October 19, 2004

How curious. Although I have been doing nothing differently since I began writing this blog, I seem to have been upgraded to the equivalent of "stalker" status by an on-line friend. Maybe it lies in the nature of some of the subject matter I have been tackling of late, maybe just in the very different background experiences implied by those topics, maybe even in a shift of style or uncomfortable length of post, or maybe I am turning out not to be the person I was thought to be. Nothing I can do about the last, nothing conscious I can do about the next to last, nothing I will do about the first two. I am not a kind creature, have never claimed to be. I reject the absolute reality of perspectives which select only for the extremes: I would much prefer to love other people for who they are, without any need to re-create them into lenses showing only what is nice about them. (You probably don't want me to speak your obituary.) My world has always included some harsh realities, and thus have been shaped some of my perceptions of passion, and constructive creation, and escapism. It is possible a few more of the more vicious realities have been drifting more nakedly into the blog of late ... since a few more of them have been drifting more nakely into my life of late.

But really, none of that is here or there. I note it, I mention it, I try to understand it as I try to understand all things in my life (for all things have relevance, though I may not understand it), and life goes on.

If it matters in the slightest, I am discovering a new wish - or perhaps more accurately way in which to lead my life: that I be who I am, that I do with what I am given, that I never once seek to steal my own happiness at the expense of another, and that to the end of my life I remain capable at the least of never once deliberately taking enjoyment in their own existence from others.

I feel the absence of friends today, other friends who I don't know where they are at this moment, let alone whether they read this or not. For some of them I know that they are alive, at least. I know that they are in reasonable health. That is something. In part it is my own responsibility: although at least I have finally caught up on all e-mails but one ... but that one has been dragging, without any excuse I can make for it. (I refuse any longer to accept work or business or "real" life matters as excuses in these things. Regular correspondence is a commitment, and time can be made for what matters ... or else I should not have entered into it in the first place.)

I tend to be hard on my friends: perhaps much more so, in the reality that is the perception of the other, than on complete strangers. I try to see without blinkers, without blind loyalties, without rose-coloured glasses, without that common assumption that those we know act the way they do because of things that happened to them, while those we don't act the way they do because of the way they are. So many I had considered friends abandoned me when it became apparent that I was going to try to see them as they are, without the automatic "friendship" bias. Others parted from me when I didn't automatically take their side or, worse, seemed to side against them. Still others left when I didn't give regular or steady or even solely positive feedback. Complete strangers, on the other hand, are often surprised when I give them the benefit of the doubt, or even that I seemed to realise they were alive. So much of our interactions with strangers grows solely of our awareness of others when they inconvenience us in some way; otherwise, they are invisible. I have worked to try to see the "invisible" positives as well. Yet however harsh what lies in front of me, I cannot but think that in many cases, it cannot be less harsh for the other person. I have worked, in myself, to try at least to sense where some part of the story is lacking within what I see. Sometimes, rarely, I succeed.

There seems to be a powerful expectation of blind loyalty inherent in the conception of friendship by others: something I lack completely. I will try my utmost to support you when you really need it, oh yes ... but you are warned (by every last thing you know of me!) that I am terrible at giving emotional support, and worse at receiving it. I am worse at any kind of automatic assumption of the best in my friends and the worst of others. In my experience, people are people. I don't want a friendship in which the only things I am to be capable of seeing are the "good" things. I have prickles, there are times when I am as harsh and prickly as it gets; and thus I am not an easy friend to have.

But oh, the friends from whom I have not heard in so long, whom I miss so deeply, who feel themselves marginalised and so actively continue to marginalise themselves ...

I can only be what I ever was. The world is what it is! Society identifies missteps made against itself, punishes, moves on. Life continues. Parts will resent, parts will distrust, some parts might even accept what was and move on and maybe even possibly grant a real chance at rebirth ... but we are reluctant to lower the mask of our assumptions and raise our hopes, because they carry with it the chance of being even more deeply hurt than before. Armour, masks, are far safer. Projection of lowered or non-expectations upon others is safe.

How can we know who we are until life tests us to our extreme limits, and beyond? How can we know what has been there all along until every last aspect of us, the "worst" as well as the "best", is forced to the surface by life events? Why should seeing a person as they are - in every way - make any real difference in who that person has been all along?

How long will you continue to hide? I miss you!

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