There is always something left
Sha'Tara ~ %~)
“What was left except shame, and the price of failure? … There was always something left. Perhaps that is why he wanted to consult an oracle.” (Chaos and Order: the Gap into Madness – Stephen R. Donaldson)
Every time the individual confronts an end to a particular life string and is literally tossed out of the flow of “normalcy” it appears to him as a kind of death. A normal reaction to an ending is to try to flick the switch back on, and if that fails, to create a new circuit, one that will restart the motor, throw the lights back on, and if that works, to hope that nothing essential to one’s sense of normalcy will have changed.
I write metaphorically, but isn’t that how it is? Unless physically or mentally restrained or prevented, an ordinary person having experienced an end to a run of personal normalcy seeks to immediately restart the very same thing. The most common I can think of is how divorced people seek to re-attach themselves to a new partner or “wallow” in the comfortable misery of their loss. They are afraid of their new-found freedom. It’s as if they were thrown in the deep end of the pool and forgot they could swim without an inflatable toy to hang on to. They feel hollow, empty and lonely at night. Some don’t want to face the ending, they want to be on another bus before the one they’re on comes to the bus stop, hoping thereby to avoid having to pay two fares… or getting thrown off both buses. Something like that.
To stand at the exit door and deliberately step off the bus without having the means to purchase another ticket means having to face the shame and pay the price of failure for the ending, for being there, bereft of direction.
We live in a world where shame and failure are unacceptable, yet “shame” and “failure” are the legacy of the relationship and that comprises “something.” The thinking person can see those unacceptable things as necessary to cause a change of direction. Whatever change is, it is always a good thing because that is, after all, what creates the future, as opposed to the silent compromise of the stagnant present and its contrails of confused past so quickly lost in the Autumn mists.
So when a string of normal life breaks or runs out, change is what’s left. Change, however frightening, painful or challenging is not a loss. The thinking individual knows that change will always result in gain, even if that gain cannot be “seen;” even if all that sudden change points to is loneliness, hopelessness and despair. What matters here is that change is an opportunity to become alive once more by the simple expedient of being thrown out of complacency. Now the mind can really begin to work looking at alternatives.
There is always something left. Always.
"I keep telling myself I should be perfect, but that isn't what we're here for. Perfection isn't an option for us; perfection is death. We're here to learn and change, and that means making mistakes." [Greg Bear in 'Heads']