I apologise for the lack of posts.
Now, let me redirect you to a recent post, which contains a quote by Woolf. In particular, let me draw attention to this line: “From the desire to be separate we have laid stress upon our faults, and what is particular to us.”
The harsh truth of it really struck me when I read it the first time, and again when I finally found it again. For is it not true? We like to complain about our unfortunate characteristics. Oh I am too indecisive, too frank, too sensitive, too independent. But really, don’t we revel in our extremities? Like a scar that makes us our body unique, we treasure it and parade it, albeit covertly and perhaps even unwittingly, despite its superficial undesirability as a scar. But there’s a chain whirling round, round, in a steel-blue circle beneath.
Its a strange play of fate then (I use fate not because I subscribe to the idea of Fate, indeed I always mean God when I say “fate”, but sometimes “fate” just sounds more fitting: “play of God” hardly has the same effect as “play of fate”.) that just as I found this quote I have been challenged myself as to whether or not I am guilty of this. And to cut a long story short, I found that I was.
To surmise what this precious flaw of mine was, I would have to say that it is an over-sensitivity that stems from a tendency to view (or try to view) my life as a grand narrative. And yes, perhaps you now know why this blog is called A Sketchy Narrative. Anyway, allow me to explain. I like to view my life as a very long and huge story. And as with all stories, they have a narrative of sorts. In this case it is necessarily a grand one. But with a narrative, (indeed as an author, for that is how I sometimes feel) one needs to know what is happening. Obviously this extends to more than simply what events are occurring physically, but also what the implications, causes, and nature of these events are in the emotional, spiritual and mental spheres, and where and how they fit in with the other occurrences.
Such a task disallows one to take life simply, to feel simply, and to think simply. Rather, one must examine ones life, examine ones feelings, examine ones thoughts. And such an examination and consequently such a habit of examination inevitably breeds a greater sensitivity emotionally and mentally, to the point where one finds himself bemoaning that he thinks too much and feels too much for his own good. But is it really a lament?
And therein lies my guilt. For as much as I profess my resentment for my feeling and thinking too much and the resulting emotional and mental turmoil and chaos, it is a fault that is very much particular to me. For the phrase “too much” invokes and refers to a certain standard that I have exceeded and thus made myself special, and even if the question of whether or not that is a negative excess or a positive excess remains ambivalent, it doesn’t matter, as long as it is not indisputably negative. For take away that and what do I have left to set me apart? (Clearly the answer is Christ, but we don’t always think rationally in this area, especially when so much of it happens subconsciously.) So yes upon examination (it is ironic that to remove the status that the habit of examination has conferred I have to conduct further such examination. I also think I have too many brackets in this post.) I realise that I did revel in this “fault of mine”. Or perhaps it is neither a fault nor a virtue, and it is simply easier to flaunt something that is dressed as a fault.
More than that, I reveled in my revelry which took the form of my writing; I enjoyed and treasured the wealth of emotions and thoughts and reflections that my disposition provided as creative fuel for my own literature. I suppose at a certain level I was afraid that if I no longer felt, I could no longer write. I think it is a little incredulous that even in my emotional distress I could be glad that at least I could construct nice sentences to capture them. Is it? I don’t know.
Anyway, I have since surrendered everything to God, in the faith that what we give to Him, He will make even more beautiful. I don’t think this means I don’t have to think anymore as I used to, or that I shouldn’t examine my life and my emotions. But perhaps it means that I shouldn’t raise this trait on to a pedestal and in so doing glorify and distinguish myself. Although that would also probably mean doing it less as well.
As for my writing, perhaps the unusual lack of posts recently should be disconcerting, but I think it will be alright.