Ronald May

Mucking through the middle

I find myself melancholy as the year comes to an end. It feels like this previous annum had more changes as I began to reflect on it, than my recollection allowed.
I find my own place in time to be a bit banal I suppose. The middle years of incarceration can drag along and the feel of it all remains static and uninspired. You are not quite over your beginning, not quite beginning your end and so you push the rock back up the hill in your best attempt to become Sisyphus but you have been asking yourself ‘why’ for more than a few years now.

One thing I hope I have shown is contrition in my writing within this format. If I were reading this and I had little sympathy for those imprisoned I would think it hard to sympathize with some person complaining about their ‘middle years’. However, I write much of this to remind myself someday that I tried to make something out of the years there was nothing.

I have a vain hope that someone reading this can grasp even the smallest amount of sympathy for those inside and perhaps even develop a form of empathy to understand. Our culture is so carcereal in nature that anything we can do to turn the perspective back to it’s core humanity is a success.

But I digress. I feel a real change as this year ends and a sense of foreboding that it may not get better for awhile. It is just a feeling but from the perch which I sit upon and view the pieces in motion, well, I am really unsure that there is optimism available for people to take solace from. It is exhausting to watch all the hurt, anger and frustration that people feel, liberal or conservative; be taken out on those we blame for our perceived suffering. I will skip the specifics as I am sure you can conjure your frustrations and who they are directed at.

I do not know a time I felt this bleak in my life. I have mostly quit the news. I keep up with the barest of it through papers and quick updates but I no longer feel a desire to connect with an insane news cycle that perpetuates lies and offers opinion verses fact. So it was easy to leave it behind yet I feel as though I am not immersed in the zeitgeist. However, I think that is something you get okay with as you age.

As I participate to my small degree in the overall changes in society I see this past year as the one where I found the road I had been travelling long ago. I wrote about this previously but to place it briefly in context, way back in 98 I firmly believe I left the path that would have offered very different opportunities. As a result, I forgot who I was becoming and wound my way into this situation through bad choices and clouded judgement.

Losing yourself is not easy to fix unless you are willing to spend a little time dwelling in your past mistakes in order to understand how you could have gone so wrong. The analysis of the various peripheries with respect to each relationship and the various errors made were the solution to me making my way back up the road. Most psychology and Buddhist teachings advise us not to linger in remorse and regret. I understand the wisdom these lessons offer, people can wallow in sadness and not pull themselves up and out of it. For me however it was necessary to stand chest deep in the swamp of my past and really observe the how and why of my choices. Accepting this the land rose under me and I was able to leave so that I could find my way back.

Examining my life has been a grand excursion through many moments both good and bad. I have even explored alternate lives as a result of choosing differently at key moments. To know yourself, I think one must accept fully all the bad with the good. To present to others and say this is me, all of what I am is made up from all of this!

My feeling is that too often we are always pursuing a different emotion or experience because we so badly want to run away from who we have been or the mistakes we have made. Being honest with our precious selves gives us space to offer that to our friends and family. All this said so easily here though does not mean I am finished. I have begun and I look forward to polishing my attitude along the way.

In all, that was the bright spot to a tough, tough year and although I am as overwhelmed and apprehensive as others I really wish for better. To see people happy and better off means that they are to some degree or another content with things. I may mention my melancholy but to a great degree I am content with what I am involved in now. I do not need this thing or that experience to make it all better. As I said, if I can just keep slurping my boots through these day’s of my mudled middle I will arrive at my end with gratitude and understanding.
I wish all a better year to come, much happiness and love most of all.

Ronald May
DOC #359444

Categories: Ronald May

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