In a bit in a fog. It hasn’t always been this way. Tasks are by the hundreds, a constant rate, no matter how many you do. What are they all for? There was a forest to these trees. There was a world that the forests were on. I think before things fit into categories, and I could look into those categories to find the things. But now, the thing just slips away into the mist, occasionally to resurface, but who knows when or where. It’s scary.
Having goals is crucial. Working towards those goals is crucial. But it is so hard to say with any certainty what I need, what I want, what’s important.
Is it toxic people? Just as microbiomes are off and unstable, they become a bad bacteria, infiltrating every system and dismantling it before you even consciously know something’s wrong. Then you careen into the why of anything, the purpose of anything, the futility of us having our little goals at all in the midst of all of it. Is it appropriate to just be paralyzed with fear? No, we can’t do that. Is it appropriate to throw out all notions of what we “want” because the sheer enormity of the problems makes it irrelevant?
We start out with such a limited framework. There are needs and there is the person taking care of them, and then it expands into a small little world, and that world is full hopefully of meaning and routine in its small little way. And that grows bigger to school and friends and museums and knowledge of bigger problems. You settle into it. You find your place. You have a general direction. You make commitments with others. Then – what? You find that maybe your knowledge goes beyond your means of dealing with it, interacting with it. You think maybe that place you found was always just a construct. Where does that leave you?
In more optimistic moments w emaintain that just because we feel like we have knowledge it doesn’t mean there isn’t meaning or a framework to contain it all. Maybe we are just too small to get it. Maybe there was inherent value and meaning in the smaller framework we had earlier. Maybe humans are cursed with knowing too much too soon. I don’t think animals feel this way. Cats seem largely content, although who knows for sure.
Maybe that’s why the whole “tree of knowledge” thing was a mistake, as was originally claimed. “Good Omens” would have you think, and I’ve agreed, that our spirit of adventure and rebellion starting with the tree has made us what we are in a good way, and that’s probably true somewhat. But maybe we just weren’t ready yet. Who should determine when we are ready? Certainly not those in power, whether those in government or religion. We are the blind leading the blind, feeling along the elephant. When it is right to know it’s an elephant, that the elephant is in a forest? Can we ever even see the forest for the elephants?
Is this the way madness lies? Even that line. It just occurred to me and I wondered from where. I looked it up and it’s from King Lear, which I saw last weekend. A thing that emerges from the mist.
I do like that line that Jesus says when he compares himself to a chicken and wants to gather people like chicks under his wing. I feel like the chicken and the chicks. Poor little humans, like preschoolers, full of newfound knowledge and spirit but so little context and humility. I could gather them like chicks too. But I also kind of want a hen. If Jesus’ primary symbol was a hen perhaps church would be more fun. Maybe we could meet in farms. Then again, chickens can be pretty vicious in their pecking order. Maybe that are limits to the chicken thing.
Chickens, elephants, trees, bacteria. We are effectively preschoolers, trying to fit big incomprehensible ideas into simple symbols we understand. Well. It’s somewhere to start.