Tuesday, April 12, 2011
50 years ago today, Yuri Alekseyevich Gargarin was flying through space; the first of a lucky percentage of us to sail through the upper atmosphere with little more than hopes and calculators. And, like most children growing up in the States, I believed that I too could one day grow up to join them.
The world is a cruel place.
A couple of days ago I noticed that one of my Facebook friends was experiencing some trouble dealing with certain aspects of our reality, the shitty parts mostly, and that an older woman, probably family, was trying to console her with that positive thinking pablum. I left some stupid comment about how inside this eggshell of our existence is a loneliness that never sleeps, ending it with some joke about how the universe is made out of rainbows and candy, but that juxtaposition started the ol' wheels to turn. Because the world really IS made out of rainbows and candy, as well as tsunamis, radiation leaks, and African Rape Camps.
Maybe positive thinking is an excellent survival mechanism for the psyche. Not 'The Secret' kind of positive thinking, where if you hope for things hard enough they just happen (If I wanted to do that, I'd still be praying), but the kind of thinking where we retrain ourselves to notice but not to let into our hearts the emptiness that surrounds all of us at all times out into eternity forever. Sorry, I'm new at this.
Maybe I should stop selfishly building resentments until my relationships are carved out, maybe I should stop pouring over article after article after article of things that are fascinating but do not help in keeping things bright and shiny.
But wait... WE WENT INTO SPACE PEOPLE! And it certainly wasn't an easy journey for all of us. But we did it, and we didn't do it by positive thinking. Like that last, horrible link, illustrates; we, as a species, can do nearly anything with enough expenditure of energy, time, and blood
Maybe that's a part of growing up; realizing that most dreams do not come true, that there really are monsters walking the streets at night and that they look just like you and me. But still, the universe is full of rainbows and candy, foot-rubs and beer and bacon. It may never be all the things I want it to be, and maybe my life has helped me be a little bit of a curmudgeon at times*, but if I can't learn to enjoy the moments I am lucky enough to have, why am I still here at all? I guess life is mostly about balance.
Meanwhile, in reality, I'm about to head downtown to plan for our next game-show with a good friend. Maybe life is learning not to bitch too much about what you can't control. Figures.
* - Over 90% #notmeanttobefactual