Thursday, July 14, 2011

(3) Daemons, God & Responsibility

So did you shape your daemon?

I've been thinking about that question for some time now and I have come to the conclusion that my daemon would be an accurate reflection of my personality in animal form rather than an arbitrary species choice based on childhood preference.  That being the case, he would take the shape of a cheetah because of the ironic paradox that cat represents:  on one hand, cheetahs are powerful, agile, intelligent predatory animals, but on the other hand, they are the most fragile of the big cats and therefore the most vulnerable.  It seems to me that this juxtaposition mirrors my personality because I have strong will and drive in areas of confidence, however, I am an analytical sponge which makes for more sensitivity than optimal in a singular person.  It would be great to have more of the first than the later, but I am who I am for better or worse and I can at a very least accept that.  

Perhaps I am being far to literal with Liz Gilbert's reference of "daemon" when I could, or rather should, be able to find inspiration any where with the right application of effort and time (aka "shump").  But, seriously, who is responsible for my ultimate success or failure as a writer?  The obvious answer is the scariest, but where does God fit in? And fate? What if daemons really exist?  But what if they don't?

Allow me to tangent in order to tie this in... Back when I was little, I used to think that when people died they simply moved to the moon.  So if you lost someone special (as I had with my Grandmother - thus creating this thesis), all you had to do was go outside and start talking to the moon and your loved one would hear you and understand.   While I didn't grow up in a religious family, it is easy now to see the similarities I drew between the moon and Heaven - generally speaking, they are both up there, they are both omnipresent and supposedly they are where people go when they die.  But once I hit middle school science classes and started really learning about the universe through facts, my faith in the moon diminished with the scientific evidence presented before me.  I find myself occasionally looking at it and wondering how my loved ones are, but I don't know if that feeing is just nostalgia or remnants of faith I secretly cling to.

Any way, taking that life changing point farther and less abstract, it seems to me that the application of science has taken much of the mystique out of the unknown and replaced logical conclusions where divinity may have been before.  So if the moon is the moon and not Heaven, the mixture of persistence and caffeine are substitutes for daemonic muse,  and fate can be over written by brute force, does that make me the master of my own providence or is there still an aspect of "insha'allah" left?

Ultimately, there are far too many external influences in any one situation to lead a singular person to be solely responsible for their own destiny, however, if one leads a completely passive life without the application of effort it is far too easy to blame life's mishaps on anyone but oneself.  I think Liz was lucky to hear that voice she writes about in Eat, Pray, Love because no matter who that voice was - God, her daemon, her conscious or her Mother - she found a source of enlightenment that sparked change and eventually lead to her best seller...

Well now it is my turn to lie on the bathroom floor wondering what has become of me and what am I to do.  Some how I got to the position I am in now - an unemployed, grad-school drop out with a neurotic dog, a 21 month old son and an engineer for a husband living in far too small a house in a going-nowhere town - and maybe it was meant to be that I'd wind up here doing what I am or maybe I've just fallen short of my goals and would like to bandage my pride with a little bit of fate.  Either way, the past is the past and I don't need to figure that out, what I need to figure out where to go from here.

It seems like the bottom line for the day is that the only safe path forward from here is to assume I am on my own for creative inspiration and production. However, if God, my cheetah and serendipity want to chip in then I'll take what I can get!

1 comment:

  1. Or, J, it might be that the only safe path forward is to keep looking at that moon and wonder what is past it. If you keep looking at the Earth you will fall short of your goals, whatever they may be.

    I'm proud of you for the person you are and the things that you do. You may see an "unemployed, grad school dropout..." but that is not what I see. Or have ever. And if you believe that, then I am only a 29-year-old who has lived in 11 places in 11 years, has never earned more than minimum wage and is a complete disaster in love. Life is not a straight line. But it is about figuring out the best person you can be at whatever moment you might find yourself.

    And, the English Teacher in me would like to tell you that your syntax and diction is excellent.