Thursday, March 14, 2013

Living With the Demon

Things got off to a rocky start today.

This morning, my car was covered with frost. I didn't clear off the passenger side window, and when turning onto the main road at the end of my street, I horribly miscalculated where I was at and hit the telephone pole on the corner. It knocked the passenger side window off, and put a bunch of splinters in the rim of my tire. There's also a huge scrape down the side of my car. Lesson learned: take the time to clear off your windows before driving in the morning.

Then I attempted to break up a fight between two large men at the shelter. Typically, I am able to de-escalate conflicts, but one of the guys wasn't having it, and he steamrolled through me to get to the other guy. I called the police, and watched as several other men tore the two fighters apart.

I hate it when I have no influence on a situation that is veering towards disaster. It is a helpless feeling, and I hate to be helpless.

A co-worker told me my bad luck was due to challenges thrown in my way by 'principalities and powers'. She was referencing the book of Ephesians:
"For we wrestle not against flesh and blood, but against principalities, against powers, against the rulers of the darkness of this world, against spiritual wickedness in high places."
She said there was evil in the air today. I thanked her for her council and shrugged my shoulders. I didn't say so, but the principalities and powers she referred to are mythological forces that I find myself in great sympathy with. Satan has always appeared to me to be the ultimate tragic-romantic hero, the ultimate freedom fighter. I doubt Satan would throw roadblocks in my way, because I am decidedly on his side. My bad luck this morning was more due to bad decisions (mine) and violent temperaments (the fighters). I can control one of those factors moving forward.

After I finally got into my office, I looked up some information Malala Yousafzai. She had been on my mind lately, and I wanted to check on her progress. I found this video, which inspired me:



Such courage, from such a small girl. Her struggles and triumphs put my terrestrial concerns in a much larger perspective.

I don't know why I am writing this. Recently I heard John Irving say writing was, for him, like the urge to have sex, the urge to sleep, the urge to eat. I identified with that. I refer to my urge to write as my demon. I become possessed by an emotional impetus, or an idea, and I am just compelled to type away.  Usually, I will write about something philosophical or political, or maybe something I think is funny, but right now I find myself with just the urge, and no real understanding of what the purpose of the urge is. So I've written this.

I don't care about being paid for writing, and I don't care too much about notoriety. I link to my pieces on Facebook, and cross post them at The Daily Kos sometimes, because writing seems like something that needs to be shared. It just feels wrong to keep it to yourself. The few pieces I have written for local newspapers have been to benefit a cause; that is a little different.

I write because I have to, because the demon tells me to. I like the demon most of the time. Sometimes he is horrible, but most of the time, he is beautiful. If I am going to continue living with him, I will have to write, even when the objective of the piece isn't clear.

1 comment:

Lodo Grdzak said...

As a great cartoon character once told his classmates in English class, "Come on people--open your books, this poetry isn't gonna appreciate itself!"