Between Joy And Despair

It can be personally confusing being caught between the horror of this culture, knowing that every day 200 species go extinct, that civilisation has enacted even more violence upon the biosphere and everything else involved in its production-narratives, and personal joy from my immediate personal life.

My day job involves no betrayal of myself and, while sometimes difficult, is mostly fun and fulfilling. There’s lots of exciting stuff happening for me and my partner in our relationship. There is cool stuff happening regarding my first book; I’ve made a start on my second book; Tonight I’ve had an update on another writing project, as well as some lovely positive feedback from a reader who has studying my book for a month; and I’m blogging regularly, with positive response. I’m approaching my 5 years post-cancer treatment marker in the best health I’ve ever been in, though perhaps with a little more pudge around my tummy than I’d have liked to still have – but I forgive myself for the pudge, since I’ve spent most of my time over the past 4 3/4 years making music, studying, and finishing my first book, as well as getting it published.

If you know anything of my life pre-cancer then you’d know that it involved a lot of personal struggles – I’m not gonna list them all, but shall limit what I say to: I lost my mother aged 7, was living with her abusive parents until my father got out of rehab and was deemed fit to look after me and my sister, in school situations that involved a fair amount of bullying and isolation during the earlier years and was massively affected by home-life situations, which for a number of years now has involved living with my fathers parents, witnessing my grandfather go mad with paranoia and die, and my grandmother go from one of the most independent and strong people in my life to being utterly dependent. So you can imagine that, given how great things are going for me personally, that I love where my life is. I’ve developed over the years a relationship with those points of suffering where I value those experiences as much as the joyous ones, I just don’t enjoy them (something too often equated with value). But it is wonderful to have gone through those experiences and to have arrived at where I am now, with things going so well for me.

But I know that the badger cull is coming up. I know that there has been huge declines in the amount of rainfall in Britain these past 12 months. I know that the bees, butterflies, rhinos, elephants, tigers, whales and countless other living beings are struggling under the weight of this cultures relentless consumption. I know that runaway global warming is on its way. And I can only feel sad.

I’ve intimately tied my sense of self to the living world, that I am an extension of. So this sadness is not one of moralistic sanctimony but of an egoistic sense of betrayal and woundedness. But my immediately embodied life as this humanised-animal is going great, with lots to be proud of and excited for. And I’m caught in that inner conflict.

There is no conclusion to this and I’m not gonna proof read and make a dyslexic attempt at editing. This is just my thoughts and feelings right now. Make of them what you will. I feel no shame in my pride or in my joy over my happiness; I’m simply caught between these 2 states and writing them here.


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