Bigsley the Oaf

still life

Posted in Uncategorized by bigsleytheoaf on August 19, 2010

I think that I have not written much, lately. I have not written in the way that I used to, occasionally: freely, honestly.

The reason for this, I think, is that I’m not capable of writing about my relationship with Jen and the fact is that this relationship has become a startlingly large part of my life. Perhaps these facts are related; perhaps for some element of one’s life to become a large part in the way that Christianity or Work or Entertainment or Love do, one must attain a sort of distance from it. There must be some assumptions that are not challenged. Whether it is the existence of God, the importance of Progress, the disappearance of the Self, or the permanence of the Relationship, it’s best to take these things as sacrosanct. It’s necessary to take them out of the sphere of “acceptable discourse” and into a private, experiential realm, to make them Ultimate and therefore impossible to challenge.

But I think that my life has become a still life, with this Relationship at its center.

It’s not as if I really chose to make this topic off-bounds. There are real reasons that I can’t discuss it in a public forum such as this.

For one, Jen will read this. It’s difficult to articulate the reasons that this makes me uncomfortable. I think that I largely use this written space as a place to play with my thoughts. I realize the publicness of it and this is key – I do not value self-expression for the purpose of self-consumption. I need the public eye to keep me honest. I may write something crazy, but I will not write something dishonest. But if I write something here which I have not said to Jen – perhaps this feels dishonest.

For instance, suppose that I wrote that I hate Jen. I don’t. But let’s suppose that I wrote it. I wouldn’t be writing it because it is true – I would be making an assertion in order to play with it. It would be my way of asking “do I hate Jen?” I would almost be taking on a character, asking “if I hated Jen, what would that feel like? what would that mean?” The fact is that I have the potential to hate anything. But, that this assertion is so heavy in this case, that it has such dire practical consequences means that I wouldn’t even consider asserting it. I can consider hating anything else, I can write “I hate X” with respect to anything else, because X will not read what I write. This space is safe, in that way, and it lets me explore my emotions experimentally. Not so with Jen.

Another reason that I find it difficult to write about my relationship is that I think of it as an intensely personal, private matter. I generally have some clue as to how people will interpret what I write here, but in this case it’s entirely unclear to me what others would think of my thoughts, how their perception of me, of her, of our relationship and life together would change.

In short, I find it difficult to write about and thereby explore topics of such intense connection to my practical life. Is it a lack of courage? Perhaps I’m afraid of what I will find there. I suppose that there are some consequences which I would prefer to avoid – a breakup, for one.

What’s more, my assumption is “I love Jen.” To say “perhaps I hate Jen” would require that I drop that assumption. This is not something that I am readily willing to do, this is a possibility I would rather notexplore.

This is a strange type of dishonesty. It’s as if I’ve taken this Love and put it above myself. I can’t even consider whether a breakup would be a “good thing,” I shy away from it like death.

And it’s this form of dishonesty makes my life still. It’s the lies we tell, or rather the potential lies which we don’t dare face lest we find out they are lies, which fix us in place, which make us “who we are.” A Christian won’t really ask “does God exist?” because they couldn’t stand the answer if it were “no.”

Thinking about this, writing this, makes me feel weak and pathetic, like a child incapable of looking under their bed for fear that a monster lives there.

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