Rainy Day Musings
The sound of rain falling, cascading down the eaves, rushing to be free. The gloomy rainy day provides the perfect backdrop and the perfect soundtrack for a pensive day. A perfect day for quiet and disparate musings.
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 that 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. I was told when I was younger that the old were wise and the young had so much to learn. But I’ve found that not to be true. At least not in my 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 allowed our privacy to be slowly drained away. We’re losing ourselves. We’re becoming a massive automaton, a collective, bees in a hive, all working for an imaginary queen. We are becoming Star Trek’s Borg.
Beauty and talent are rewarded, intellect is derided. By criticizing the smart, the ignorant feel elevated and smarter. Our food is sullied with all manner of substances and artificial things, but it tastes good, so we eat it, and sometimes eating kills us. 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 narcolepsy – and yes, there’s a pill for that.
If we have difficulty paying 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, overly happy, or too fat or 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 all but the ultra-wealthy?
More than this, I sadly realized that we have no cure for ignorance, intolerance, greed, stupidity, superficiality, insensitivity, or cruelty. We don’t have a pill for EIS, Excessive Ignorance Syndrome? I think it’s because intelligence has become an undesirable trait in this increasingly bizarre and baffling world. Where is the smart pill? Where is the pill to cure the ignorance and insensitivity of those who see problems only when the problems affect them – or those they love?
In this world of billionaires and excessive wealth, we close our eyes 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 Mercedes and the BMWs and Cadillacs roll by while private jets traverse the sky overhead.
We reward those who are beautiful and talented and ridicule those who are intelligent, thoughtful, insightful, caring, compassionate, and sensitive.
We live in a world where intolerance festers just below the skin because it’s not politically correct to be outwardly intolerant, so we hide it. But it’s still there: prejudice, disdain, and hate are all alive and well. But it’s just not socially acceptable to flaunt them openly.
I am glad I don’t know where the world is headed, but I am glad that 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 now.
The Amazon Rainforest is being raped, burned, and pillaged for profit. The polar ice caps are shrinking – and no matter who’s 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 the Futures markets 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 we become. We are swiftly becoming a collective hive, weaving a honeycomb filled with bittersweet nectar… our reward for our part in the collective.
Someday we’ll have what we have allowed, and it will be what we then deserve. A society of sheep, led to slaughter by the wealthy few and the plutocratic 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 and left as our legacy.
Oscar Wilde once said the definition of a cynic is one who never sees the good qualities in a man, but who never fails to see the bad ones; one who knows the price of everything but the value of nothing. Every day the world seems more cynical and more full of hate, with less love, less compassion, and less forgiveness.
Privacy is withering away with consent, and with the eagerness of those whose privacy is being ripped away. Individualists, and others who think for themselves, are called nutjobs or weirdos, nerds, or eggheads. The more like everyone else we are, the more accepted we are – and the less we must 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.
I’m losing my compassion 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, pristine and crystalline, flow through untouched fields of lilies, where the sky is always pure and blue, and where the distant sounds of innocence are 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.
But I am still here, always here, listening to the rain falling, listening to the clock ticking, while my mind and my life slip away.