I am sitting at my desk at work; I have gotten perhaps one half an hour’s work done in 2 hours here. I just spoke with my depressed and malingering daughter who, still abed, passively resists my urges that she get up and get to school. I put down the receiver and try to re-focus on work and hear myself breathing in labored breaths – the endless sighs that are my nature, my gut endlessly tense, endless spontaneous pointless resistance to employment, work, obligation, demands, competition, population, et cetera. I sigh and I sigh. My gut stays taut. Nothing gets done.
At home, my daughter, being my daughter, cannot decide, cannot produce the will and the act, to get up from bed. Not only does she have no interest in school, she has almost no interest in social interaction. Everything social, for her, is adverse. And the non-illness that she feels so acutely – nausea, “butterflies”, “funny” feeling in her gut – sounds so very, very familiar to me.
I sympathize. But nature and the world were not made to our order. Institutions like school are formed by others, and are (more or less) for those others. Individuals do not, in nature, matter very much. We have each a little weight, as water droplets do on the side of a cold glass. Others bubble & roar & fly about, like steam, vented, airborne, purposelessly purposive, very good at what they do. But then there are these droplet-people, the bumps on the log, who move little and haven’t the heat the steam-people have.
Where does it leave us? Go back to the Virgin, go back to the Temple of Zeus, meditate, linger in Christ’s embrace? Perhaps – but, above all, get moving. To be in tune with self or world, we must be in motion.