Last year my Christmas advice was to masturbate and again I heartily and with heartfelt emotion recommend it. Face you, you need to relax!
After my little episodes with Devotees, I thought I should do a piece about men and how they aren’t all that bad and how I might not know a lot of them but I am sure they are good people. But then the more I worked on the blog piece the more I realized it sounded like “Men are from somewhere that game consoles are made and Women are from where you learn how to insult each other by saying something that sounds nice to everyone else.” So I’m not going down that alley, I just want to echo Linda who saw a guy in a nice business suit adjust his balls while walking down the main street, “What’s up with that?” Anyway guys, I don’t hate you, and I will try to see and talk to the individual if you agree to do the same with me: deal?
So instead I am going to write about innocence; or why I pursue it. You see people often think “innocence” is a state of unknowing; being ignorant or naïve. Or it is just being foolish or a little dim. Innocence is a state of mind or being in which one is ingenuous (honest to the point of transparency) combined with a openness which opens a person to terrible emotional wounds but without which, the wonder of action and thought which humans can aspire to are overlooked, ignored or scorned. The more a person knows of humans and the experience that life etches into us, the more we guard ourselves, cutting ourselves off from the greatest gifts of humanity: hope, belief, love. Bet you are freaking out now; where is the swearing? What I am saying is that the swearing, the screaming, the crying, the na-da-na’s in your face: all of it is my attempt to remain true to my goal being ingenuous, completely open about who I am. I am ever seeking the possibility of innocence: to face the world afresh not just once but in every encounter. And I almost always fail.
As a child my father explained to me about the Christian idea of Sin and Christ and how no one could lead a perfect life. “Do you mean it is IMPOSSIBLE to lead a perfect life?” I asked, “Or is it just that no one has yet succeed?” As you can see, from an early age, the idea of testing the odds of several billion to 1 appealed to me. It is indeed the reason I am a follower of Christ (though probably not recognized as a “Christian” in the organized sense): because here was a being who knew the absolute worst of humanity, not just in deed but thought, and EVERY DAY, went out there, facing it, opening himself to be hurt, continuing to do and act for the sole reason that it is right. I decided then that if he could do that, then I should attempt it too. I realize that this is probably strange for readers and a little uncomfortable and sappy but that is why I do what I do. Not because I believe in heaven or hell (I don’t), and not because I want to live forever or often even be alive (most of my life: not so much, I started cutting at age five – what does that tell you?). But each person is a god and in every choice they reclaim the best or the worst of what we as a species can be.
Every day, I strive for innocence, to fully face all the things I have done which shame me, and all the things done to me and still TRY again. I happen to disagree with Yoda; Trying is everything. If all we are willing to accept is what we know is possible then yes, we live a life defended from disappointment. And no, choosing to try, always, regardless of odds or consequence is not likely to be a life of peace and free from pain, but I have known for a long time that I am not the type who sees someone fall and is only afraid. I am the type who sees someone fall and is terrified, and tries anyway.
So I guess the conclusion for this post is this: There will ALWAYS be a time when I fail, when I fall, when I lie in a heap. And there will ALWAYS be a time when I challenge myself to try. Like this evening when I tried to convince my Video Store to put a particularly horrific French film in their Xmas section (Hey, it happens on Dec. 24th, sure there is cannibalism and demonic possession but still…..XMAS!), or recommended The Bridge to a couple because, “Yes, I know a documentary on suicide isn’t what you might want to watch but hey.....it is all about family!” The sad aspect is that I actually thought those were good choices, I mean I am going to stay up and watch the UK horror film Wilderness. Nothing reminds me of family more than a pack of dogs hunting down the weak. Oops there goes that innocence thing. Oh well, I can try again tomorrow!
13 hours ago