"Why did I not perish at birth, and die as I came from the womb?" - Job 3:11
I am a Christian, and I read the bible ...
This statement makes me an anachronism by today's post-modern-secular standards. Who knows ... some may even consider me atavistic or backwards for my religion, while others, who read my writings, may be confused - seeing all to well, as God does, the profane way I express myself, at times.
I mention this, and the quote from the bible above, because my birthday is coming up ...
Before I go into too much more about my birthday, I must state, for the record, that I am NOT comparing my life to Job's.
Job was the object of a wager between God and the Devil ...
Job suffered torments that most cannot imagine ...
(I say "most", because there are many in this world who do suffer a life not so different from Job's)
Good and evil wanted to test God's contention that Job would remain upright, good, moral, even if he lost his wealth, his family, his friends, everything. Whatever disasters have visited themselves upon my life in the last two years, these were NOT acts of God; they were choices I made, actions I took, failures on my part - both logical and moral.
I can state, without equivocation, that I set out on a personal journey - two years ago - seeking to find a way for my philosophy (anarchism mixed with Christianity and existentialism) to integrate elegantly with my work-life, my means of daily survival. Before I set out on this journey, I knew the demon that spoke to me "Dan, there is no point, you are a prisoner", and this demon speaks to me today as it did before, and I do battle with it ... but I try to cover my ears.
But there was this brief period when I believed, perhaps naively, that I could have an authentic life, living within this wretched empire that we call the United States - to work and be, somehow, outside the sphere of the police state's control. It might have worked, I could have made better choices, but all-in-all it is possible that it would only end one way - with destitution, debt, and near self-destruction.
So no ... I am not Job. I am the architect of my circumstances - and both I and God are fully aware of this truth.
But I approach my birthday, this week of March, also feeling better about many things - and this is the result of seeking healing and redemption from family, in WA state, I had isolated. I have a sister who, like other siblings of mine, do not see me as some tragic failure, or loser, but instead see positive aspects of me - and they have offered me shelter, and a time to become stronger.
I've had a respite, when only a few weeks ago I was very close to "calling it quits" in the absolute sense. Today, I will do yard work, I will remove sod for a flower garden, I will mow the lawn and await starting a new job - the job is for a company that I don't love, but I don't love most companies these days. I am, to the extent I am capable, optimistic for the short term ... this is a good change.
And yet, even with this positive turn of events, I wonder at the futility of my adult life ...
I am middle aged now - broke, deeply indebted, and starting over once again.
There is less time now, than there was before, for me to re-energize and reconstruct my existence - but still, I am sanguine with regards to this.
I am not likely to "celebrate my birthday", but rather treat it as cause for reflection, and maybe, renewal.
And for the debris left behind of the last few years? - I say "HA!, I am still here ... driftwood and all."
I am still here ...
I have not given up, even if I was creeping very close to the cliff.
I am still alive, I can still work, I can still dream - and write.
For these things, I am thankful.
For the rest?
The betrayals and confusion and madness?
I seek the wisdom to understand my errors and to never repeat them ...
And to do this, and more, without giving up on the human race.
(and, Merry Un-Birthday ...)