It’s always frustrating as a writer, to be asked to respond with the deep thoughts to things that are ongoing in a way that is timely. Salient. Topical.
My birthday was on January 25th.
That’s not this previous Sunday, nor the one before that, but the one before that.
I’ve been thinking in the interim about what the previous year was like for me. (I’d love to say what it was like for everyone, but I’m not about to write billions of paragraphs).
It was a tough year. In the final months of 2013, I had been in a pretty serious funk. I was bummed. I carefully do not use the term “depressed” because, as bad as it was sometimes, I could not call it anything like even mild depression. I had too much joy, too much optimism. I never even contemplated suicide. I knew that, if the rest of my life was to be like this, I’d still be doing something good for others, and that was worth it.
And then in January of 2014, I met someone quite special. I rebuilt connections with another friend who was also quite special. And on the 25th, I felt as if I had become enlightened.
It was as if the world was pressing in on me, in a positive way. I felt the gravity of the cosmos. I felt the length and breadth of things for the first time. Colors became more intense, sensations more real. I was in the world, without distraction or diversion. It was a magnificent experience.
To this day, I can rub my three fingers together and replicate the experience.
I was hoping to finish my novel from November. But then January, then February, then March came about.
Work, personal obligations, family obligations, helping others, working on Sol Avenger, responding to political issues… it took me from it.
This year’s National Novel Writing Month, I only wrote 10,000 words.
The year of 2014 was the longest year of my life. I was exhausted for most of it. And it’s likely not going to change yet.
But I have been feeling changes that have been tremendously rewarding, even if in the moments of fatigue they may not always seem to be adequate recompense.
For much of my life, I’ve tried to be kind, nice, helpful, positive. But I always felt myself having a distance from others. It comes from being “gifted” and being told it. I see things differently from others. I have a creativity, an ability to learn and to communicate advanced ideas.
That made me spend a good portion of my life looking at a lot of people like zombies.
Their concerns to me felt petty. Their thoughts felt banal. Their great insights were trivial.
It’s not a nice place to be. It’s very isolating. I like people. I recharge around them. But I was shutting myself out from their energy.
This year, it finally became clear to me:
My greatest weapon isn’t my brain.
It’s my love.
Part of the reason I felt distant from people my whole life was because I felt in tune with a world of experiences, sensations and imaginations. It wasn’t just that my mind was always filled with adventures to entire other universes. It’s that I experienced this world differently. I experienced its joys. I knew that the world could be changed.
My sincere belief is that we create the good of tomorrow today. Goodness is not out there to be found. It’s not an abstract philosophical idea. It’s not in a heaven locked away from us. It’s right there, and we make it more and more real, and more and more advanced, by our deeds today.
It’s exhausting living life by love. It can be vulnerable. It can drain me totally.
People often tell me that I may be mistaken. Other people may not need the help I sometimes think they do. They may have wisdom I don’t. And that may be true.
But I look about this world and see how we kill each other, abuse each other, take each other for granted, and I know that we are nowhere near done leveling the injustices of the past to make a new world.
So perhaps all of 2014 for me was just one lesson:
Love is the greatest sword in the arsenal of any knight.
Let’s hope 2015 lets me use it more productively.