.
I hate this uncertainty.
I wish I was the whispered blessing on a lover’s lips, instead i’m the bane of a middle aged republican history teacher.
I am not what I once was, i’m not an artist anymore. I’m barely a theologian. It all feels like pretend, and I don’t know where the fuck i lost myself, but I feel like i’m barely present here and now.
I am hurt and frustrated by unspeakable things that I wish I could take back, change, undo, avoid involvement in, and just never have been a part of. I wish that I could dump all the exteriors and retreat into a life of private faith, just the simple piety of a man trying to live a life as best he can for himself and maybe a family. Farm life in Ireland or something, just raw, and connected to the earth.
For more that I try to be a man, i feel like academics strip that from me. I want simplicity, but the academic circles force me into the realm of speculation on language and definitions, i just want to eat a steak with my hands.
I don’t know what i want i’m uncertain on almost every level and feel wretched and terribly lost.
I feel like a little boy who doesn’t know how to begin to address coming out of his mother’s skirt and into the world at large.
I may be a pillar of boldness on the surface, but my shyness lurks underneath, and I feel the implications of my reservations, of the dignities that I hold onto.
I try to let them go, but I feel as if when i do they might be misinterpreted as romantic endeavors. I’m not trying to start anything with anyone. These dignities, these wants, these reservations and self restrictions, these ascetic choices that aren’t beneficial to anyone, these empty formalities that are further away from self actualized manhood than anything else. But I feel as if i look a certain way to the world.
I am not trying to fill some sort of empty gap with mockeries and jesting, I wish I had a connection. I wish i could bear my whole heart, and that someone would care enough to listen, to open up too.
I’ve hurt too many people along the way, ridiculed too many innocents, broken too many hearts, and confounded too many hopes and aspirations. I am the dark mirror which reflects back only the past, only broken hearts and weeping faces, bleeding eyes and broken places.
I am wandering the world in silence and I feel as if I need to scream. No night has ever been this dark, and for some reason though I feel this is one of the darkest nights of my life, I feel simultaneously that this is not the worst i’ve faced though it certainly feels like it in an indirect way. See, I don’t have a manifest panic,it’s more like a resignation to the darkness, that just treats the darkness as a trite formality.
i don’t know why that is, because I feel totally abandoned, and maybe this is me being able to meet God in the situation, maybe it’s just numbness,
I can’t be sure.
So I wait, and wrestle with these questions in my mind, and let them sweep over me in over growing concentric circles of consciousness.
I guess that is all I really have to say, not a pretty poem, or a well crafted internal monologue, just a blurt, with a feeling of emptiness still not sated in the end.