Tuesday, October 23, 2007

The End of the Chain

I can never forget the day I realized the chain was broken. The day I suddenly became, without warning, the link at the end of the chain.

My mom and dad passed away within a year of each other. And when that happened, I felt such an emotional instability when I realized I was no longer solidly connected to my parents on one side and my own offspring on the other. It was devastating to realize the chain of life was broken and I was now the last link at the end of the chain.

It was a raw feeling. It drew me back to the place of my birth but rather than finding comfort there I found my desolation magnified 30X. The old house, vacant for only a few years was burned down by an arsonist, and when I saw the charred remains, the full reallity hit me of broken chains and lives in ashes. As if they had never been.

As if the games had never been played, the songs had never been sung, and the laughter had never rang in that place. That’s the day I felt an overwhelming conviction to write.

Perhaps through writing, I could re-establish connection. Perhaps I could replace the missing link of my parents with another chain-link of sorts to avoid the isolation of disconnection and to make life meaningful. It wasn’t the best solution, but it was all I could hope to do to reconcile the heartbreak of broken chains and vanishing points.

That was many years ago and now I find myself at a similar aperture. But this time what isolates me, and retraces the pain I just told you about, is my moral and mental disconnect from the stream of the progressive thinking of modern life. Once my perceptions of life and philosophy comfortably tied with the mandate of the society I lived within. But no more. Once again I’ve become a disconnected link. Unity severed by my lack of understanding of what is happening around me.

The link on the left of me began to weaken with stupid stuff. The shocking business of rugged men dressed in pink polka-dotted shorts followed by girls in pant-garb that made plumber’s pants look like high-risers. And the mutation of romance stories from prose that misted the eyes and stirred the heart into nothing more than graphic descriptions of physical connections between individuals, that left the heart cold and stirred only the groin. The rapid transition of religion from that initial solid belief in God to a Godless reverence for nature, and ultimately to self-Gods or celebrity gods.

When truth, that thing that so many honored, and paid homage to, turned aside from forthrightness to blatant denial. Denial, with such fervor, that eventually falseness morphed into truth and suspicions were forgotten. When humility and contriteness were put to rest in a place of decay with empathy and diplomacy. When language became either so vulgar or so ornately scripted that any and all meaning could come out of its convoluted form.

Now I see the anarchy of Political Correctness marching across the land engaged in genocide of language terms. But its domination is nothing more than a mask – a fa├žade to hide the evil in men’s breasts. It is really no more of a cure than a sugar pill.

But we had a cure as good as Bantam and Best before this. Evil was contained through an active conscience and a mandate given to every child in their formative years that one must treat others the way they hoped to be treated. But now, even the meaning of that old adage has been skewed by adopting a new educated, yet ignoble, way of handling bullies that too often boomerangs into greater violence and more confusion.

It’s all too much. You see how the link of my relevance to life on this planet is breaking. And without relevance how do I participate? How do I integrate? How do I postulate? Or even capitulate?

I swear it’s like a new strain of Attention Deficit Behavior that I wasn’t born with but was cast on me by modern strain to see how well I would fare. A super bug or a staph-infection passed on by society rather than a medical facility. My mind is anxious, my thoughts disruptive, and I am unable to focus.

Society had no right to do this to me. They are bullying acts. And how dare they, within the sweet tolerance of a politically correct society, continue to still refer to me in terms so demeaning? ‘Old and feeble’, ‘Mentally Unstable’, ‘Confused’ or ‘Obsolete and Antiquated’?

It’s lonely here. Being, once again, at the end of a chain, without any connectivity to unite my existence with others. But that’s okay. I will use my writing and my imagination to reconnect the chain. I will fashion a link of an uncommon alloy that will return my strength.

I’ve done it before. I can do it again.


Pauline said...

And you just have - by reflecting, by puzzling through your feelings, by expressing so accurately and cleverly the ills of current society (though I bet if you were writing this 100 years, even two thousand years ago, you would have had many of the same complaints - the good old days weren't always that good and we've been deploring our own behavior since forever), you've made a path for yourself. And trust me, you're not alone.

*the first three letters for the word verification were pbj - peanut butter and jelly - childhood sandwich favorite making me think of All I Ever Needed to Know I Learned in Kindergarden, a great book that addresses some of these issues.

joared said...

I've been feeling a lot like "the link at the end of the chain" for a while. I have become most aware in recent years of the need to "reconcile the heartbreak of broken chains and vanishing points." I like the language you use to express these thoughts.

Roberta S said...

pauline, I have heard quotes from the book about kindergarten you mentioned and it is, though light-hearted, right on.

As to your first comment, you are right. I laughed when I read a book published in 1881 that had complaints about the younger generation going to the dogs. But even knowing that, doesn't seem to alter my feeling of disconnect with all that is happening today.

Your thoughts are comforting, nontheless. Thanks for reading and commenting, pauline.

Roberta S said...

Thanks, joared. Thanks for letting me know that you so totally understand what it was that I hoped to express.

Barbara said...

I, too, have felt this sense of being increasingly irrelevant in a world whizzing by with ever-increasing speed to a destination I can't even imagine, let alone recognize. Perhaps this is part of nature's way of preparing us to let go -- to float into the hereafter like a beautiful flaming leaf that has let go of the tree.

Roberta S said...

Thanks for commenting barbara. That is certainly a lovely way to think about it -- a perspective that much appeases my anxious mind.

Matty said...

That's odd because I've been feeling somehow disconnected. To remedy that I've been spending a lot of time in the past...studying my lineage...charting my family history, connecting the links.,buried in the past.

Roberta S said...

Hi matty. Nice to see you. Your comment answered a longstanding question I've always had in my head about people who persue their lineage with such passion. I see from your own blog you had other reasons to investigate this sort of thing as well and you were the girl for the task with your dogged determination to get done what had to be done.

It is pleasant to think that I have another option for reconnecting if I find that my interest in writing is fading. Thanks for commenting.

Joy Des Jardins said...

what an amazing post Roberta. I have moments when I'm on the end of that chain. I attribute it to aging and letting go of what used to be, not very sure what is ahead, and not being particularly in love with everything that is happening around me (us). Your words strike many notes with me dear friend....and they are beautiful....just like the author.

Roberta S said...

Hi joy. Thank you for such a kind tribute. You couldn't have summarized my thoughts more succinctly than you did -- "not..sure what is ahead,..not particularly in love with everything...happening around me."