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Winter of my Discontent

Now that I have seen one swamp, I feel I have seen them all. All food tastes the same. The air may be hot or cold, it makes no difference. The car I drive becomes exceedingly more expensive yet I feel no excitement. I grow stronger and better looking with each passing month yet this doesn’t fill me with the sin of pride as it once did. Everything that once filled me with enjoyment I regard with ambivalence.

Surely there must be more to life. What has happened? This feels beyond the normal doldrums. I truly feel that if I were to sit here and wither away, it would be no matter. To use the language of the stoics, apatheia best describes how I feel–entirely without passions. In the universe of Planescape, one truly dies when all passions are lost, the last of which is the passion of life, fed by all the others. Where monks in both Christian and Eastern religious sects may have regarded apatheia as one step towards an enlightened state, or once again in the language of the stoics, “ataraxia,” it brings me instead unnervingly close to the edge of the railing.

I analyzed yesterday’s dream with a Jungian lens. The woman pulling at my foot signifies my clear and obvious desire for companionship. It is evident that my happiness can only be real to me when I share it.


  1. Marilyn

    Welcome to the art of living….sometimes the struggle of getting out of bed and sometimes even getting into bed is so exhausting you ask yourself what difference does it make? You do make a difference….we’ve never met but I look forward to reading your posts. I’ve experience significant change and loss in varying degrees over the last 7 years and have experienced times when I just didn’t see a reason to continue on … but….at those times I remind myself that I have an opportunity to help others who are worse off than myself…I believe we can help our neighbors even if it is just to smile and have inspiring words (its nice to see you, you look nice today etc) we can share with others. Thank you for sharing your thoughts and allowing us to see this vulnerable side of yourself… remember….it’s better to be alone than to be in a bad relationship…Have gratitude and patience to be able to make your choices because before you know it you are a half of a century old with far fewer opportunities and choices and even less Tim e to enjoy them… You have a beautiful heart.

  2. Marylin, thank you so much for your thoughtful and kind words.

    If I can make others genuinely happy as you say, then I suppose that is reason enough to continue on. My grandmother has some stitch work on her wall which says, “count your age by friends, not years; count your life by smiles, not tears.” I try to keep that in mind in these gray times. I am sorry for the losses you have experienced, I hope what it is that you do helps bring you serenity and peace despite those times. I am seeking that for myself, too.

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