A Rainy Day
The sound of rain falling, cascading down the eaves, rushing to be free: This is the perfect soundtrack for a pensive day.
Sometimes I feel so sad and lost, but I realized today, I cannot even manage to summon up a single tear. I think I have cried all the tears allotted to me in this lifetime. I used to cry freely, so much so I’d walk out of theaters with the tracks of tears still glistening on my cheeks.
Death and tragedy have been my companions throughout my life, and I’ve made some horrible choices which have added a new dimension to the darkness that grows inside.
And the more the darkness grows, the more I withdraw into a world that exists only in the center of my mind; a place where flowers bend in a gentle wind, the sound of children, in their beautiful innocence, echo, and the sun, warm and brilliant, always shines. A place where gentle showers only come when I am sleeping.
Now I go there as often as I can; I go there more often than I should. Someday, perhaps, I will never return from that place, and the world will judge that I have lost my mind, and institutionalize me, and feed me soft foods, give me patronizing words and smiles, and wait for me, the crazy old man, to die.
The older I get, the less I understand the world. We have made this world so complex that not even the smartest know exactly how things work anymore. We have people gambling on our future in the Future’s market, people gambling with our money on Wall street, people spying on themselves on Facebook and Twitter; governments following our every move, cameras everywhere. We’ve lost our privacy and we’re losing ourselves. We’re becoming a massive automaton, a collective, bees in a hive, all working for an imaginary queen.
Beauty and talent are rewarded, intellect is derided. Our food is sullied with all manner of substances and artificial things, but it tastes good, so we eat it. We follow along like sheep being led to slaughter, yet we open not our mouths for fear of offending someone, or for fear someone will ridicule us.
We have medicine for everything but the things which kill us, diabetes, cancer, strokes. The pharmaceutical companies have made pawns of us all. They play on our need to be part of the collective, by preying on our desire to always feel well. If we’re too sleepy too often, it’s not that we need more sleep, but we have a condition called ESS excessive Sleepiness Syndrome – and yes, there’s a pill for that. If we can’t pay attention, we might have ADD, and there is medicine for that. If we are getting older and can’t “please our partner”, there’s a pill for that. If our eyelashes aren’t long enough to be considered “sexy”, we have medicine for that. If we have too many wrinkles, we have Botox for that. If we are anxious, tired, irritable, depressed, too happy, too fat too thin, there will be an acronym for it, and a pill or a shot for it.
We have no cure for cancer and I wonder why. Is there too much money in it? Are hospitals and doctors too dependent on it? And if there were a cure developed, would it be out of the reach for those of us who are not wealthy? Would only the wealthy benefit.
More than this, I realize we have no cure for ignorance, intolerance, greed, stupidity, superficiality, insensitivity. Why don’t we have a pill for EIS, Excessive Ignorance Syndrome. I think it’s because intelligence isn’t a desirable trait in this increasingly bizarre and baffling world. Where is the smart pill? Where is the pill to cure the insensitivity of those who see problems only when the problems affect them.
In this world of billionaires and excessive wealth, we turn a blind eye to the millions of children who go each day without enough to eat, we pretend they don’t exist. These children are suffering, not because of what they’ve done, but because of where they were born. And even here, in the wealthiest country on the face of the Earth, children go hungry while the Lexuses and BMWs and Cadillacs roll by, and private jets fly overhead.
We reward those who are beautiful and talented and ridicule those who are intelligent, thoughtful, insightful, and sensitive.
We live in a world where intolerance festers just below the skin, because it’s not politically correct to be outwardly intolerant we hide it, but it’s still there: prejudice, disdain, and hatred are all alive and well, it’s just not socially acceptable to display them openly.
I am glad I don’t know where the world is headed, but I know I am glad I won’t be around to find out; I don’t think I’d like it much. I don’t much like the things I see going on now.
The Amazon Rainforest is being raped and pillaged for profit. The polar ice caps are shrinking – and no matter whose to blame, nature or humankind – it’s happening and sea levels are rising. Crops are grown, not according to what is most needed, but according to some Futures market where the wealthy bet on what the price of corn, wheat, and soybeans will be next January.
We walk around with smartphones and tablets so we can feel connected, without realizing that the more connected we are, the more disconnected from ourselves we become. We are becoming a collective hive, weaving a honeycomb of filled with bittersweet nectar, a reward for our part in the collection.
Someday we’ll have what we have allowed and what we will then deserve. A society of sheep, led to slaughter by the wealthy few and the governments who represent them – we will all be gears in the collective cogwheel – spinning and spinning, around and around, until we die. And then our children and their children will inherit the world we made — the one we allowed to be.
Privacy is gone. Individualists, and others who think for themselves, are called nut jobs or weirdos or nerds or eggheads. The more like everyone else we are, the more accepted we are – and the less we have to think for ourselves.
I don’t understand how the world works anymore, and I’m not sure I ever did. I don’t understand it and it makes me sad. But no matter how sad I feel, I can’t seem to summon up a tear – not for myself and not for anyone else either. And that’s the saddest thing of all.
The only shield I have against the insanity of the world is the world inside my mind — where gentle rivers, pure and crystalline, flow through untouched fields of lilies, where the sky is always pure and blue, and where the distant sound of innocence sounds melodious, soft and sweet.
The rain is still falling, but now the day has turned to night. And the flashes of lightning and the rumbles of thunder no longer are buried in the gray light of the day. I am still here, always here, listening to the rain falling, listening to the clock ticking, while my mind and my life slip away.