The Hazards of Being Human
After forty years of careful consideration I have finally come to the conclusion…
… of a cycle of my life.
“I came into the world under the sign of Saturn — the star of the slowest revolution, the planet of detours and delays.”
― Walter Benjamin
This theme has been played out.
A roller coaster ride, skittering on rusty tracks, bolts coming loose, as it attempted to separate my head from the rest of my body.
A funhouse that wasn’t much fun.
It’s time to get off the merry-go-round and stop collecting those metal rings with my splintered stick, and go for a walk… on the wild side.
“I am a Saturn who dreams of being a Mercury, and everything I write reflects these two impulses.”
― Italo Calvino
Embrace the elements rather than erect barriers against them.
Why go to the beach if you’re bothered by the sand getting into the nooks and crannies of your private parts. Why sit in the sun if you’re going to put up a parasol. Why go somewhere which you know is going to be windy if you prefer the doldrums. Why have a day outside if what you really want is to be inside.
Due to the hazards of being human…
Where everything which could give us pleasure rouses fear of possible pain, attracts and repels in equal measure, causing cautiousness to go to extremes to ensure the utmost safety when taking a risk.
We want to eat the cake, without gaining any weight. So we count each little calorie until eating becomes a chore. Bored by the accounting of appetite, we snap and stuff our faces, then punish ourselves for that.
We deprive ourselves of joy just in case it makes us miserable, and delay a moment of happiness to run security checks to not to be unhappy.
“And so Discovery drove on toward Saturn, as often as not pulsating with the cool music of the harpsichord, the frozen thoughts of a brain that had been dust for twice a hundred years.”
― Arthur C. Clarke
We want to swim in the ocean, but not be eaten by sharks, stung by stingrays, swept away by rip tides, splashed by other swimmers, run over by jet skis, dragged under by waves, or drowned by a lack of knowledge of how to stay afloat.
Should anything happen to us while dipping a cautious toe in the surf, we blame the gods of warning signs (instructions we rarely read and whose words do not apply to us, we are the excellent exception of historical importance… until we aren’t), for not warning us that our feet may sink in wet sand, and as we try to run from chilly froth, we go splat, covering ourselves in tiny grains of shame, a fool for everyone to witness, take a picture, share it on social media… we’re all connected and alone.
“There could be no real dialogue between those who still thought that time was on their side and those who realized that they were dangling from its jaws, like Saturn’s children, already half-devoured.”
― Edward St. Aubyn
We want to soar in the sky, without being troubled by gravity.
We want to be spontaneous, once we have thought such an act through, and figured out a way in which to control the consequences.
We want to be who we are, but first we must be sure that who we are is okay to be.
We want to dare to do, but acts of daring do require derring-do, and what if we fail, what if we end up on our asses feeling like an ass, the one who we would laugh at, say it serves them bloody right, I told you not to do it… if it wasn’t us who’d done it.
“Time does not give one much leeway: it thrusts us forward from behind, blows us through the narrow tunnel of the present into the future. But space is broad, teeming with possibilities, positions, intersections, passages, detours, U-turns, dead-ends, one-way streets. Too many possibilities, indeed.”
― Susan Sontag
We want to say what we please, yet don’t want others to do the same in case what we say hurts them and they react accordingly which is not in accord with us. Freedom of speech wants to control the ears which hear it, the minds which processes it, and the mouths which may reply.
We want to dance naked in moonlight… but what if someone sees.
We want to be without a care, but take every care to be careful about being careless.
The dance choreographed until our feet are tightly bound, unable to make a step as it may be out of line. Don’t step on the crack or the ground will open beneath you, like a box which holds all your darkest and deepest cares, and out they will come…and down you will fall.
Quench your safety first thirst… you can never be too careful.
So very careful until your carefulness becomes your greatest problem which only careless can solve.
“Of our nine planets, Saturn is the one that looks like fun.”
― Tom Robbins