Wednesday, January 9, 2008

Coming Back

It is hard to read yesterday's entry without wondering how I get away with feeling sorry for myself like that. It was indeed a dark day but I am disturbed by the ease with which it seems I gave in to those oppressive forces.

Today certainly a different day, and though perhaps no better, it is really an indication that the claims of yesterday were into the realm of hyperbole. I will try to reserve those passages for my private journal and save the reader from the burden of material made heavy for it's own sake.

Not that this will become an absolute beacon of light and happiness, for I am only in a slightly better mood today, which means that the words will only creep up to that point and retreat before it gets out of hand. I began this move toward the light just after writing yesterday, when Valery and I went to see a matinee showing of No Country for Old Men.

This is not the place for a film review, but I must say that it affected me deeply. For one thing, it is a movie about Texas, which came as a pleasant surprise because although it was a violent story it was not the usual lampoon of the Texas culture, but rather an introspective visit to the landscape and language that I recall as a child. The way people talk in the film has such variance and similitude all at the same time, it is easy to see why the Texas culture has formed the kernel of a national fascination while at the same time leaving itself open to ridicule. We do look and sound pretty folksy while being brutish and cruel, but this is no accident. The need to wrap the unceasingly violent nature of frontier culture in clever aphorisms delivered in a rhythmic clipped cadence is necessary to make sense of it. Intellectual posturing has no place in that country, and should you grow nostalgic as you grow older, it will kill you.

The film made me aware in my moment of darkness, however, and in this small movement I found myself on the other side of the looking glass. Looking for reason and hope in death is a futile task, and I will not pursue it any longer. There is too much to be gained by looking forward and too much to be lost by looking back. In those moments when it seems that I cannot escape the heavy blanket of despair, I will recall what a waste of time to linger under it's weight and resolve to cast it off as the vain self-pity that it is.

I had a chance to talk with Valery last night for the first time in a long time and this too is what helped me find my center. With her clear common sense and unwavering support for me even when I'm in the throes of self-flagellation, she is the inspiration I need to find my new purpose in the coming days and months. She invariably holds up the mirror for me in such facility that I am amazed I didn't see it before, but then, such is the nature of her skill that I should expect it.

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