In Nick's Hands

Suddenly. Despite preparation, precaution, and without permission: something horrible. A fire, literal or metaphorical, savagely accosts your fragile, silly little existence. Me? I'm a volunteer firefighter. Broad shoulders, carrying dogs out on my back, "just doing my job, Ma'am," kinda shit. I'm a solver. A fighter. I saw Rocky II. I know if we want it badly enough, we can endure anything. Conquer any foe. 

Realistically, though, what can one man do against a raging forest fire? Sure, you can charge blindly into the maw of the beast in a blaze of glory, but that's challenging a brick wall to a head butt contest. But what's the alternative? It's just now I'm realizing what's really at play with the phrase, "It's in God's hands." Some mountains are too tall for us to scale. Some gales too strong to sail alone. Sometimes we need help. And who better to have on our speed dial than an all-knowing, all-powerful, altruistic God?

It must feel so good. And I don't mean that in a patronizing way. In a snarky, shit-eating, smirky kind of way. It actually must feel incredible. I'm deeply envious of those who can stare into the abyss and take a breath of repose. To cast off the shackles of freedom, responsibility, and agency. Walk a tightrope with the elegant grace of a ballet dancer, having faith as a net beneath them without ever having seen it. I need to see it. Show me that shit. Because I'm going to cling to that rope until my fingers turn purple.

Hey asshole there's a fire! You don't get to wax philosophical about God with your mixed metaphors. You have to do something. You have to act, you armchair quarterback.

The pandemic destroyed my stupid dreams. Everything I spent a decade building and desperately trying to make viable collapsed. Turns out the things I love require other people. And I'm so tired of people being like, "You can just start a new band. You can do other acting shows. You can put out this fire." Mostly because I used to agree with them. But now I'm stuck between existential Sartrian ass-kicking freedom, and total renunciation to God's plan. And while I understand I'm being reductive to both, and that both are likely to say some shit about the things I can change versus the things I can't and the wisdom to know the difference. Fuck 'em both. How the hell are we supposed to know the fucking difference? 

So, in a desperate attempt to control my universe, I got a bunch of house plants. If I make enough spreadsheets, watch enough YouTube videos, research, study, focus, fight, and struggle, I can keep them alive. I want my plants to say, it's okay, "I'm in Nick's hands."


And isn't that a neat little bow to tie up this cute little post about my dead dreams? 


Cut. Print. Publish. 

Except, I can't fucking control that my east-facing window only gets a couple hours of direct light a day due to a big-ass building. I suppose I could move. I could get grow lights. I could stop buying succulents. I could. I could. I could. The plants are not (only) in my hands. They are in many hands. They're kinda in my hands. They're kinda in the hands of nature. They're kinda in the hands of absurdity. They live in my shitty shoebox apartment because I decided to work part-time to chase my stupid dreams. Take that, Plants. Daddy should have studied math like Pops wanted. Instead, you got a philosopher who was rejected from all the doctorate programs he applied to. 

Now that we've cosmically solved the nature of causation (take that Aristotle) and freedom, we are no better off. Great. We learned the world is complicated. Perfect. What good is that? I guess it's supposed to be psychologically ameliorating, but where the hell does that get us? A shrug? An elegant, informed, philosophically sound, "I don't know"? 

I prefer radical responsibility. Everything on my shoulders. Everything within my power to change. Master of my own destiny Rocky II kind of shit. John G burning the evidence at the end of Momento (oooooh that's a deep cut). You know, fiction. But I can't shake the notion that even if it's wrong, we do less harm believing we can make a dent in our universe. Though often it's just a dent in our head from ramming our head into a concrete wall.

Best two out of three, Wall?            

1 comment :

  1. This is the most thoughtful and robust comment I’ve ever received. Thank you. It was truly shocking to see.