Jin Wicked is Sick of Shit

I am tired.

“Whatever your hand finds to do, do it with all your might, for in the realm of the dead, where you are going, there is neither working nor planning nor knowledge nor wisdom.” Ecclesiastes 9:10

I am tired. I am tired, but determined, like an untamed animal at the outskirts of domesticity, with fading vision and loosening teeth, sleeplessly rummaging the streets to find his next meal. This has been a — difficult Christmas. Once Thanksgiving passed, a melancholy settled over me that has been mitigated only by the volume of work I am challenging myself to do. Since moving here to Saint Paul, my first two Christmases have been over-shadowed by broken promises, disappointment, and heartbreak. Until now, I had loved Christmas. Last year I unceremoniously donated almost all of the Christmas decorations that I brought with me from Texas. This year, I gave away what remained, in addition to the new tree that I purchased last year. Earlier this December, I finally mustered enough good spirit to purchase and decorate a twiggy 2′ live tree, at which point someone attempted to point out the perceived hypocrisy of buying something and spending an hour on an activity other than work. After that I was ready to throw all of Christmas into the dumpster forever.

Shit I am absolutely done with: people telling me who I am, people telling me what they believe is wrong with me, being belittled and disrespected, having my generosity and goodwill taken advantage of, laziness, and cowards.

I want to go to the gym and lift heavy objects over and over until I am strong enough to punch every single obstacle and obstruction out of my way.

Because fuck if I am going down without a fight.

Dragon

I can feel myself dying. My ears are pricked high, to the thunderous bellow of oblivion, barrelling down its tracks toward me every day. Some days, it fans the flames of purpose and urgency within me. Other days, it does its worst to silence my enthusiasm and smother it into unquenchable sadness. We are all suffocating in a world Hell-bent on sowing the seeds of its own economic and ecological destruction — of consuming itself with apathy, greed, and a lack of compassion. How does a country like the United States, a nation I have been browbeaten my entire life to believe was founded upon so-called “Christian” values, reach this point? I am an atheist that regularly attends Catholic Mass. I listen to the lessons of Jesus and I take them to heart, without any promise of eternal reward. It is enough for me to do good and serve my fellow man. I believe in charity, community, dignity, social justice, love, and sacrifice.

Where did Jesus instruct us to openly mock our brothers and sisters, who are asking only to be treated with basic human dignity, as snowflakes? Where did Jesus preach that the poor must have brought their plight upon themselves, and we should worship riches and the wealthy as inherently virtuous? Where did Jesus teach that the loftiest measure of righteousness is how much we manage to deny others, and wield power over our neighbours? Are we really so selfish, short-sighted, and cravenly afraid of people different than us, that we are willing to abandon the values we claim define us as a society?

Literally the only way this world will survive as we know and recognize it is by mutual understanding, rebuilding communities, reigniting our devotion to the values we say matter to us, embracing sacrifice, and figuring out how to work together. Your brothers and sisters struggling to nourish their families are not the people holding you back; it is the men and women above you, with boots upon your neck, setting us against each other and manipulating religion and nationalism to act outside our own best interests. They have all the might of the government, military, and the police behind them. The only legitimate way to fight back is to refuse to participate when it is safe to do so. Buy local. Buy independent when you can. Repair things instead of discarding and replacing them. Reject conspicuous consumption. Become more self-reliant. Barter with your neighours. Talk to your neighbours! Talk about your feelings. Talk about your fears. Own your mistakes. Be brave. Be confident. Be vulnerable. Let go of judgement. Invest in education. Invest in your community, institutions, and social network. Wield the tools of democracy. Work hard. Never give up.

Somehow in spite of all this, I have to maintain a certain level of contradictory optimism. I have to believe that we still have a future. I have to believe that this world is still capable of being saved, beyond what comfort I can bring to my immediate family and friends. I am studying the “Rule of Saint Benedict” in my continuing shift to a lifestyle of minimalism, temperance, and simplicity. At this point, I have nearly everything I could possibly need. All I want is a very basic level of comfort, health, safety, and to practice my arts in peace.

And I will fight for these things.

Even if I am tired.

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