The Utility of Value
Have you ever watched a window covered evenly in raindrops? The way each one sits; a tiny grey upside-down world, taking turns jiggling and growing when they are splashed by more drops… There’s a precarious moment when one grows heavy and begins inching slowly down, shimmying left, then right, left, then right, eating other drops and gaining in size then all of a sudden, the gathered mass comets itself down, grating a road of bare glass and perfectly aligned dots through the translucent crowd of popping bubbles.
I find it superb that I am offered moments of empathy such as these. I don’t know about you, but I relate to that bean of water and her momentous journey. Then the next. And the next. I used to pick one dot and watch and wait until it was her turn, wondering if, by watching, my eyes had a hand in her future destiny. When her grip finally broke and she ran and disappeared beyond the sill, the climax was simultaneously celebratory and heartbreaking.
(Might I add, there’s poetry in that example of “exponential”).
I sometimes wonder if it’s profane to see every single one of those drops as bits of me: look, there’s my teenytiny self, the one that hides next to the big one, and I’m not sure if she’s tiny or monumental (just far far away); look, there’s the squeamish one that doesn’t really have boundaries and kind of oozes into the neighbor, not quite round and not square; look, there’s the perfectly round one who keeps growing but doesn’t change shape and we know everyone has their money on that one, cuz she’s gonna win the race. No matter what it is, I’ll identify and relate.
I see the danger in relating to raindrops. Next thing, I might be relating to the glass, the cup, the table, the teaspoon, the thread cornering the pocket of my pants. Left sock! Lightbulb! The month-long life of a wall calendar picture! Fly in screen! Paper towel! Disposable seal from the vitamin bottle floating at the top of the trash can! One blueberry! The soft flattened grain of oatmeal left at the edge of the pot next to the sink! The slice of tomato on my burger! The power line whipped by the wind, cooked by the sun, clung by the claws! Tumbleweed seed! Mosquito! Neighbor in ugly car! Ex! Enemy who does not agree with me! AAAH MY HEART!!
What if every decision I make has this much affect and demands such deep consideration? Would that slow me down so much that I would want to go hide in a cave for the rest of my life so as not to have to have to build more heart muscle to handle all that overwhelming empathy?
What if every answer I ever wanted was available, would I want that? How much do I value the ease that comes with my dissociative unknowing, and how much do I fight to defend it?
If I had every answer, would I stop and think what now?
Consider leafy greens. A leaf feels just as much as a cow or a chicken, but we’re not hearing it scream as it is crushed in our teeth.
Makes me remember it may not be about what we do, but how, or to what end. Without falling into a guilt-trip, maybe we can take a moment to examine the woven nature of contextual fields — considering the psyche, soul, the unseen and maybe even the supernatural. Are we ready to know yet?
My sun is in Libra, my rising is Aquarius, and my Moon is in Aries. BPD, OCD, PTSD. Maybe it’s my passionate nature to weigh every option and question every answer (especially coming from those who think they are an authority, lol), and maybe it’s as simple as that. So really there’s a constant two-year-old voice in my head saying “why?,” and then “how come?,” and sometimes a “since when?,” and getting really stompy-mad when she spots an inconsistency. Especially in herself.
All the Me(s)—what a beautiful turmoil we are. And we find solace when we see our questions reflected back at us through the work of others; visual art, architecture, written word, voice, conscious body… through these validations we might find direction (maybe not answers, but surely direction).
We keep me going.