Wednesday, October 23, 2013

I'm not good at drawing maps



You may have noticed a bit of anger in my last post. Even my wife, whose virtue and wonder I was diving in to defend so triumphantly, asked me why I was so angry. It’s something I’ve needed to think about. Let’s digress inward and make the whole thing about me, shall we.



I don’t understand what it is that she goes through every day. It’s just something I watch from the outside. Of course, like most people faced with such a situation, I want to help. I want to fix it, dammit! To make the bad go away. To make this woman I adore smile and laugh again. She’s fucking gorgeous when she does that. I mean, she’s gorgeous pretty much any time, but that smile… holy shit.



But I can’t.



Neither can she. We both have about as much agency as someone caught in the loving embrace of a hurricane. I hate that and I hate never knowing what to do about it.



I try to help. To board up the windows if we see it coming. To huddle with her in the basement if we’re caught off guard. To tie a rope to both of us and pray for the not-so-worst, if all else fails. Metaphorically speaking, when not literally so.



I fuck up sometimes. Either doing the wrong thing when trying to help or shutting down completely because I’ve had too much. There’ve been times when I’ve treated her as if it is all her fault and she could do better if she only tried. I have a tough time excusing being an asshole under the premise that I have no clue what the hell I’m doing. But I try to, at the very least, do no harm. Usually.



In my capacity as a substitute teacher, I work with a large number of both teens and adults who suffer under conditions they cannot control. I see these same people suffer the usual slings and arrows of both fate and their fellow man. Most of them are good enough people. Maybe not always great, certainly never perfect, but as good as we have any reason to expect from anyone.



You can talk about spoon theory until your face turns blue. Same goes with the Will to Power. Either way, you’re just pushing hot air at the end of the day. Either way, it all boils down to a choice we’re all making, every day:



To accept people for who and what they are. To help them with the things they cannot change. To hold them accountable to the things they can. To do our best to figure out the difference. Or to simply tell everyone else to be like us. Of course, by laying it out this way, in such a simple binary fashion, I’m…



Fuck.



Hope it all makes more sense.

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