June 23, 2004


Posted at June 23, 2004 12:09 AM in Personal .

This is something that I wrote to my mother in an e-mail conversation about whether I approve or disapprove of her, her decisions in life and the role of love. Parents seem to be a reoccurring theme lately given that one of my directs had a parent pass away this week and another two coworkers have both lost a parent within the last few months.

I've never said that I disapprove of you. I neither approve nor disapprove of many of your life choices. I'm not in your shoes and I don't have your perspective. None of that has anything with approving of you, personally, though. You have the official "Al Seal of Approval" if you like. It strikes me as personally odd that you would desire my approval. Isn't it supposed to be the other way around? :-)

I'd never even considered approval or disapproval before reading your e-mail. It's a non-issue to me.

I do love you and I think that you are largely doing well with your life these days. I'm not sure what I would have thought of you in your 20's and 30's but then I've made my own share of weird or bad decisions so I'm not really in a position to say what anyone should be doing with themselves either now or in the past.

I'm a cranky bastard and I have an opinion about everything but, and this is an important point, an opinion isn't the same as a formal judgment of other people, except inasmuch as their relations to me. There are people out there that I think are pigfuckers or complete morons but that has nothing to do with judging them except when deciding whether to relate to them and have them in my life.

I think you and I are pretty different from each other spiritually but that might just be an artifact of perspective. I don't have much personal motivation for devotional actions and am not terribly theistic most of the time. You seem quite the opposite. Over time, I find my interests and those of most pagans or occultists diverging. So much of the pagan community seems to be people operating in the same, tired patterns as everyone else in our culture, which has significant issues. I'm not interested in the nature of the world just in order to be cool or have power over others, regardless of what my motivations were at 18.

We'll see though. :-)

I do love you. I just don't always know how I'm supposed to relate to you. We haven't even really lived together for 18 years... Like all children, I'm not sure if you really understand who I am but then I don't think R does much of the time other. We're all mysteries to each other.

As to the pain of the world, I don't need therapy for what I feel. Betrayal of dreams is part and parcel of growing up and finding the dissonance between childhood dreams of life and reality, especially in an isolated world like urban America. I think there is a reason so many people find solace in alcohol, drugs, sex, hedonism of any empty sort. It fills the hole that they don't even know how to describe to themselves but is all too there. That is part of the flaw that runs through the heart of the world. It's a hole shaped like your soul, a comfortable fit, never filled and, in the end, it is not something that can be filled. One of the things that I think Buddhism teaches quite well is that this hole is like the water and brooms in the Sorcerer's Apprentice. It can't be filled or emptied and trying to do so continues to empower and drive this engine of suffering.

Look, ma, I'm all philosophical and shit. This is what too much freetime and too many books will do to you.


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