I sat in my bed the other night and tried to put together some words, ones that don’t go to the edge of a page, a poem to be precise. It should be a relatively easy task as my mind and heart is full of my mother, plenty of adjectives to describe her and her life but the words were gone, like a shadowy spectre they danced before my eyes for a brief period and then disappeared like sparks up a chimney, never to be seen again. Admittedly I was tired but then when have I not been tired in the last few years?
I have reflected on the missing words and my general lack of wonder in this world and think I have some understanding of what is happening. The lyrics from a Keith Green song sprung into my mind and resonated with me, My eyes are dry, my faith is old, my heart is hard, my prayers are cold, and I know how I ought to be, https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=lvxRk0tWKOs. I have touched on this in some of my recent posts and realise that it is an apt description of where I am right now.
I have tried to break through this period which began as an interlude, but now appears to be a season that is taking its time to pass. I know that I am exhibiting some symptoms that I should be concerned about and they are asking a high price to move on. Some of those things I can control and others not. The areas of my life that are of the most concern are work and relationships.
On the work front I took a big hit earlier this year when I walked out of a job because of integrity issues in the workplace and because it was an unsafe place to be both physically and emotionally. I have regular casual work at the moment but at the back of my mind is the clear and certain knowledge that this will dry up in the next term. I have more than one skill in my basket, however an ongoing severe back issue limits my ability to cope with jobs that need a lot of lifting done. Fortunately here in NZ I have a backstop position of state assistance that I could engage with but the looming prospect of that is something that I do not look forward to.
I can make a living as a relief teacher, however there are twelve weeks in the year that there is no work and in term 4 there is very little work. I enjoy teaching and being a relief teacher has little intellectual rigour involved, although I take a hands on approach and try to actually fulfil my role by teaching rather than babysitting. I have few alternatives to teaching right now as family circumstances exclude most other opportunities. I am faced with the almost certain need to move for employment. Whilst I have no attachment anymore to where I live, I have just moved back into my own house, so the prospect of being a renter again is not that enticing.
On relationships, well what can I say? I wrote previously that I felt an absence of love, in particular the ability to love. I need to clarify that. There are many different forms of love, I am referring to Eros. I have the capability for Agape, Philia, and Storge love. Agape love is generally accepted as a general affection or deeper sense of true unconditional love, often compared to the love God has for people. There are people in my life that fit into this description.
Philia love is a love that is essentially a deep regard or affection for friends and family, this too I find in my life. It requires virtue, equality, and familiarity, not that I suggest by any stretch of the imagination that I am virtuous, I know myself far too well to ascribe that to myself. The third kind of love is that of Storge. This is the natural affection and bond we have for those in our families. Sometimes this is hard to fathom, we have seen it recently on television with the tv documentary, Prison Families. The more extreme expressions of this are hard to fathom at times.
None of those three are missing in my life although at times they can be a struggle. It is indeed Eros that has gone on the run. Eros is physical passionate love, with sensual desire and longing. Romantic, pure emotion without the balance of logic. It does not need to be sexual in nature but it is intimate. I have met some fantastic women over the last four years, and have explored the possibilities of a relationship with them. In the end Eros has only been present in one of those relationships.
I have reflected as to whether we have a quotient of Eros, a certain amount that can be used up and not replaceable? Is this a possibility? I hope that this notion is patently untrue. Perhaps I am being too particular? Maybe three out of four is as good as it gets because any relationship is not perfect? A rhetorical question , because for me intimacy (not just sex) is really important to me. Without Eros I know that I would not be able to sustain a relationship long term, been there done that, conversely without the other kinds of love any relationship would wither and die.
So here I am single, not happily single that is for sure, I am not built like that however for right now for a number of reasons I am not seeking a relationship. Until I have sorted in my mind wether I am capable of Eros as well as the others, I do not want to hurt anyone else. This is not a place I wanted to be at, but here I am, you see integrity matters to me as does truthfulness. Yes it comes at a cost, is that cost worth it? I don’t know, I believe so, time will tell,