Tuesday, May 27, 2008

all fall down

On the wall, just behind the therapist's desk, is a woodcut of -- I think -- a barn, with a series of parallel lines scoring the lower half, reminiscent of nothing so much as the ribcage of a skeleton. I consider making a comment to that effect, but stop myself in time. Smoothing my skirt, I begin a well-polished recitation of all the Very Bad Things that have happened to me. The therapist gestures towards a box of tissues, but I ignore her. Tears are for amateurs.

The other day, Julia wrote a lovely post, which concluded: I am slowly learning to trust that some things are constant, unshakable. I want to tell her that she's wrong -- that everything is unreliable, jerry-built, liable to collapse at the slightest touch. But she probably wouldn't believe me. And perhaps it's only my life that lies, unrecognizable, beneath the wreckage that faith leaves behind.

30 comments:

Beruriah said...

I hope you will be proven wrong.

thailandchani said...

I think I'm with you on this one. All things are transitory. Once we know that, life is much simpler.

So with all respect to Julia, I can't entirely agree that anything is constant.

Julia said...

See, when I wrote that I really meant that in respect to the physical world (and a little about the people far far away, those we see but once a year). And while last year I found that to be very comforting, largely because I could discern nothing stable around me before that exact point in time, this year it's a somewhat scary thought (that I chose not to articulate fully in that post, go figure). We are going next year, and some things are sure to be there. What I don't know is how many of us are going, or whether I will be able to breathe then. You know, little things like that. It's the thing that drove me mad early on last year, though at the time I didn't connect it to permanence-- that the world, other people's world, physical world goes right on, whether or not mine is completely shattered. But as I sit with this thought for the last few days, I am also finding a bit of perverse comfort in me being so thoroughly unimportant in the grand scheme of things.

niobe said...

Julia: Though I know you were making only a limited point, it made me reflect on how many times over the years there have been things, people, events that I thought I could count on, only to find myself proved horribly wrong.

There's nothing and no-one that I truly believe in anymore. And even to say that next year the lilacs will bloom requires more trust than I can muster.

Eva said...

Therapy! And we were just "talking" about that!

The more things change, the more they stay the same?

Mrs. Spit said...

I'm going to be a bit of a sophist (or, as I put it to one of my professors, a sh*t disturber)- is not the belief that nothing is permanent, all is ephemeral, a fixed belief in something - that is, a belief that nothing is permanent, all things will fall down, is a permanent belief in the state of the universe.

Sorry, I'm having a crummy day, and I"m not sure this is a useful observation, but it's about all I've got . . .

niobe said...

Mrs. S,: Change is the only constant? Unreliability is the only thing that can be relied on? You may have a point.

Amelie said...

Like Beruriah, I hope you are wrong. And I'm sorry for all the times when things or people that should have been were not reliable.

CLC said...

I think Mrs. Spit is on to something. I feel like that if given enough time, most people will disappoint us in some way, shape or form. So while I do trust some people still, I am much more limited with it than I have been in the past.

Antigone said...

Nasty. Brutish. Short.

What did you expect?

niobe said...

clc: "given enough time, most people will disappoint us in some way, shape or form"

My (depressing) thought exactly.


Antigone: Well, at least it's not nasty, brutish, and long.

Tash said...

I would like to think some things don't change, but I've been burned. Everything changing as a constant leaves me dizzy. I'll just sit here and watch all of you play in traffic.

Christine said...

oh man.

i want you to be wrong. but you are probably right.

Kami said...

Tears are my friends, tissues are for amateurs. I stopped drying them years ago. What's the point? There will just be more.

Amanda said...

I would like to tell you how I can't relate to your post at all, but that would make me a liar.

My Reality said...

You say there is nothing and no-one you believe in anymore. Do you believe in yourself? I think I know how you will answer that. . .

Lisa b said...

I wish you didn't feel this way and I wish I didn't think you were right.
It bothers me that the therapists seem to want me to cry. I cried the first few times thinking I really wanted to make a go of things but then I stopped because I don't trust her. The last few sessions she seems as if she is going to cry. Now my husband thinks I continue to go just to torture her.

Bon said...

i was going to say nope, nope, not just you but then i read your response to Antigone and now, hell, i'm laughing.

i suppose that the surprise of finding these little moments of goodness is what makes the rest almost tolerable.

Road Blocks and Roller Coasters said...

I sometimes wonder if disaster in and of itself is a constant? I tend to think that the world is comprised of random moment of chaos. Sometimes that chaos works out wonderfully for people. Other times it can smash your world apart. But at the end of the day its all just random madness. No rhyme. No reason. And there is no comfort in that.

But know that there are people out there hoping and praying that the chaos in your life turns out wonderfully--even if it seems really shitty at times--its the end result that counts.

BTW...thank you for your beautiful words on my last post. HUGS.

k@lakly said...

The only thing you can rely on is the unexpected. One of my favorite "God" sayings, being that I am not a "God" type believer, is the one that says, "You know what God does when you make plans...s/he laughs"
That I believe.

a- said...

It's not just your life that is unrecognizable. Sometimes, most times, I feel the same way. I keep telling myself that it's all about the doing so I can go on (and do) for others.

Angela said...

Ah, faith, trust, wreckage. How many times do we have to learn that lesson?

c. said...

I'd like to believe that there are indeed things in this life that are unshakable. It's hard though.

Anonymous said...

The fact that things actually stay together for any period of time is amazing in itself. Things must fall apart at some point. It is life. There is a mystery in the presence of something "in tact", and to be able to be there, see its beauty and accept it( and the fact it will not be there at some point) is a terrifying thing. That's what I find comforting, but it also leaves me cold.
Allypally

thrice said...

clc: "given enough time, most people will disappoint us in some way, shape or form"

I believe this too, but if I were honest with myself, I would know that I have and will continue to disappoint others.

*****

I believe the lilacs will most likely be bloom next year. I worry about what shape that I will be in next year, if I am here at all.

wheelsonthebus said...

Some things are constant. Unfortunately, those are not the good things. What is constant is the work we must do to achieve peace. I wish you strength in your work.

Elizabeth said...

The centre cannot hold. I tried to think of something in which I had unshakable faith or believed would be constant, and I couldn't find anything. I like the idea that perhaps the only constant is change and that change is usually unpleasant.

I'd like to believe my roses will bloom every year but then I'd also have to believe that they won't be eaten by deer, something I discovered last year.

slouching mom said...

((you))

Casey said...

Better ephemeral than stagnant, right?

Glad to hear you're giving therapy another shot. May it be helpful, and if not helpful, entertaining.

beagle said...

I don't really believe (in faith).