My dad’s surgery went well. I’ve been in close contact with the family and everyone is in good spirits. At least I won’t have to rush home to pitch a desperate farewell into the void. Not yet, anyway. I’m still thinking about moving back home after my lease is up in July. My priorities are shifting away from selfish desires and towards the needs of my family. It’s had a profoundly calming effect on my soul.
Modern life gives you cancer but it also cures you. Economic developments separate you from your family but also give you the tools to stay in touch. The world is breathtakingly complex and we hear about it all the time. I often wonder if people ever felt otherwise. Was there a time when everyone felt secure, as though everything made sense and everyone had their proper place?
There’s always a power over us that we can’t explain. And we don’t just advance our knowledge in a straight line. History isn’t strictly linear and sequential. There are huge, jagged fault lines separating us from the past. Radical acts that cleave time in two. Progress isn’t always cumulative. How much is lost for everything gained?
Religion seems a constant in human history but it covers such a wide spectrum of belief and behavior. The sense of a word is permeable and porous. Sometimes meaning changes passively, slowly, without much notice. Like a glacial drift or subterranean shifting of plates. At other times people actively redefine words and violently enforce new values. But who knows exactly what’s behind all of this.
You can always go farther with an explanation or argument. Until you fall into an abyss of absurdity. You can rationalize why you’re doing what you do as long as you stop short of infinity. Even the reasons we give for why we give reasons are glib and flaky. God wants us to know after the pattern of his own intellect. Evolution shaped us to rationalize. We seek knowledge because we’re afraid.
Hate and fear on one side. Love on the other. Swollen, cramping, bloated love will win the day. Hate is irrational while love is sane and sensible. Why don’t people see that love and hate are inextricably linked? If you love something then you also hate whatever threatens it. And that’s just the surface. Beneath that you get into loving to hate and hating to love and all the confusion and denial those combinations generate.
Furthermore, whatever happened to just disliking someone or a group of people? What about merely feeling annoyed or irritated? If I say goddamn, jews are annoying, I would be condemned as a hateful bigot. But why can’t I just be an easily irritated, impatient bigot? Am I only drawing on an inexhaustible well of hatred for all of my negative statements and actions?
On the other hand, hating someone or something doesn’t mean you’re wrong about it. I may hate black people for committing disproportionate violent crime, but that doesn’t mean that black people don’t commit more crime than any other race when you adjust for population. My hypothetical hatred is a separate issue from the fact of the matter that stimulates it.
I’m feeling serene about my own life and skeptical towards the world. I hope I can talk to my dad today but he’s probably still pretty out of it. Looking forward to hearing from him.