So I asked myself that: So what? So what if I feel that I need it or that I somehow deserve it?
The dream of childhood, of what we were “promised”: a happy life that can only be better, faster, bigger than what came before. A world where problems (ecological degradation, economic shortfalls, social injustice, health problems) and inconveniences (having to get water or grow food, or having to wait more than a second for an internet connection) will be solved by technology, science and reasonable action. That is what humans do, isn’t it? Thanks to us, life will always be better, faster, bigger. It goes without saying!
That was a dream so taken for granted, sustainable only thanks to several delusions, chief among them the delusion that no one, human or other, had to suffer for what I felt was rightfully mine. How desperately I clung to that, thinking that if they suffered, it was their bad luck but not my good luck because luck had nothing to do with it, right? Even when I feared that yes, luck does have something to do with it, I had a way out: I’d be a fool not to take it, I actually can’t but take it, because here it is, given, and anyway if I don’t take it, somebody else will, or it will go to waste. And anyway – round and round I went – I worked for this, or my parents did, and now I deserve it, somehow.
Was it a crisis of the imagination? For I could not even imagine that it could all go away, that there could be problems – even problems of our own making – that could not be solved: predicaments. Despite the thousands of stories and images of those who dreamed just like me but who had already lost it, the dreamer clung to her vision of the future as one where the problems will all go away, or it won’t be so bad after all, or it won’t affect me… It became harder and harder to keep that up. I can’t pinpoint the moment, quite a few years ago, when the last straw punctured the bubble. Suddenly I imagined it, that my luck was running out, and I realized it was possible, that all this could be taken away from me. A lot of what you can read on this blog is the result of that realization.
That was not the end of it. When the bubble bursts the bottom falls out as well and instead of round and round you get to go down and down. It took me a while to figure out that what was going on was not just the fear, anger and grief that come with this new vision or the sheer logistics of preparing for a new future, but another, more serious crisis that was yet to be resolved: a crisis of gratitude.