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Monday, February 16, 2015

New Leaf, Same Tree

We have all heard the expression, "turning over a new leaf."  I've often wondered what that truly means.  How does one actually turn over a new leaf as opposed to an old leaf?  Wouldn't it make more sense if one turns over an old leaf?  Those questions and plenty more reverberate through what's left of my magnificently simple mind these days.  I mean, seriously.  What the hell is that platitude all about?  It signifies something that is unattainable, elusive, and taunting.  There may be new leaves, but guess what?  It's the same damned tree.

I've very recently undergone a little bit of change myself.  Month after month I've experienced excruciating physical pain on virtually a daily basis.  I've had my medication switched, added to, increased, and juggled like bowling pins at a circus until I'm at the point where I have to keep a spreadsheet to remind myself what to take and when.  I had hoped that someday, I would see the clouds parting, the sun shining down on my face, and manna from heaven would fall on me and I would be pain free and happy.  I quickly realized that I was full of crap. Those things happen in the storybooks, but even Christ himself pointed out how difficult life would be and is. 

Then, my brain just kind of snapped. 

I can tell you when, how, or why it happened, but that doesn't really matter, it just did.  Part of who I am simply shut off with no warning, no signs of what was to come.  On one hand, the feeling was sad, deeply depressing and bolstered with unadulterated rage.  On the other hand, it was miraculously freeing.  It felt as though a big bag of bricks were taken off of my back, that the load was a little lighter.  Things that were out of focus before, became crystal clear.  That which was clear, became blurry and less important than they were previously.  The things in my life that I truly need were apparent for the first time in decades, and the emotional vampires in my life just had to go.

I've been told by the handful of close friends who really know me that I've become darker, less patient, and more intensely determined. It's really not the case.  It's true that I am more determined but that darkness they are seeing is merely a zero tolerance policy for people in my life who have attempted to suck the very soul out of me.  Due to circumstances beyond my control, I've come to the realization that there are no happy endings in this roller coaster ride we call life, so if you want to call that "darker," have at it.  Reality is that all life ends the same way - death.  The romance portrayed in the movies is nothing more than the wild imaginations of estrogen-charged men and women who have more time on their hands than they do sense.  They entice us with the visages of what happiness is supposed to look like, create a story line around their fantasy, and then the consumers are asks to devour it like a starving man at a Chinese buffet.  They hide from us the fact that love is always imperfect because it is perpetrated by imperfect creatures.

Love is patient?  Bullshit.  If you've ever loved anyone, you know that there is never perfect patience.  There is only ONE love that is entirely patient.

Love is kind?  PoppycockLove is a demanding, overbearing landlord who was set up camp at the gates of our truly black hearts.  This landlord is mean and cruel and the master of deceptionWe often hurt those we love, and that's not really kind, is it? 

Love does not envy?  We are human beings with a hardwired sense of desire for more.  We all envy every day.   One of the "big ten" is all about not coveting what is not ours.  Guess what?  If humans weren't designed with this fatal flaw, the Commandments need not have been written, and a few thousand years later, the crucifixion would have been for not.

Love does not boast?  Seriously?  Look at the pabulum spewed all over social media by people who are supposedly in love, but secretly, they are looking over the others' shoulder for something or someone better.  The facade, the act is quite convincing but to say that love does not boast is like saying politicians don't lie.  If you find truly unconditional love, grab it.  It's very uncommon.

Love is not proud?  God have mercy.  "Look at my wedding dresss."  Or, "Look at how beautiful my wife is."  Or, "My wonderful wife bought me this or that." Love is the ultimate act of pride because your bullshit proudly meshes with someone else's bullshit, and the aggregate result is a molotov cocktail of over inflated egos.  Just be honest about it for a change.  You know that there is truth to what I am saying.

It's all bullshit and the sooner you realize it, the better off you will be.  It took me 50 years on this planet to realize it, I don't plan to waste time like I have.  Take now for right now.  Embrace it.  Cherish it.  Let the warmth of this moment right now consume you, because that shit doesn't last very long.  Forget "turning over a new leaf," embrace the whole totality of the tree in the here and now.  We are finite creatures, separated from the rest of the primates by the ability to use cutlery and our penchant to screw each other over.  That's life and you better like it as it is or you will find yourself hurting, aching, longing for something that was never yours in the first place and never would be.  The impossibilities are limitless and are all encompassing.  In this case, losing is winning and winning is losing. 

Don't get me wrong; we still have to smile our little smiles to the outside world, regurgitate the platitudes of contemporary culture just so we can fit in and go unnoticed.  The ones who can see the real you are the fortunate few within your clan who share common interests and have reached the same stage of enlightenment. These are the people with whom we should spend time.  They are people who understand us and are willing to take us flaws and all. 

There are a few exceptions to my observations, but they are as rare as an honest televangelist. Life is short.  Don't waste it on people who would just as soon kiss you goodbye as they would visit you in the hospital. 

Of course, this is just my opinion and I could be wrong.  But not this time.  Welcome to the new and improved 400lb Gorilla of Oklahoma Media.