Yesterday as I sat at a cafe I felt a profound sense of bliss. I was reading Man’s Search for Meaning by Viktor E. Frankl, and came across this passage:
A thought transfixed me: for the first time in my life I saw the truth as it is set into song by so many poets, proclaimed as the final wisdom by so many thinkers. The truth—that love is the ultimate and the highest goal to which man can aspire. Then I grasped the meaning of the greatest secret that human poetry and human thought and belief have to impart: The salvation of man is through love and in love.
It was comforting to know that I was not alone in this deeply held belief, and over the years I have distanced myself from it. Over the years I have cut myself away from my own wisdom, due to the painful isolation it brings when most turn to cynicism and anger and call themselves learned.
Love is paramount. And suddenly a part of me returned that had been long absent. My inner realm has been taken over by recent heartbreak and it’s subsequent anger, sorrow, and confusion. In loves’ bliss, the voice and internal presence of that beloved has reigned, and I can only hear his voice in my mind, but yesterday I found myself free of his loveliness at last, and could sit in the corner seat of the cafe, listening fully to the jazz flowing through the speakers, admiring the light as it reflected off the embossed wallpaper. I was integrated. A key term in trauma recover, in a process I am beginning, but in many moments in life I have found this. An actual existence. The questions that plague the ever philosophical mind disappear, and one simply is. There is a reason artists and thinkers and the like are always so troubled. We must travel to understand, to explore. There is no way out but through. And there is no use in resenting what must be traversed. It must be done.
You think your pain and your heartbreak are unprecedented in the history of the world, but then you read. It was books that taught me that the things that tormented me most were the very things that connected me with all the people who were alive, who had ever been alive.
– James Baldwin.
A variation of a similar quote from him, but I cannot find that one verbatim… It is something like your suffering is meaningless unless someone else can connect their suffering to yours.
It is true. Everyone I have ever loved, admired, it was because pain shaped them into something similar to me, a recognizable shape, amid the apathetic alien creatures that surrounded me. Loss and grief and injustice are horrible. How we cope with them creates new worlds. New hope, new possibilities, new futures. It doesn’t have to hurt so bad. It doesn’t have to be this way forever.
I am tired of self-pity, of anger and bitterness. I am waiting on biopsy results to see if I have cancer [edit: results benign] , and my gut feeling is that it’s bad. I feel this warmth in my breast, in this tumor, a warmth exactly like anger. I have spent my life so filled with rage, and never sufficiently let it out. My body has collected it all like precious metals and gems, and formed a priceless rock of anger inside my chest. Disease is the art of the body. It is expression of the repressed. Emotion is not an imagined fable. It is as real as love, as death, as the knife that pierces and kills. As the knife that sets you free from bondage. Deny it at your peril.
I am tired of being less than I am. And my time might be running out. Might be out. How much I would like to be alive.
The light through the leaves of the trees outside my window is simply beautiful, and I though parts of me manage to be bitter and angry, other parts let go at simple pleasures. There is a slight smell of urine from my hamsters sizable residence, placed near my desk, but she is sweet and funny enough that I find it acceptable.
The desire for validation is so immense. To be told that I am right in some way, have something valuable to offer, am finding good insight despite floating among the wreckage, grasping the horizon with my feeble sight, searching for land. So often, in this feeling, I simply need to sink a little deeper and realize that the water has become shallow, and that I am almost home.
The desire for love is so immense. The desire for company. Nothing wrong with desire. Nothing is wrong at all.