This pageant we’re all part of – witting or unwitting – stretches from the first yawn of humanity to the final breath the last of us takes. We’re all time capsules of our generations – and we get to contribute to, and to refine, our additions every day.
I wonder what the world will look like at the end? Will humanity rally to save itself? Is humanity too inured to the calamity all around us?
I mean, we gotta eat. We gotta live. We need shelter, clothing, nutritious food, drinkable water – and creativity. We need art in all its forms.
“Survival is insufficient” saith Seven from Star Trek Voyager. The contextual exchange, very helpfully posted by Jennifer Phillips on her blog (and boosted by me):
COMMANDER CHAKOTAY: There’s a difference between surviving and living. They’ll survive in the Collective, but they won’t really be alive. You know that better than any of us.
SEVEN OF NINE: There is no alternative.
CHAKOTAY: How long would they survive if the Doctor deactivated this interlink network you created?
SEVEN: A month at most.
CHAKOTAY: A month as an individual, or a lifetime as a drone. Which option would you choose?
SEVEN: Survival is insufficient.
—Star Trek: Voyager (S6:E2, “Survival Instinct”)
Maybe so much of my depression has been because of all the false starts, or half-hearted attempts at completing creative projects. I hear my therapy sessions whispering that my procrastination was and is not laziness. (It’s the PTSD, stupid. It’s the trauma.)
I know the best way out is through, but how long is through? An entire lifetime? I feel like I’m missing out on life’s best moments while hitting all of life’s pitfalls. I guess I need to carry a ladder – but ladders are cumbersome aren’t they?
I know some would just say to avoid the pitfalls, but, for me, that’s like saying “just stop breathing.” So, until I figure out how to no longer need a ladder up and out of these setbacks, I will continue working on a lightweight, fold-able, unobtrusive ladder that works for me.
“Works for me” is the key phrase – for all of us. Maybe what I do is the absolute opposite of what you should do. Maybe the ladder you built, or found, or have always had and used with ease is not attainable for me. Maybe all the guru spewing, consciousness-raising, ego-deflating advice isn’t helpful.
The best I can say is that I hope I find what is important to a more creative life and way less struggle – but I’ll keep championing myself, and us, in the collective struggle, and challenges, and also revel in our victories.
On my doctor’s wall is a framed statement by Brene Brown:
What we don’t need in the midst of struggle is shame for being human.
She also has a sticker on her laptop that says “I love drug users,” so she’s a pretty cool doc. She’s working to address the opioid crisis, while acknowledging that the war on drugs has been a big fail.
The opposite of addiction is connection. Sometimes it’s connection to ourselves most of all.
The ability to choose something different, to hope – to persevere in spite of circumstances – takes self-love, and compassion. And it is creative, even if it’s the smallest speck of belief that I will rise, and that I will complete what’s important to me before my time comes.
© seekingsearchingmeaning (aka Hermionejh), Making A Way Blog, 2010 – current