Sometimes, in particular when you’re stressed and depressed, even taking control of the littlest thing in your life is a monumental accomplishment. It can be as simple as cleaning your desk and sorting all the bills and paperwork and random effluvium of day to day life into piles, even if you can’t actually do anything ABOUT said cruft. I cleaned my desk and sorted my piles and I do, in fact, feel accomplished by this. It certainly helps that in the process of this, I found a dividend check from March. In celebration of this unexpected (and direly needed) windfall, I’m spending $10 of it on a bowl of potato leek soup, an iced coffee, and a piece of cherry pie (which to borrow a phrase from Agent Cooper, is damned fine), down at Zoka. It is, as ever, the little treats we allow ourselves that make life worth living.
In the grand scheme of things, life could be worse. While I’m in debt well beyond my means, I do still have a roof over my head, food in my stomach, and a job that I enjoy well enough and keeps me from being in a far worse position. I don’t know many people here, which does lead to some (alright, a lot of) lonely moments, but no one is shooting at me or really attacking me at all, physically, mentally, or spiritually. I’ve got my share of angst over my last breakup, but even that is only unmanageable in that I’ve yet to actually move on, for a variety of reasons that don’t need elaborating here. Life is perhaps not good, but it is certainly not bad, either. There are no epic tragedies, just a lot of little grievances that have added up to one hell of a funk: it puts me in mind of a quote from Ovid — “Gutta cavat lapidem (Dripping water hollows out a stone)”, which seems to also be the basis of what the Litany Against Fear from Dune is talking about: “fear is the mindkiller. Fear is the little death that brings total obliteration…” It doesn’t have to be anything big, in fact it’s less likely to be since the big stuff we face head on, we address it and cope with it. But the little things, they’re insipid, they accrete like a gall stone, they eat away at our core one drop at a time.
And if we spot it? Generally, this means it is because things have already worn away to leave a cavity, so you are faced with an uphill battle, late out the gate. But you have to try. You have to pull yourself up by the bootstraps, and put one foot in front of the other, even when every inch forward feels like a mile. Not for some perceived glory, not for some light at tne end of the tunnel, but because you don’t have a choice. It is the very essence of life and death, because if you don’t get up and try, you’re dead or will be soon.
So, yeah, things could be worse. That’s not an invitation for things to become worse, mind you, but it is an acknowledgement and a declaration: I have let myself slide down under the weight of my stone, and it is high time that I start pushing it back up that goddamn hill.