Monday, December 5, 2011


There is disconnect between my existence.  My soul receives glimpses of reality.  Once, my soul saw only what was real, and it devastated me.  Now my soul experiences as a glance the reality I found.  Like everyone else who found this horrible reality, I only found strength to hold it steady but for a while.  I was willing to never let go of that awful reality.  I tried with all my might to never let my sight grow dim through the weakness of human frailty.
            I was eager to always live in the agony.  I was in much the same state as Saint Augustine described himself to be.
“Grief darkened my heart.  Everything on which I set my gaze was death.  My home town became a torture to me; my father’s house a strange world of unhappiness; all that I had shared with him was without him transformed into a cruel torment.  My eyes looked for him everywhere, and he was not there.  I hated everything because they did not have him.  Only tears were sweet to me, and in my soul’s delights’ weeping had replaced my friend.  I was in misery, and misery is the state of every soul overcome by friendship with mortal things and lacerated when they are lost.  Then the soul becomes aware of the misery which is its actual condition even before it loses them.  I thought that since death had consumed him, it was suddenly going to engulf all humanity.  All that was not he made me feel sick and was repulsive – except for groaning and tears.  In them alone was there some slight relief.  But when my weeping stopped, my soul felt burdened by a vast load of misery.  The lost life of those who die becomes the death of those still living” (1).

I hated everything for not being real, because I knew the only reality was death.  But the same things I hated I also loved.  That is the disconnect that kept me alive.  To ultimately and entirely hold onto the reality is the same as giving up the dream/delusion.  That is why the only people strong enough to hold onto that reality are the ones who are willing to leave the falsity of this world.  I hate myself for being able to sometimes remember without the agony (which sometimes is the worst agony).
            But I could not function while fearing my wife would get run over while she checked the mail.  Something had to change, and I suppose my love for what I hated was greater.
I will end with the lyrics of Creed:  “Who’s got my back now, when all we have left is deceptive, so disconnected?  What is the truth now?” (2)
I know now that death was not the only reality.  The gift given to me was the reality of what actually matters.  As I went through the days, or hours, I questioned everything.  I barely found a reason to put my foot off the breaks and accelerate when the light turned green - I actually had no reason but habit.  The trivial things (petty arguments/rights/expectations of others or myself/etc.), which make up the falsity of this world, meant nothing any longer.  Appreciating the important people in life and loving them was the only thing that meant anything.  Everything else was a pointless and exhausting lie.  What bothers me is this - I feel that I lost that gift.  I lost it because like anyone else, I am not strong enough to hold on to the torturous reality of death.
(1) Confessions of St. Augustine (free-read online)
(2) Creed song on YouTube
(3) Amazon - my favorite translation of The Confessions (about $7)

1 comment:

Danny said...

Passage taken from "The Confessions"
Music taken from Creed's song "Whos got my back now"

In memory of my big brother, Dennis.