Tue Mar 04 2003 11:05PM -0600

The snow piles up outside my window, and for some reason, at times like this, I am drawn to philosophical discourse.

I am inexplicably listening to love songs, despite the incontrovertible fact that I don't have anyone to sing them to. Despite these recent brief spaces of time when I imagine that, yes, yes, this will all change, maybe I'm not destined to be alone forever, I cannot seem to fight the current that keeps me from reaching the river's banks.

I am afraid that everything is destined to crumble and fail, that everyone I might ever care about will, someday, not be there for me. We live in a chaotic, ephemeral world, and it is difficult for me to trust in anything.

But I cannot change the universe, this is just how things are. I am still trying to teach myself that it is these brief spaces of time, these fleeting moments of joy, that matter. The emptiness in between is not something to fight or rail against. And in the final analysis, I know in my heart that love really is forever, despite the fact that I have been betrayed, that many relationships founder, that someday my mother and my father and anyone who might ever care about me will die, that in the end I will be completely alone. But the love lasts, lingers on, is something I can draw strength from, however attenuated. Once it can be acceptep that everything has a beginning and an end, whatever that is that is in between can be pretty pure after all.

I don't know. We live in a vile and brutal universe. I know there are pockets of staggeringly heartbreaking beauty scattered throughout, all the more beautiful in stark contrast to the dreary ugliness of the world at large, but it would be in vain to just seek out all these pockets and try to pretend that the rest of the world doesn't exist. The Mark of Cain persists. I believe that we all have our personal crosses to bear, our own issues to resolve. And so I know that my plight is not unique.

What am I trying to say? I have learned to trust people again, after a long, harsh, lonely intervalßžyears of my life spent as an automaton, trying to shut out all feeling, living a soulless machine-like existence. But maybe trust is not the right word. I am better at knowing when I can rely on someone, and knowing when they won't be there for me. But I know, deeply rooted in my heart, there is a virulent weed. Unless I can pull this out (and it is unlikely that I ever will, given the warning of pulling out the wheat with the chaff) I will never be able to put my complete trust in another person again. Perhaps until the day I die, I will be afraid to give anyone the power to be able to wound me to my core. And without risk, there is no gain. End of story.

So what will I do? There are worse fates in this world than to never find The One, and there is much good to be done in this world. Despite these minor scars that I bear, I know that I have been gifted with certain talents, and it would pretty much be immoral for me not to use them. There are worse destinies in life than to be alone. And maybe it is not until now that I realize, truly, that I wish to live a life of service. To use a Jesuit cliche, I will strive to be a Man for Others. I know for a fact that this life is difficult without support and love, but, alas, we play with the cards we are dealt. The pack has only so many aces, and not everyone who plays will draw one.

I won't lie and say that I don't feel sorry for myself sometimes, but despite this, I know, I know that life is too short for regret. And that a lot situations can't be forced, sometimes the most heroic thing to do is do nothing, and wait for time to render judgement. I will just have to learn patience. I will perhaps, on occasion, watch the happy couples go by, and envy them. I will envy all those great men who can be great because they are with great women who will hold them up when they would be unable to go on on their own. There are certain things that I will never be able to do because a person by themself, even doing their best, may not have enough inside to endure, but with love and support, the most impossible things can be surmounted.

Who knows? The current flows this way, than that, and if you have no strength left, you have no choice but to let the current take you where it wants to take you. If the doors do not open, I will not waste my time pounding on them until my hands are raw and my throat is sore. The universe is a vast place, and surely, somewhere, someday, I will find my place in it, by myself if that's the way things were meant to be.

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