2013/08/11 Su – First Summer

We have had nearly three months of marriage now.  Regardless of having known each other for three years, we have a variety of communication problems — linguistic, cultural, intellectual, personal(ity), financial, emotional, vehicular — and I can almost feel our recurring conflict sapping our strength and shortening our lives; and more than ‘almost’, I can actually see the wrinkles and gray hair appearing, at least in the other party.  I guess patience is the only answer.  I’ve written what would be a nice stack of pages in a separate journal file, much of which enumerates our marital difficulties… but it’s enough to say that the difficulty is extreme and frequent, though punctuated by many short, and sometimes long, smooth spots where we can pretend away our trouble, and rebuild our smashed trust.  Speaking from now, with the memory of altercation still fresh, I would absolutely not have started along this path if I could have seen it all at the outset.  Still, I find eventual improvement likely (since we have already been very slowly improving), and someday, especially if we are given any offspring, I expect to say that the decision was worthy to be made.

I don’t blame her, or the institution of marriage; it’s human life that’s responsible for the trials of human life.  While we have some peculiar weaknesses, I don’t think it would be that much easier with anybody else; and we have some strengths.

I really just need some time alone now and then, to rest and recuperate.  Outside of work, we’re basically always together.  It’s too much of an adjustment, to have lost so much individuality so suddenly.  Spending all our time together isn’t any great problem, except when I occasionally want to do anything, and then I discover these tiny, invisible constraints around me, her expectations — like I’ve walked through some strands of spider webbing.  Anyway, after refusing, again, to accompany her on her weekly visit to her nearby hometown, I’m free again, and at peace, at least for today.

Meanwhile, I feel like I have lost all hope in my country of birth and its increasingly corrupt institutions.  It may have been overly wishful, to have believed in ‘Amercan exceptionalism’.  Only since the regeneration of conservatism in the U.S. over the past couple decades has a significant part of the people even been aware of how dismally and progressively sick their country has become… but outside of sporadic attempts, here a parent home-schooling their children, there a church boycotting movies or television, over there some decent people becoming civilly engaged, there is no course of treatment being followed to save the country.  The financial peril ahead of us is nothing; the vacuum into which will rush our doom is spiritual.  There is no novel danger, here; the commandments of our Creator are simply not being obeyed.  There is a sign posted, not to urinate on a power generator — but inebriated by their atheism, Americans can no longer appreciate the warning.

The cure?  Excision.  Amputation.  Quarantine.  Separation.  Division.

Well, no; the cure is repentance.  Separatism would only break the shackles of majority misrule, and allow the pursuit of freedom.

In a way, I’m glad I’m out of that country that my fathers bled for — that my father bled against — that my people first fled to for refuge and liberty, and then fled from when refuge and liberty were taken away.  But the country, or its principles, swallowed them up again; and now the country’s new principles vomit me out, and make me break the prejudices I once had against the earth’s great evildoers, whom I once saw as only enemies: now they are still enemies, but now they are also peers.  We have matched their evil.

We should not have worshipped gods of metal and flesh.  We should not have made idols.  We should not have blasphemed God, nor pretended his authority, nor pretended his silence.  We should have kept a seventh day, and remembered our creation.  We should not have betrayed the good hopes of our fathers and mothers, nor forgotten and broken our ties.  We should not have killed, nor have done anything like killing.  We should not have made pleasure our master.  We should not have stolen from our countrymen, nor slandered our countrymen, nor hungered for what was our countrymen’s.

Neither should we have craved dishonesty, nor loved money, nor forgotten the poor, to cast their sustenance upon others, or their care upon our rulers.  Nor should we have safeguarded addiction, nor rewarded the idler, nor lifted fashion and skin colour over substance, nor elevated raucous laughter above joy.  We should have loved God, thanking him for all things; and we should have pitied his unlovable children.  We should have forgiven the erstwhile wrongdoer, but not exonerated the repeated crime.

And we may still do all these things, even though our countries have already seemingly been sealed to their own pestilential harvest.  I rejoice in the part of town where I live now, because they’re lagging behind much of the world’s wickedness.  I sorrow because they’re still moving in the same direction, and just as blindly as those ahead of them.

But our stewardship is ourselves, and God will make a way for even the last man’s family.  Our great comfort is to know that there are myriads of other ‘last men’ around us.

It would be nice if I were worthy to say any of this, but it’s not me dealing out the judgment.

Anyway, I think I may have given up my hope prematurely.  Between nation and self, there are many strongholds left to defend, of increasing defensibility.

What a pity, that our days are days of conflict, or else slavish subjection.  That is the nature of this mortal game we are playing: we’re thrown onto the field suddenly, in a daze; we wait for our head to stop spinning, and try to straighten out our bearings; we run forward to help our team; and we are yanked off the field, again suddenly.  That our team is now losing does not mean we have not played well; and the trophy doesn’t go to the winning team anyway, but to the team and players that are not disqualified by the judges’ review.  Then, let’s keep playing hard.

…Honestly, I don’t have a lot of energy left for the world.  I’m no longer sure the right causes of man have any effect at all.

But the cause of God, and the vigor in its pursuit, are not measured as men measure things.  To play hard in this game can be as unimpressive as taking time to read a few lines of text; choosing a right deed or thought over a mean one; choosing a smile instead of a scowl; choosing a scowl instead of an angry outburst; taking a break and trying again after something goes wrong; or simply enduring the day.  This is how we hairy creatures grow into divine beings.

Well, I’ve been having some trouble at work, dealing with some unexpectedly stern complaints of my boss and the school manager (who are under their own pressures and searching for things to blame and fix), and figuring out how to best interact with my energetic but sometimes over-assuming co-teacher, but so far, I still have a job and seem to like almost all of the students.  I don’t make extremely much money, and would make less if I had to pivot to another job.

I’ve been wanting to make a language journal, or turn this into one.  I don’t really have time.

-Steve

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