Books ARE sacred. But they are sacred in the old ways. They are like the personal gods who lived with you. Who kept our fires lit. Who sang us birdsong. Who walked beside us. Who marked a path through dark woods.
We revere them and sacrifice for them. They become a part of who we are. But more importantly we live our lives with them.
Pristine and untouched books are the saddest idea. An aesthetic that’s as grotesque as prominently displaying random colorful dead birds.
Books are some part of another person’s life. A dream they conceived into reality. A dream we do a disservice by holding the intention of pretty shelves to show cultured we are.
A book should be well loved. Cared for. But at the end of the day they must also be read. And lived with.
There is an eternal debate in book circles not unlike the one in programming circles.
In programming circles, it’s tabs vs spaces. And believe me when I say that this debate can lose you friends and colleagues.
In book circles, it’s bookmarks vs dog ear. And it occupies the same emotional space as tabs vs spaces.
I’m sure every passion has at least one such debate/war.
I tried to use bookmarks. I love a good bookmark. It has color and artistry. And when a book has a book ribbon, I will use that.
But, the majority of my books are dog eared. I could say that I have cats and to cats a bookmark is a lovely toy to grab in your teeth and go tearing down the hall with. While that’s true, it’s not the whole story.
It’s convenient. And I keep my books and reread them. I live with my books and can’t imagine a room that’s complete without a wall length shelve system covered in books. When I reread a book, I will find myself stopping at the same pages I did the first time. I’ll have a burst of tactile memories of why I stopped there and what I was feeling.
And how can that not be beautiful. Bookmarks can only ever say this is who I was when I bought it. It can never mark the journey of a life. It can’t keep me on the path through the woods. It can’t live with me and tell my journey to those who come after me.
People talk about doing everything in their power to achieve their dreams. But they don’t really know what that means. They think that means sacrificing their time, their income, their health. And it does.
And if you are lucky, that’s all it costs.
But it can cost so much more. Your friendships, your relationships, your happiness, your soul. It can require that you do things you thought you’d never do. Take actions you thought you’d never take. Change everything about yourself and still, you can fail.
And what happens if you fail? You can’t, right? You’ve sacrificed everything. So what one more thing. One step into moral grey. And pretty soon that moral grey is where you live. Pretty soon it is normal. And once it’s normal, then what about the next time?
That comfortable grey becomes the reason you justify doing something awful. You dress it up. You make it seem like your actions are fine. Because, in your world, they are. They are normal.
And that’s when you are lost. Because when there are no more lines to cross, you can’t go back.
Life won’t allow you to.
Most never leave the grey. But we certainly hear about those who do. Eventually. After the fall.
We crave that story. The story itself seems like success. But, let me tell you, the closer to the line you get, the less you want to be there. Unfortunately, you are still convinced that you are on the verge of success. So you keep pushing.
In the end, all you have is your choices. Be aware of the costs to those choices. And be realistic when they catch up to you.
If I weren’t so tired all the time I guess I’d be pissed. Instead I’m just disillusioned. I used to believe in the ideals of America which I grew up with. But I grew up. And started pulling away from those things I thought were truths. However, it took me a long time to see that what I perceived as real when I was younger is all that thirty percent of this country believes. And they are wrong. They see America as freedom loving and based in equality. But it was never that. It couldn’t be. It was founded on ideals and compromise. And its hard to tell where the ideals begin and the compromises begin.
But assuredly the demarcation line is right at slavery. And the treatment of people who weas a nation said were subhuman. We fought a war with ourselves over it. Maybe you’ve heard of it. And during Reconstruction we were doing it at least partially right. But we abandoned those ideas. We left all these people to rot in the hands of those who were guaranteed to keep them as an underclass. And in doing so, abandoned the ideas which we said we founded the nation on.
Then, in the 1960’s, America woke up again and passed some laws and has spent the last 60+ years patting itself on the back, lying to itself that it fixed everything, and eroding those protections those laws enacted.
And here we are, a middle aged white mans life later, facing the same problems because America has never faced its past. And any hint that that past was anything other than star spangled awesome gets people out as either vitriol spewing, right side of their mouth talking, authoritarian courting, all lives matter bigots; or hand wringing, can’t we get along being, left leaning in public(republican in private), gives to charity but only in public, hiding out, hoping this fades hypocrites. The far right is crazy and the middle left is spineless.
And its all voting for the lesser of two evils and I’m just tired. Is money so damned important that you’d sacrifice the lives of others for your success? Supporting candidates who line your pockets rather than ones who will safeguard the ideals that they scream about in public, laughing snidely at all they’ve duped.
Its a rigged game that I very much don’t want to play anymore. But I guess, I’ll keep on. Because what choice is there.
And still, fuck. Gotta let those lies pass me by. Gotta let it all pass. Because fuck it.
Patterns of light float on the surface
Everything they tell me it is
Doesn’t adequately describe it
They take one aspect and point and holler
Like so many small children pointing at the obvious
Everything pulses slower than a heartbeat
Vision shifts to deep violet
They say impossible
Try living it
Frustration blooms bloody
Each hour crawls past lost fading light
Lasting choice forgiveness
Scrimshaw writ deeply
Weariness one can’t escape from
No exit, just time
Slipped off my shoes
Cuddling deep into soft sheets
Dreaming only you
Hoping for a mythical past we wipe away the chance for a fabled future
A golden age proves to be little more than the dream of the thrashing fevered body politic
We cling to false hopes and outright lies rather than face bitter truths
All the while barreling forward
One inexorable second at a time
Towards the crumbling hellscape of the world we have turned our backs on
While we build up the fiction of prosperity
And cling to ideals long since tarnished
Jagged metal piercing palms
Convincing ourselves that this isn’t blood