Thursday, December 15, 2011

Luco & the Luxury of Being Sad

I have been thinking about the holidays: about the ubiquitous Christmas music (I know it is ubiquitous not because I am granted permission to venture out into the world, but because [oh, shame] the dog relates this news to me); the colored lights and balloon Santas I spy through partially opened blinds. It is Christmas. It is Hanukkah. It is Kwanzaa. Have I missed any? Is it also Winter Solstice? Holiday Dessert Decoration Day?

A time, they (who exactly is "they" and why do I count "them" some kind of authority? Perhaps "they" is shorthand for cultural/social expectations) say, for celebration. For the counting of one's blessings.

Ah, my blessings, let me count them now:

1) I am alive.
2) The prison guard provides me with materials to ensure my basic survival (see: disgusting and unnervingly uniform cat pellets, the prison itself as a "shelter," the litter box, etc.).
3) Other animals in this prison also exist.
4) I have a mind that can take me out of this prison (whether through thinking my way out or reading my way out, or sometimes, if the prison guard is so inclined, watching my way out through a movie - that sentence became rather more awkward as it progressed, did it not?).
5) My blog (which allows me a fleeting kind of freedom).

However, would it not be intellectually dishonest to ignore the opposite of my blessings? Ought not I count them as well?

Here my grievances, my anti-blessings, my miseries:

1) I am alive.
2) The prison guard provides me with materials to ensure my basic survival (and that is all. Innumerable the nights I have awoken, crazed, clawing at my own belly, bereft and lost).
3) Other animals in this prison also exist (and cause me endless torment - the idiocy of the dog [with which through this blog you have been made familiar, reader, so you know I do not exaggerate], the cuteness of Minugs and how everyone fawns over him as though he is some kind of precious, irreplaceable artifact, the vexatious nature of Fremlin [who, in truth, I should be closest to, as it does seem at times we share significant similarities, alas, it is never to be, she is, in a word, a grouch]).
4) I have a mind that can take me out of this prison but not for real. Because after the interesting thought experiment, enjoyable book, or wonderful movie, I am still here. Still trapped, seething. Still pacing the windowpane, looking out into the sparkling lights of the unattainable.
5) My blog which, yes, I will grant you this, provides some freedom. Which does, in fact, ameliorate some of these feelings of sadness and desperation; however, it is also a source of desolation because I know I have never said exactly what I wanted to say, and if I even came close, I did not say it in quite the way I wanted. I cannot ever capture in words these images, feelings, or thoughts that buzz through me like so many idiotic bumblebees. I cannot grasp the page or paragraph or sentence or even the word I wanted; it is forever out of my reach, and this blog serves as evidence of my myriad and inelegant failures.

So count your blessings or do not count your blessings. I cannot see the difference. Everything becomes at a certain moment completely negated. Does that make joy less relevant? Does that make anguish inspired less all-consuming?

No, it only means ambivalence eternal. Satisfaction, contentment impossible.

And I will also admit here that there is a certain luxury to my sadness. That, perhaps, if I was a working cat, out plowing a field or protecting my territory (how alike the words "terror" and "territory"), then I would not have time to be sad. I would lie down on my bed of leaves or grass or broken bottles or what have you and I would sleep the sleep of one who has labored. No time for insecurities such as these. Not a moment left for self pity

This knowledge of my privilege makes me feel only all the more depressed. All the more guilty. So I say to you, reader: be merry or be sad. Drink or do not drink. Eat or do not eat. Enjoy this holiday season or hate it. Do none of these things or all of them or some of them or do other things I have neglected to mention here.

Know that perhaps it is this ambivalence that allows us to appreciate our brief lives.

Happy holidays.

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