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Tuesday, June 28, 2005

Quoting...is such sweet sorrow Pt. 1

Think of this as a series of quotes that I've collected...and there are only a couple of authors/poets that I've looked at. But what I'm hoping to get started is a sort of analysis of the content of the quote...what does it mean to the individual?...does one agree/disagree?...Why/why not?

I'd like to begin with this one by Jim Morrison.

"The most loving parents and relatives commit murder with smiles on their faces. They force us to destroy the person we really are: a subtle kind of murder." - Jim Morrison

There are some of us who'll look at this and say "That's not true," while others will either raise a clenched fist in silence in a sort of "Black Panther"-esque fashion. But this is a situation that isn't all too unfamiliar to people. Perhaps coming from a somewhat conservative Indian background and having lived in a couple of places around the world I've come to see the positives and negatives of "parents' wishes".

Well, when I read this, my initial reaction was one of "Oh my God! I can't believe he said that!" But in an instant this gave way to, "Well, in a way it's true because I've seen it happen to people around me." And that soon gave way to, "Wait a minute. If I really think about it, that could be the story of my life." Then the little 'rational' voice in my head dissented with a, "It's all a matter of perspective." And, that's what I ended on. Alright, I've said it enough times, but 'life' is all about perspective. Things happen, and it's up to you to give them the color that you want them to take on.

And so it was with my life. Tricked into going to boarding school at the age of 7 (yes...still an idiot, unfortunately)...lied to consistently for the next three years...and having to resign myself to a particular fate at the age of 10...parents separated after years of a miserable existence together...etc. Rough in its own way...but I have a problem with this entire thing. I find that I go back to it too often. There was a point of time when I would kind of use this, almost as an excuse..."I started drinking and smoking because I had a pretty messed up childhood." Then I got over this stage...but the embers still haven't died out completely. And that's my problem. It's not that this is something that I cannot get over...and there are times when I've taken a look at other people's lives and listened to their stories and said to myself, "Damn! I didn't have it THAT bad!" Again, perspective. And you can't really live your life by walking around and comparing yourself to the 'poor bastard' who had it all bad...because even the 'poor bastard' has someone who's had it worse than he has. One of my demons, no doubt. But I am working on it. I find that it's infiltrated a lot of my life...and a lot of who I am. Here's where I claw my way out of this pit. But why am I talking about this? Because events such as the ones listed above were usually attempts by people/parents/friends to get me to do what's best for me. But what is best for me? Shouldn't I be the judge of that? Can I have all those years back please?

But these questions make no sense do they. They're just ways of holding on to the pain. Why? Does pain drive me? Is it who I am? Do I imagine myself to be some kind of 'pillar' that other people can lean on? Where are my roots? What's holding me up? Or should I be asking about what next? Where do I go from here? Has the 'damage' been done? What damage? Isn't that all in my head? I'm here now aren't I? Isn't the world before me? So why do I look back to a time when making sense of a senseless world only brought me pain and darkness? But then I think about it...and I realize that I'm truly thankful for a lot of my experiences...because they have shaped me to be the person I am today...and whatever hurt, well, it didn't kill me...so I'm stronger for it. Perspective...hahahaha...what a thing it is. So, the choices that were made, have made me who I am...and it's up to me to come to terms with it. Isaiah Berlin said, "Essentially, I have led an unplanned life." True and false. In a way, life is planned for you...and in another way, you make your choices...but it all amounts to the same thing, doesn't it?

And so, after having read Jim Morrison's quote over and over a couple more times, I realized that the part of me that agreed with it was the part of me that held on to the pain. The part of me that disagreed was the part of me that wanted to carry on. Because, in this life, we only have enough time to go forward...no point wasting it on licking old wounds...especially ones that should have healed a long long time ago. In conclusion, the choices that we make and those that are made for us are just that...choices. Where we go from there determines the life that we lead.
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