Please forgive the timing of this letter. It is late, I know. Even though we have not set a certain amount of time in which to respond, I have a self-assigned time limit, and it was surpassed.
There is a reason.
I went away for a number of days.
Work had begun to wear away at me. I wasn’t sleeping well. The new baby was crying endlessly and has some problem with its guts. I was up each night with my wife trying to console the infant. Inevitably, after an hour or two, my wife suggested I try to get some sleep as I had to go to work in the morning, and she would be at home all day. So I tried but it didn’t work. This went on for two weeks. Eventually it subsided, and a doctor was able to help our baby out. But by the conclusion of these events, I was exhausted. It wasn’t just the baby that kept me awake at night. It was many other things. The complexity of which finally hit me.
As you know we are in a period of decline. Some people sense it more than others. It is a great burden to be someone who acutely senses decline and collapse. But you know this, as you were the first one to point it out to me fifteen years ago. Were we not better off back then? I remember walking for hours around the grounds of the university, talking. Well, you were talking and I was listening. But we seemed to be the only two wandering those endless paths on such a fine spring afternoon. I remember the occasional attractive woman pass us by, but other than that, we were alone. We are less alone now as many more people are waking up to what is happening to our world.
Each day is a challenge. Each day stretches the limits of a man’s patience. The burden we carry is a heavy one. Do you feel this weight as much as I do? Surely, it isn’t in our interest to complain about it at all but to do something about it. But what? What does one do? Transform the weight into energy? It’s possible. That’s certainly what we do when we go to work. No matter how much we loathe what we do for money some days it is essential to transforming this burden into something useful. On top of this we are dealing with the collapse of our culture. Are we the only two who are aware of this? Certainly not.
I often wonder what life was like as a soldier in the situation of defending his homeland. Watching as his cities crumble and burn; seeing his women die; his family perish. That burden is a lot worse than the one we face, to be sure. We are in the early stages of combat, when things are still somewhat civilized. The preliminary moves always being the hardest to detect. Everyone involved is quiet and deliberate; careful not to make any early blunders. This is much like the beginning of a romance. But there comes a time in these preliminary stages when one must be bold and strike quickly out beyond the bounds of one’s comfort. To have the advantage of first strike is always preferable, but it must not be wasted, and it must be effective.
So I went away for a couple days. A hiking trip into the hills. I had enough food for a couple days jammed into my backpack and off I went much to the relief of my wife who assured me she wouldn’t be overwhelmed by the child. Finally, I would be able to sleep. No, it wasn’t running away from anything. It was taking control of the situation. It turned out for the best. The weather was brilliant. The nights warm enough.
As was expected by the first morning I felt ready to return to my domestic life, but I forced myself to stay where I was and explore more. Now that I am back I realize how tightly I kept to routine, which, can be advantageous and preferable at times, especially if one has clearly defined goals and is in hot pursuit of them. But every once in a while one should know when to break the routine temporarily and reach out to some new boundary and risk disrupting the routine one has become reliant upon. If one can return to the routine and pick up from where one has left off then one has proven to oneself that they are in control.
But only so much control can be had. Fate always plays a hand.