Monday, November 18, 2013

Cold Comfort

Somewhere along the line, I missed a critical lesson. I think I missed it very early. I think I missed it at each time someone - or maybe even just "life" - tried to teach it to me. It's probably an important lesson, I just don't know how to learn it: "how does one find comfort?"

I look around at the culture I live in. I look around at many of my peers. I see a lot of people who find - or at least think they'll find - comfort in things. There's even a term for it: "retail therapy". For some people, the comfort is in the hunt. For others it's in the having. For me, there's neither. I don't enjoy shopping. I don't enjoy bargain-hunting. I don't particularly enjoy, even, the having of things. Things are functional. Things serve a purpose. Things don't give comfort.

While it's fading - albeit noisily - in western cultures, religion seems to bring many folks comfort. Me? I can't get on board with it. That's not the same as saying I'm an atheist - I know how little I truly know to eliminate the possibility of its basis. I just can't subscribe to it. Even if I could, I don't know that I'd find it a comfort, as, even if the afterlifes accorded to the good and the just are accurately portrayed, for me they'd be a hell. I don't know what to do with the life I have, I can't imagine eternity yawning before me being any kind of good thing.

Most people also seem to find comfort in other people. For the most part, people make me uncomfortable. Except in very specific contexts - work being chief among them - I can't really relate to most people. The people who it did feel like sort of "got" me - that I had a connection to - are all gone ...and I'm adrift.

All I can really do is think to myself. All I can really do is ruminate. And, when the thoughts gel enough, I can type them out ...but doing so isn't a comfort. At best, it's an ordering of things - a setting of a mark to come back to and ponder some more.