The same old questions concerning sexuality occurred to me again when I rolled out of bed. Perhaps that therapist only tried to help me? It’s true that I laid my soul bare to her and made myself quite defenseless… I think there’s a truth that goes deeper than Christianity, and Freud might have hit close to the mark. Isn’t it better to leave no stone unturned? Why live your whole life without knowing the whole truth? Often, culture is an obstacle to self knowledge. It is better to know. Culture also throws extraneous trappings onto the truth. This may be a passing mood, but for now it obtains… Outside comes the predawn twilight, the glimmer before the dawn. Bars of sunlight will shine down and create our prison of self consciousness and restraint. The social world will wake up and hold you responsible to your contract. But how much more can we smuggle into the light of day? And doesn’t everybody feel the same way?
Eight thirty 🕣.
The forecast calls for constant sunshine and much higher temperatures all next week. My dad’s anniversary is on my mind, gone 21 years. He was a very ordinary guy who loved his comfort and security. He wasn’t particularly brave; in fact he was quite a wuss, and had an inferiority complex. He was courageous only one time on my behalf. When I had neck seizures from taking Haldol, he jumped the fence at Baker Pharmacy to get the antidote to the side effect…
This time I got robbed on the doggie pepperoni, but I paid it without comment. “September” by Earth, Wind & Fire was on the radio. We used to play this song in Satin Love 23 years ago. Chris was an amazing musician. I couldn’t help but admire him in spite of his braggadocio sometimes. Those were glory days for me, not likely to be revived. Maybe it’s not about the glory, anyway… I came home in the foggy morning, passing the children who live in Darlene’s old house. Their mom came out in her bathrobe and chided them about something. Even so casual, she looked very attractive to me. I hadn’t felt this way in a long while. It would be like “going home,” except I don’t know the contents of her mind. If I knew, it could be a turnoff.
Quarter after ten. The fog is beginning to lift. I’ve heard it said that D.H. Lawrence, though a genius, was misguided. There are so many different ways of looking at human life. It’s almost as though the same world were multiplied by eight billion perceptions of it: eight billion realities. And yet we pretend it is all one, for convenience. We shove square pegs through round holes and get on with it. The importance of self knowledge can’t be stressed enough. Such a tragedy when people die with their lives unexamined, unfulfilled. We are not carbon copies of each other or of a system. Somewhere within every individual there’s a blueprint for the conduct of life. From there, you either find a niche or carve one that didn’t exist before.
Near five o’clock. I picked up Hugo and read another 30 pages. The interruptions in the narrative are like Moby Dick, but the story is interesting enough to keep me going. Some of the prose waxes eloquently Romantic, and those passages are fun for me. I’ve read up to the point where Valjean finally meets Cosette for the first time. She is eight years old and a servant at an inn, or chophouse. Her mother, Fantine, has died, leaving her orphaned. The innkeepers are rascals. Hopefully Valjean can alleviate her situation before he is caught again and put back in the galleys. He has hidden his money somewhere in the woods, buried in a cache.
I really don’t like studying the Bible, so I guess that’s why I left Our Redeemer. Also I don’t believe that prayer achieves anything. It’s one thing to think and study, but to put into practice is quite different for me and rather scary. I’m a lot more conscious now than three years ago. I don’t subscribe to having one bible, period. Life is too big and broad to be covered by a single authority. It takes a whole big library to put it in perspective… I don’t have Christian delusions anymore, thanks to my medication. I wonder how my sister would respond to the antipsychotic? She told me once that her body wanted the cigarettes, which I thought was absurd. She was coming from a biblical place in her thinking about addiction. It just sounded crazy. Recently, I was seeing less of a difference between her religion and the Lutherans. Whatever the reason for my departure, it was inevitable.
Quarter of five (morning). I listened to five pieces by Copland and then most of Permanent Waves by Rush. It was all very wonderful. Appalachian Spring was poignant in some places, with touches of great warmth and sympathy in the strings… I don’t know why my sister and I can’t get along. Maybe she needs to keep her opinions to herself. She mustn’t force them on other people. She tried it with me because I’m a nice guy, meek and soft spoken. It is always a violation to try to dominate others. Unfortunately, Polly has only two modes: dominate or submit. She can’t relate to people rationally, adult to adult. And it’s sad because she won’t know the joy of sharing ideas and expanding her knowledge base. Her friendships have always been superficial, never intimate with anyone. She isn’t comfortable that way. Probably she will go to her grave lacking self knowledge.
Six twenty. I took a nap, feeling very uncomfortable, though I didn’t know what was wrong with me. I was probably craving alcohol on some level. Maybe I’m putting too much pressure on myself? Nobody’s perfect, no matter what the church expects of people. I got the impression there that having pornographic thoughts meant a person was evil. But if a person is honest, doesn’t everyone have sex thoughts? How can humans avoid this? And again I think that our Neo Victorian attitude will have consequences at all strata of society… Maybe I’m just tired of trying to be a Christian. I don’t think it’s for me anymore. It’s like stuffing your brain into a jar in so many ways.
Quarter after six (morning).
No one ever said I had to be a Christian… I just read ten pages of Bishop’s poetry from North & South. I really like “The Man-Moth” and “The Monument.” Also “The Weed.” These poems are quite personal, dealing with life as an individual. Really, our own experience is all we can know, and the best we can write about. I feel clumsy even trying to think like a religious person, so I’m ready to discard the whole thing. My romance with Christianity is done. Like Emerson, I shall have an “original relation to the universe.” Like Whitman, I will put aside the opinions of others and write what I know… Online worship is officially today, but I won’t be there. For me, Friday night was a disaster. I came away from it feeling unwell mentally. I still have a lot more to learn from the book of myself and not from the musty brown Bible we used as a prop at the lectern. The props and stilts of “culture” suffice for people who don’t want to think; and it seems to me that thinking is the entire issue. Today begins a new day and, for me, a new way of living.